Pedro Pablo Berroeta

Pedro Pablo Berroeta (Cuenca, June 29, 1737 – Seville, Spain, July 15, 1821) was an acclaimed poet, Jesuit, and missionary, who left a remarkable footprint in the literature of the 18th century. Berroeta became a key figure during the Real Audiencia of Quito and is well-remembered for his masterpieces “La Pasión de Cristo,” a poem of 1026 royal octaves, and “Coplones del Viejo.” Despite facing expulsion from the Jesuit order and having to continue his religious work as a secular priest, Berroeta’s indomitable spirit led him to create profound literary works. His poetry, characterized by its raw emotional depth and nostalgic resonance, significantly shaped what is known as Cuenca poetics. Even two centuries after his death, Berroeta’s contribution to the literary world continues to be celebrated and studied.

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Paola Cando

Paola Cando Bermeo (Cuenca, January 25, 1995) is an Ecuadorian writer and poet. Her journey in literature began in 2012 when she published “Parchís,” a collection of several young authors from the city of Cuenca. Two years later, she was part of the poetic anthology “Nuevas Voces de la Poesía Cuencana,” presented at the XII Encounter on Ecuadorian Literature by the State University of Cuenca. In 2015, along with numerous Latin American authors, she was featured in the poetic anthology “90 revoluciones,” published by the independent publisher Mecánica Giratoria. 2017 saw her collaborate with the independent publisher Ninacuro Cartonera on another poetic anthology titled “Cirugía inflamable.” In 2020, her poem “Chendoaventuras” was selected to be featured in the book “Poemas sobre dos ciudades.” This book compiled the winning entries from the Azogues and Cuenca 2020 Poetry Prize Competition, as well as additional poems from the same competition, chosen by the jury.

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Francisco Delgado

Francisco Delgado Santos (Cuenca, June 9, 1950) is an Ecuadorian writer, poet, and editor. Delgado Santos has made a significant contribution to Ecuadorian literature for children and young people with his extensive collection of over 50 published titles. With a deep passion for reading and writing, Delgado Santos believes in the transformative power of books, especially in shaping the imaginations and intellectual development of young readers. His works span across various genres and have garnered recognition and prestigious awards. Beyond his literary achievements, Delgado Santos has played a pivotal role in establishing the National Library System of Ecuador, expanding access to books and fostering a culture of reading throughout the country.

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Honorato Vázquez Ochoa

Honorato Vázquez Ochoa (Cuenca, October 21, 1855 – January 26, 1933) was an Ecuadorian diplomat, lawyer, educator, painter, grammarian, writer, and poet considered one of the most prominent figures of Cuencan lyricism in the 19th century. Vázquez’s literary works spanned different genres, including poetry, essays, and historical accounts. Notable among his works is the poetry book “Los sábados de mayo,” co-written with Miguel Moreno, which exemplified the tendencies of national romanticism in Ecuador. Vázquez’s poems, such as “Morenica del Rosario,” demonstrated his sentimentality and mastery of language, including the use of archaic Spanish. Furthermore, his contributions to the field of linguistics were notable, with regular essays on the Spanish language, Quechua, neologisms, and other language-related topics. In 1886, at the age of 31, he delivered his induction speech to the Ecuadorian Academy of Language, making him one of the youngest members to ever join.

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Alfredo Vivar

Alfredo Vivar (Cuenca, 1932 – unknown) was an Ecuadorian poet, painter, and civil engineer. He is perhaps best known for his poetry books, “Variaciones, natura, amor, soledad” (1978), “Sonsinfin Opus” (1984), and “Sonsinfin Opus 2” (1986). In 2012, the University of Cuenca published two poetry books from his cyclical series Sonsinfin: “Suele llama sola mi corazón” and “El mar azul… ¿Dónde es azul?” Eliecer Cárdenas, in the foreword of these volumes, emphasized the distinctiveness of Vivar’s poetry, characterized by its non-sequential nature and instantaneity. Jorge Dávila Vázquez once referred to Alfredo Vivar as “a lyricist who has not yet received the recognition he deserves.” Notably, Vivar’s poetry was also included in the anthology “Siete poetas,” which was published by the House of Ecuadorian Culture in 1990.

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Teresa Crespo Toral

Teresa Crespo Toral (Cuenca, October 30, 1928 – Quito, February 15, 2014) was an Ecuadorian writer and a pioneer of children’s literature in her country. Her writings are considered classics of the genre and have been a source of inspiration for new generations of readers. From a young age, Teresa was deeply passionate about literature, and her love for the written word led her to compose her first poems. She authored several well-known books, including “Novena al Niño Jesús,” “Pepe Golondrina y otros cuentos,” “Mateo Simbaña,” which was studied at the University of Paris, and “Ana de los Ríos,” a book adapted into a film by the Convenio Andrés Bello. Teresa Crespo Toral received recognition through various awards, such as the Palma de Plata from the University of Cuenca and the first prize from the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Azuay, among others. She was married to the politician and historian Jorge Salvador Lara and had five children.

Issa Aguilar Jara

Issa Aguilar Jara (Cuenca, 1988) is an Ecuadorian poet and journalist. She has authored 3 critically-acclaimed poetry collections. Her debut poetry book, “Con M de mote se escribe Mojigata” (2018), fearlessly challenges the conservative aspects of her hometown with intimate and satirical verses, and delves into intimate themes, including her relationship with her father. Her second collection, “Poliamor town” (2020), delves into themes of love, diverse relationships, and the complexities of human connections. In 2022, her latest book, “Dos tragos de sinestesia o El diablo verde,” won the prestigious César Dávila Andrade National Poetry Prize, further solidifying her reputation as a notable voice in contemporary Ecuadorian poetry. Aguilar’s work has resonated with readers, particularly the younger generation, making her books popular in Cuenca.

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Carlos Joaquín Córdova Malo

Carlos Joaquín Córdova Malo (Cuenca, April 22, 1914 – Quito, December 19, 2011) was an accomplished linguist, writer, and government official. He obtained his law degree from the State University of Cuenca. He authored several works, including “Cestmir Loukotka y la clasificación de las lenguas indígenas del Ecuador,” “El habla del Ecuador-Diccionario de Ecuatorianismos,” “Un millar de anglicismos,” and “Hojeada sobre la lexicografía ecuatoriana,” among others. He held various government positions, including serving as a Superintendent of Banks, a member of the Monetary Board, and as the Director of the Andean Mission in Ecuador. He was also a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and served as its director from 1998 until his resignation in 2008. Throughout his career, Córdova Malo received numerous honors and awards for his contributions to Ecuadorian culture and language, including the National Order of Merit in the rank of Commander from the Ecuadorian government, the “Vicente Rocafuerte” Cultural Merit Award from the National Congress, and the “Aurelio Espinosa Pólit” decoration from the Metropolitan District of Quito. He was also a corresponding member of the Uruguayan and North American Academies of Language.

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Alberto Ordoñez Ortíz

Alberto Ordoñez Ortíz (Cuenca, March 16, 1942 – Ibidem, August 29, 2022) was an Ecuadorian poet, writer, and lawyer. During the last years of his life he worked as an opinion columnist for the daily El Mercurio of Cuenca. From 1962 – 2004 he published at least 10 poetry books. As a poet, he won various awards, including First Prize in the 1963 National Poetry Contest sponsored by the State University of Cuenca, Second Prize in the 1978 Ismael Pérez Pazmiño Poetry Contest for Perfil del hombre y su desvelo, and the First Prizes in the 1992 Poetry Contests promoted by the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute of Ecuador. In 2003, the Municipality of Cuenca awarded him the “Fray Vicente Solano” Award, an award given to the best poet of the year in Cuenca, and in that same year, the National Congress of Ecuador awarded him the “Vicente Rocafuerte” Prize, in recognition of his literary work and contribution to Ecuadorian poetry.

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Remigio Romero y Cordero

Remigio Romero y Cordero (Cuenca, June 13, 1895 – Quito, 1967) was an Ecuadorian poet, lawyer, professor, parliamentarian and journalist. He was the son of the poets Remigio Romero León and Aurelia Cordero Dávila. After graduating from high school at Benigno Malo National School, he enrolled in the Faculty of Jurisprudence at the University of Cuenca, where he went on to earn the degrees of Doctor of Jurisprudence and Lawyer of Ecuador’s Courts of Justice. He grew up and received his initial education under the protection of the political and social reforms brought about by the Liberal Revolution. He earned significant acclaim due to his brilliant poetry, which gained him the honor of being crowned poet at the Quito Poetry Festival in 1933.

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Juana Neira Malo

Juana Neira Malo (Cuenca, May 29, 1963) is an Ecuadorian author of children’s literature. In 2008 she published her first book, “Mi amiga secreta.” In 2009, her second book “Se necesita a un súper héroe,” won the “Darío Guevara Mayorga” Prize. She was president of Girándula, the Ecuadorian Book Association for Children and Young People, a branch of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) in Ecuador. She produced and hosted a literary radio program, Sueños de papel, from 2006 to 2018. The program contributed to the country’s culture by highlighting several contemporary Ecuadorian authors and focusing on children’s and youth literature. In August of 2020 it was announced that she was the new director of the “José de la Cuadra” National Plan for the Promotion of Books and Reading.

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Jacinto Cordero Espinosa

Jacinto Cordero Espinosa (Cuenca, June 25, 1926 – September 29, 2018) was an Ecuadorian poet. He authored several poetry collections and his poems have been included in various poetry anthologies both at home and abroad. In addition to being a professor in the Faculty of jurisprudence at the University of Cuenca, he was the director of the Azuayan Folklore Institute and president of the Commission of the Castle of Ingapirca. He was a recipient of the National Cultural Merit Medal from the House of Ecuadorian Culture. He also received the Cultural Merit Medal from Ecuador’s Ministry of Education. He was a corresponding member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and a member of the House of Ecuadorian Culture. Some of his poems have been translated into English, French, Portuguese, and German.

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Rosalía Arteaga

Rosalía Arteaga, born Lupe Rosalía Arteaga Serrano (Cuenca, December 5, 1956) is an Ecuadorian social activist, writer, and politician. She served as president of Ecuador between February 6-11, 1997. She was the first woman constitutional president and vice president of Ecuador. She co-authored the book “Alto Cenepa: los frentes de una guerra,” (1995) and wrote the book “La Presidenta, el secuestro de una propuesta” (1997). Her best known book is “Jerónimo,” which has gone through 8 editions in Spanish, 2 in English, and 1 in Chinese, Braille, Portuguese, Italian and a bilingual edition in Spanish/Portuguese. A continuation, “Los otros Jerónimos,” was published in 2002, with a prologue by the Spanish writer Rosa Montero. She has also written children and youth literature. She currently lives in Quito, Ecuador.

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Simón Espinosa Cordero

Simón Espinosa Cordero (Cuenca, October 8, 1920) is an Ecuadorian writer, journalist, editor, and university professor. He became a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language in 2013. He has a PhD from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He has authored over one hundred essays, prologues and nearly three thousand opinion columns, his books include “Comunicación, ética y paz social” (1990, co-author), “Presidentes del Ecuador 1830-2000” (2002), “Grandes escritores de la patria” (2004) and “Los más bellos cuentos del poeta” (2011, co-author). In 2014 he published his latest book, “Vine, vi, linché,” a collection of 124 opinion columns he wrote between 1982 and 2012.

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Francisco Proaño Arandi

Francisco Proaño Arandi (Cuenca, January 20, 1944) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and diplomat. In the 1960’s he was part of the literary group called Tzántzicos. In 1961, when he was 17 years old, he published a poetry book titled “Poesías.” However, since then he has dedicated himself solely to prose. In 1964 he started the magazine Z with Alejandro Moreano, and the magazine La bufanda del sol (1965-1966) with Ulises Estrella and Alejandro Moreano. In 1972, he published his first book of poems, “Historias de disecadores.” In 1984, he published his first novel, “Antiguas caras en el espejo,” which was critically acclaimed and was awarded the José Mejía Lequerica Prize by the Municipality of Quito for best prose work. In 1993, he published a second novel, “Del otro lado de las cosas.” In 2003 his short story book, “Historias del país fingido,” won the Joaquín Gallegos Lara Prize. In 2003, his third novel, “La razón y el presagio” was published. His fourth novel, “Tratado del amor clandestino,” was a finalist of the Rómulo Gallegos International Prize (2009, Caracas, Venezuela) and the José María Arguedas Prize from the Casa de las Américas (2010, Havana, Cuba). In 2009, his fifth novel “El sabor de la condena” also won the Joaquín Gallegos Lara Prize. From 2002 to 2003 he was the director of the House of Ecuadorian Culture’s magazine Letras del Ecuador. Although he was born in Cuenca, he has lived in Quito most of his life since that’s where his family is originally from.

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