Ricardo Descalzi

Ricardo Descalzi del Castillo (Riobamba, September 22, 1912 – Riobamba, November 29, 1990) was an Ecuadorian novelist, historian, playwright, short story writer, translator, literary critic, university professor and medical doctor. In 1928, he founded the magazine Surcos with his Mejía National Institute classmates José Alfredo Llerena and Arturo Meneses. After graduating from high school in 1932, he published “Ghismondo,” a 100-page novel based on his experiences as a student. He also wrote the novel “Saloya” (1962), a short story collection “Los murmullos de Dios” (1959), and the stage plays “Los Caminos Blancos” (1939), “En el horizonte se alzó la niebla” (1961), and “El huasipungo de Andrés Chiliquinga” (1981). His six-volume “Historia crítica del teatro ecuatoriano” is perhaps his most important work (1968). Among his translations is “Poemas” (1969), a French-to-Spanish translation of poems by Nobel laureate Jean Poilvet Le Guenn. The Tobar Prize was bestowed upon him by the municipality of Quito in 1968. He was a member of the House of Ecuadorian Culture, the National Academy of History, and the Bolivarian Society of Quito, where he served as its vice president.

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Edwin Ulloa Arellano

Edwin Ulloa Arellano (Riobamba, 1947) is an Ecuadorian poet, novelist, short story writer, journalist, psychologist and retired university professor. Ulloa has lived in Guayaquil since adolescence. He was an official of the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Guayaquil. His books include Sobre una tumba una rumba (1992, short stories), La sombra de tu sonrisa (2014, poetry), Polvo de Ángel (2010, novel). He has worked as the general editor of the ANDES State News Agency, Diario Expreso, and La Otra Magazine, and as the director of the newspaper El Telégrafo.

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Benigna Dávalos

Benigna Dávalos Villavicencio (Riobamba, circa 1910 – Quito, circa 1960) was an Ecuadorian poet and composer; her most recognized work is the text for the pasillo song “Ángel de Luz,” which is also known in Peru under the name “Rayo de Luz,” popularized by the duo Las Limeñitas. In August 2018, the Museum of the Ecuadorian Pasillo was created, where a statue of Benigna Dávalos lies among the statues of 4 other legendary pasillo composers.

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Luis Alberto Costales

Luis Alberto Costales Cazar (Riobamba, December 24, 1926 – Riobamba, February 1, 2006) was an Ecuadorian politician, poet, writer, historian, teacher and farmer. His works include “Bucólicas y Una Vida Simple,” “Sobre el Pomo de la Tierra,” “Exiliado en el verso” and “Rutas de Sombra y de Sol.” He co-founded the Democratic Left Party.

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Luz Elisa Borja Martínez

Luz Elisa Borja Martínez (Riobamba, May 15, 1903 – Riobamba, July 10, 1927) was an Ecuadorian poet, pianist, painter, and sculptor. In only 24 years of life, she amassed an extensive body of written work, which her brother Luis Alberto published after her death in two books titled “Cofre Romántico” and “La Bella Durmiente.” The second book contains the poem “Quiero Llorar” (I Mourn), which she wrote in 1918, at the age of 15, after the death of the mother superior of the Riobamba Sisters of Charity. It has seven stanzas, two of which became the lyrics for the Ecuadorian pasillo called “Lamparilla.” The music was composed by Miguel Ángel Casares Viteri, who was inspired by Borja’s poem and his dismay over the damage caused by a Chanchán River flood. Some of her original works can be found at the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Chimborazo.

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Marcelo Lalama Basante

Marcelo Lalama Basante was a novelist and a medical doctor. He was born in 1942 in Riobamba, Ecuador, and died in 2017 in Quito. His debut novel Los Nazarenos won the Aurelio Espinoza Pólit Prize in the year 2000 and the Joaquín Gallegos Lara Prize in 2001. His other works include Santamaría de los Volcanes (awarded First Prize in Literature from the Central University of Ecuador in 2008) and Hospital Real de la Misericordia (2013).

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