David Ledesma Vásquez 

David Ledesma Vásquez (Guayaquil, December 17, 1934 – March 30, 1961) was an Ecuadorian poet and theater actor. Although his work went unnoticed for several years after his death, it eventually acquired a cult following. He belonged to Club 7, a group of Ecuadorian poets from the 1950s. He committed suicide by hanging in 1961. He left behind several unpublished works, including one ironically titled “La risa del ahorcado” [The Hanged Man’s Laugh]. Ileana Espinel Cedeño, a fellow Club 7 member, oversaw the posthumous publication of his poetry collection “Cuaderno de Orfeo” in 1962.

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Walter Franco Serrano

Walter Franco Serrano (Quito, 1932 – 2021) was a poet, novelist, and theater teacher. From 1954 to 1957, he cofounded the Quito Chamber Theater with professor Carlos Lowenberg, the Independent Theater with Francisco Tobar, and the puppet theater, casa de la Fantasia [Fantasy House]. He was a member of the Umbral Group, a literary group formed in Quito in 1952 by notable Ecuadorian writers of the time. He joined the Society of Friends of the Theater in 1955, where he taught oral expression. In 1967, he was Ecuador’s delegate to the First Latin America Theater Congress in Mexico. He lectured at the House of Ecuadorian Culture’s Theater Seminar between 1975-1976. His poetry collections include: “El instante innumerable” (1957), “El mar forastero” (1959), “Años ecuatoriales,” and “Cronica colombiana.” His novel “Un pueblo en los Andes” [A Town in the Andes] was a finalist for the 1971 Planeta award. His short story collections include: “Cinco mil dolares” and “Collazo 24.”

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Rubén Astudillo y Astudillo 

Rubén Astudillo y Astudillo (El Valle, Cuenca, 1938 – January 16, 2003) was a poet, journalist, and diplomat. He began his writing career in Cuenca, where he created the Amanecer literary group and produced a magazine by the same name. In 1957, he published his first collection of poems, “Del crepúsculo,” followed by “Trébol sonámbulo” (1958), and “Desterrados” (1960). He then established the literary journal Syrma. In 1963, he published his best known poetry collection, “Canción de lobos,” with which he pioneered what he termed as poesía testimonialista [testimonialist poetry] in Ecuador. He served as a diplomat at the Ecuadorian embassies in Israel, Cyprus, Venezuela, Vietnam, and China.

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Inés Márquez Moreno

Inés Márquez Moreno (Cuenca, June 7, 1916 – August 18, 2017) was an Ecuadorian poet. Her first poetry collection, “Denuncia del sueño,” was published by the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Azuay in 1963. Her style is characterized by great simplicity and evocative force (love, land, friendship, family). In 1994, the House of Ecuadorian Culture published her second collection of poems, “Camino de mediodía.” She was awarded the Fray Vicente Solano Medal by the city of Cuenca, which is given to the city’s most distinguished authors. She had been a member of the Ibero-American Academy of Poetry in Cuenca since its inception. She continued to write into her 90s and died at the age of 101.

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The Decapitated Generation

The Generación decapitada (Spanish for “Beheaded/Decapitated Generation”) is a literary group from the early twentieth century composed primarily of four young Ecuadorian poets. The group is called “decapitada,” or “decapitated,” because each member committed suicide at a young age. It includes two men from Guayaquil, Medardo Ángel Silva and Ernesto Noboa y Caamaño and two from Quito, Arturo Borja and Humberto Fierro. These four writers were heavily influenced by Rubén Darío’s modernismo movement and 19th-century French romantic poetry. They all read the poetry of Baudelaire, Hugo, Rimbaud, and Verlaine in the original French. Despite knowing each other and dedicating poems to one another, they never met to form an actual literary group. The term “generación decapitada” was coined in the mid-twentieth century by writer Raúl Andrade and other journalists and historians who noticed similarities in the authors’ poetry and fates.

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Dalton Osorno

Dalton Osorno (Jipijapa, 1958) is an Ecuadorian writer, poet, literary critic, and retired professor. His short novel, “Sonata para jaibas y cangrejos,” won the 2020 La Linares award, which he shared with Hans Behr Martinez, who was recognized for his own short novel. Orsono has published a collection of short stories and several collections of poetry. His book of poems, “No hay peor calamidad, desfachatez, infatuamiento que un poeta enamorado,” was awarded the Unique Prize at the VII National Literature Contest in Guayaquil. He has lived in Guayaquil since 1970.

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Gabriela Vargas

Gabriela Vargas Aguirre (Guayaquil, 1984) is an Ecuadorian poet. Her first collection of poems, “La ruta de la ceniza” (2017), which dealt with her mother’s death, received critical acclaim. She was able to publish the book thanks to a competitive grant from the Ministry of Culture and Patrimony. She has participated in various poetry festivals in Ecuador and other South American nations and her poems have been published in several anthologies. In 2020 her second poetry collection, “Lugares que no existen en las guías turísticas,” won the Vicente Huidobro International Poetry Prize and was published in Spain in 2021 by Valparaíso Ediciones.

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Kerly Palacios

Kerly Palacios Escobar (Guayaquil, 1994) is an Ecuadorian writer and poet. She has published two poetry collections, “El desvelo de mis versos” (2018) and “Secuelas” (2020). In 2021, she published her first novel, “No puedo hacerte el amor,” an erotic romance about a couple who cannot consummate their marriage. She claims to have written it in just four hours in December 2020, while character development and editing took another six months. She has taken part in the International Book Festival of Guayaquil.

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Miguel Álava Alcívar

Miguel Álava Alcívar, sometimes Miguel Alavalcívar (Portoviejo, 1988) is an Ecuadorian novelist, poet and philosophy professor. He has lived in Guayaquil for many years. His novels include Universos paralelos (2004), Amada inmortal (2005), El mundo contado al revés (2011) and El Trapecista (2012), which he has referred to as his best work. In 2012 he became a member of the Guayas Chapter of the House of Ecuadorian Culture. He is on the editorial team of the International Journal of Social Science and Economics Invention.

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Bruno Sáenz Andrade

Bruno Sáenz Andrade (Quito, September 13, 1944 – Quito, January 11, 2022) was an Ecuadorian writer, poet, essayist and literary critic. He authored numerous books including: “El aprendiz y la palabra,” “Relatos del aprendiz,” “Comedia del cuerpo,” “1944, La promesa y la siega” and “La noche acopia silencios.” A lawyer by profession, in his working life he served as director of the School of Prosecutors in the Public Ministry, as well as Undersecretary of Culture. He was a regular speaker at the House of Ecuadorian Culture, the Benjamín Carrión Cultural Center, and the Rayuela bookstore, among other places. He was an emeritus member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language since 2014. In 2003 his poetry book “Escribe la inicial de tu nombre en el umbral del sueño” won the Jorge Carrera Andrade Award.

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Jennie Carrasco Molina

Jennie Carrasco Molina (Ambato, 1955) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, editor, university professor and holistic therapist. She has worked with the press and on women’s issues. Her works include the short story collection “La diosa en el espejo” (1995), the poetry collection “Arañas en mi vestido de seda” (2001), and the novel “Viaje a ninguna parte” (2004). In 2011 her poetry collection “Confesiones apocalípticas” won the prestigious Jorge Carrera Andrade Prize. Some of her poems have been translated into English.

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Sergio Nuñez

Sergio Núñez Santamaría (Santa Rosa, Ambato, October 7, 1896 – Quito, 1982) was a novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, literary critic and pedagogue. As a poet, he wrote in verse and prose, and was greatly influenced by the modernismo literary movement of Ruben Dario of Nicaragua. In 1918 he published his first poetry book, “Hostias de fuego,” with a prologue by Medardo Ángel Silva. He belonged to the “30 Generation,” a group of authors from the 1930’s Ecuador who used social realism in their fiction to denounce how Indians were treated in Ecuador. His novellas “Juego de hacienda” and “Circunferencia” are considered Indigenista fiction. A private school in Guayaquil bears his name.

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Manuel María Palacios Bravo

Manuel María Palacios Bravo (Cuenca, 1891 – 1960) was an Ecuadorian poet and priest. His best known poems include: Jesús Campesino (1919), Chabita (1922), and Cantos de ayer (1953). He was a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language. In 1957, the University of Cuenca released a collection of his poems selected by Rigoberto Cordero y León.

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Felix Valencia

Felix Valencia Vizuete (Latacunga, August 31, 1886 – Quito, January 3, 1919) was an Ecuadorian poet often called the “Poet of Sorrow.” During his lifetime he published the books “Cantos de vida y muerte” (1911) and “La epopeya de San Mateo” (1914). In 1934, his friend, writer and journalist Alejandro Andrade Coello, published “Los poemas del dolor” (Poems of Sorrow), a posthumous collection of his poems. Valencia’s life and work were marked by loneliness, misanthropy and melancholy.

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