Ernesto Cardenal is currently on a “12-campus tour through the US and Canada”. He will be giving “an Easter Sunday blessing”, followed by a poetry reading, followed by a book-signing, today (Sunday), “in the garden in front of the Allen Ginsberg Library” in Boulder.
Father Cardenal’s most recent book is The Origin of Species and Other Poems (translated and introduced by John Lyons with a forward by Anne Waldman). Generally acknowledged as one of Latin America’s greatest poets, he is author of over 35 books, including the 2009 Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems from New Directions. One-time Nicaraguan Minister for Culture (under the Sandinistas), he is currently vice-president of Casa de los Tres Mondos, a literary and cultural organization he helped form. 86 years old, but showing no signs of slowing down, he remains deeply devoted to his country, and to his people, and to the fight for social justice. This is a rare visit.
For documentation of Allen in Nicaragua in 1986, check out this excellent portfolio by photographer Ilka Hartman. (Allen and Ernesto’s paths had, of course, crossed much earlier, first in the pages of the legendary El Corno Emplumado)
“Ernesto Cardenal is a major epic-historical poet”, Allen has written, “in the grand lineage of Central American prophet, Ruben Dario.”
2020 update: Ernesto Cardenal died, aged 95 in March 2020, in Managua. For his obituary in the New York Times – see here