Ernesto Javier Carrión Castro (Guayaquil, 1977) is a distinguished poet and novelist whose work has won numerous awards and has been widely recognized both in his home country and internationally. His literary career began to gain momentum in 2002 when he was awarded the César Dávila Andrade National Poetry Prize for “Carni vale”. Over the years, Carrión Castro’s unique voice and innovative storytelling have earned him several prestigious awards such as the Jorge Carrera Andrade National Poetry Prize for “Viaje de Gorilas” in 2013, and the Casa de las Américas Novel Prize for “Incendiamos las yeguas en la madrugada” in 2017. His book “El día en que me faltes” won the Lipp Novel Prize in 2017. Most recently, in 2019, his novel “El vuelo de la tortuga” won the Miguel Donoso Pareja Prize. In 2023, Carrión Castro’s continuous contribution to literature was recognized with the Gonzalo Rojas Residency Scholarship. His ability to weave compelling narratives with poetic language has solidified his status as one of the most significant contemporary writers in Latin America.
Early Life and Personal Background
Ernesto Carrión, an esteemed Ecuadorian author, was born in 1977 in the bustling city of Guayaquil, in the province of Guayas. During his childhood, he resided in the southern districts of Guayaquil, first in the neighborhood of Las Acacias, and later in La Saiba and Los Almendros. His primary education took place at the Abdón Calderón school.
At the age of 17, Carrión was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, prompting his family to admit him to a clinic in Cuba. During his stay on the island, he not only explored romantic relationships but also developed a deep appreciation for literature, solidifying his aspiration to become a writer.
He has had two marriages, first to politician María Alejandra Vicuña, who later became the Constitutional Vice President of Ecuador, with whom he has a daughter. He is currently married to designer, cultural manager, and editor Isabel Mármol Ampuero, and they share a son.
In 2002, Ernesto Carrión released his first poetry book, “El libro de la desobediencia” (“The Book of Disobedience”), winning the National César Dávila Andrade Award the same year with his second collection of poems, “Carni vale.” From then, he embarked on a lyrical treaty titled “ø,” comprising thirteen collections of poems divided into three volumes: “La muerte de Caín” (“The Death of Cain”), “Los duelos de una cabeza sin mundo” (“The Griefs of a Head Without a World”), and “18 Scorpii.”
Carrión’s poetry has been described as a literary event that has distinctly marked a before and after in Ecuadorian poetry. Noted poet José Kozer has praised his work as ‘immense,’ while Raúl Zurita has referred to Carrión as an essential poet of the already extraordinary new generation of Latin American poets.
Carrión ventured into narrative writing in 2015 and has since published several novels such as “Cementerio en la luna” (“Cemetery on the Moon”), “Tríptico de una ciudad” (“Triptych of a City”), “Un hombre futuro” (“A Future Man”), “Ciudad Pretexto” (“Pretext City”), and “Cursos de francés” (“French Courses”).
In 2017, he won the Casa de las Américas Prize with the novel “Incendiamos las yeguas en la madrugada” (“We Set the Mares on Fire at Dawn”), and the Lipp Novel Award (Hispanic version of the Prix Cazes – Brasserie Lipp of Paris) with the work “El día en que me faltes” (“The Day When You Are Absent From Me”).
Carrión is one of the most awarded authors of his generation, as well as one of the most prolific. He has been described as a poet who writes novels, delving into existential abysses while establishing himself in his writing and following a recognizable literary path.
Innovative Themes and Projects
In his novel “Tríptico de una ciudad” (“Triptych of a City”), the first of his “Triángulo Fúser” trilogy, he tackles, among other topics, the kidnapping and murder of transsexuals and transvestites in Guayaquil during the nineties, committed by boys from an elite school. Currently, this book is being adapted into a screenplay by Carrión himself and is in the process of filming under the title “Ciudad Pretexto” (“Pretext City”).
In “Cementerio en la luna” (“Cemetery on the Moon”), readers witness the novel of poetry, the reflection on poetic writing, imitation, influences, plagiarism, prizes, festivals, and meetings of poets and their excesses. But above all, it denounces the non-poetic aspects of the world of poets: banality, degradation, opportunism, and the paroxysm of fame. His novel “Un hombre futuro” (“A Future Man”) was written after the murder of his father, Guillermo Carrión González, in Guayaquil in 2014.
From 2011 to 2017, Carrión directed the International Poetry Landing Festival in Guayaquil. Alongside graphic designer Isabel Mármol, he has led the editorial project of Animal Editors Fund since 2012. He has also taught literary workshops at the University of the Arts (UARTES) and maintained the critical column “Escritor Lector” (“Writer Reader”) in the CartónPiedra section of the El Telégrafo newspaper.
In 2019, he served on the jury for the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Prize, awarded by the Chilean government.
Awards and Recognition
Ernesto Carrión’s vast body of work has earned him numerous accolades, including the Casa de las Américas Prize, the LIPP Novel Award, the Miguel Donoso Pareja Prize, and several National Poetry Prizes. His impressive range across poetry and narrative fiction has solidified his place as one of the most important voices in contemporary Latin American literature.
List of his awards and recognitions
- Gonzalo Rojas Residency Scholarship (2023 – 2024)
- Miguel Donoso Pareja Prize (2019) “El vuelo de la tortuga”
- Lipp Novel Prize (2017) “El día en que me faltes”
- Casa de las Américas Novel Prize (2017) “Incendiamos las yeguas en la madrugada”
- First Place in the Miguel Riofrío National Literature Contest (2016) “Cursos de francés”
- Finalist in the Pilar Fernández Labrador International Poetry Prize (2017) “Revoluciones cubanas en Marte”
- Unique Prize of the Santiago de Guayaquil Catholic University National Poetry Biennial (2015) “Como un caracol nocturno en un rectángulo de hielo”
- Pichincha Poetry Prize (2015) “Manual de ruido”
- Honorable Mention La Linares Prize (2015) “Un hombre futuro”
- Honorable Mention Miguel Donoso Pareja Prize (2015) “Cementerio en la luna”
- Jorge Carrera Andrade National Poetry Prize (2013) “Viaje de Gorilas”
- Second Prize in the Hispanic American Poetry Contest Festival de la Lira (2011) “Fundación de la niebla”
- Fellow of the Artistic Residencies Program for Creators of Ibero-America and Haiti in Mexico (2009) “Los diarios sumergidos de Calibán”
- Jorge Carrera Andrade National Poetry Prize (2008) “La muerte de Caín”
- Latin American Poetry City of Medellin Prize of the Medellin International Poetry Festival (2007) “Demonia Factory”
- César Dávila Andrade National Poetry Prize (2002) “Carni vale”
Ernesto Carrión winner of the 2019 Miguel Donoso Prize
Ernesto Carrión wins the 2017 LIPP Prize
Ernesto Carrión interview and documentary
- Cementerio en la luna (2015)
- Un hombre futuro (2016)
- Tríptico de una ciudad (2016)
- Ciudad Pretexto (2016)
- Cursos de francés (2017)
- Incendiamos las yeguas en la madrugada (2017)
- El día en que me faltes (2018)
- El vuelo de la tortuga (2020)
- La carnada (2020)
- Ulises y los juguetes rotos (2022)
Collection of poetry
- La muerte de Caín, CCE, Quito, 2007.
- Los duelos de una cabeza sin mundo [en el nombre del padre], Tribal (Lima) en coed. Fondo de Animal Editores (Guayaquil), 2012.
- 18 Scorpii: abiogénesis, Último round, CCE, Cuenca, 2018.
- El libro de la desobediencia (2002)
- Carni vale (2003)
- Labor del Extraviado (2005)
- Demonia Factory (2007)
- Monsieur Monstruo (2009)
- Los Diarios Sumergidos de Calibán (2011, 2012)
- Fundación de la niebla (2010)
- Viaje de Gorilas (2012)
- Novela de dios (2013)
- Verbo (bordado original) (2013)
- Manual de ruido (2015)
- Como un caracol nocturno en un rectángulo de hielo (2016)
- Revoluciones cubanas en Marte (2017)
- Kozer + Carriøn, Fondo de Animal Editores, Guayaquil, 2013.
- Este pan masticar con letras escritas (José Carlos Yrigoyen, Maurizio Medo and Ernesto Carrión), Fra editorial, Praga, translator Petr Zadavil, 2015.
- Atlántida, Héctor Hernández Montecinos, Ernesto Carrión, Yaxkin Melchy and José Manuel Barrios, Rastro de la Iguana, Ecuador, 2015.
- La célula invisible, with Paúl Puma, Cascahuesos Editores, Arequipa-Perú, 2018.
Other writers with the last name Carrión
- Carlos Carrión
- Benjamin Carrión
- Fanny Carrión de Fierro
- Alejandro Carrión Aguirre
- César Eduardo Carrión
This post was updated on 7/13/2023.