About Mario Benedetti and Louise B. Popkin

About Mario Benedetti

A powerful voice for social justice and the rights of common people, and a long-time opponent of repressive governments in his native Uruguay and around the world, Mario Benedetti published over 80 books of poetry, short stories, novels, essays, literary criticism, and advocacy journalism in over 1200 editions and has been translated into over 25 languages. His song lyrics have been performed by more than 40 singers, including Joan Manuel Serrat, Nacha Guevara, Los Olimareños, Daniel Viglietti, Alfredo Zitarrosa, Pablo Milanés, Soledad Bravo, Amparo Ochoa, Laura Canoura, Rosa León, los Gambino, Eduardo Darnauchans, Adriana Varela, Numa Moraes, Tania Libertad, Marilina Ross, etc.

He has been on the juries for film prizes in International Festivals held in Havana, San Sebastian, Valladolid and for literature prizes in Uruguay, Argentina, Cuba, México, Ecuador, Panamá and Spain.

The Cuban Council of State awarded him the Order of Felix Varela prize in 1982 and the Haydée Santmaría medal in 1989. In 1987 in Brussels, Amnesty International awarded him the Golden Flame prize for his novel, Spring with a Broken Corner. In Chile, he was awarded both the Gabriela Mistral medal in 1995 and the Pablo Neruda medal in 2005. In 1996 in Uruguay, he received the Bartolomé Hidalgo Prize for his essays. In 1993 he was awarded an honorary professorship by the University of Buenos Aires, and in 1996 in Uruguay, he was named Professor Emeritus by the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. In 1997, he received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Alicante, Valladolid and Havana, and in 2004, he received the same honor from the National University in Montevideo. In 1999 in Spain, he was awarded the 8th Reina Sofía Prize for Latin American Poetry. That same year, in Uruguay, the Ministry of Education and Culture awarded him the National Prize for Intellectual Achievement (shared with Julio Da Rosa). In 1999, the Colombian Chamber of Deputies awarded him the Order of Democracy Prize at the Gran Cruz level. In 2005, he was awarded the International Menéndez y Pelayo award in Santander, Spain. In 2007, he received the Alba Prize for Letters and a first class appointment to the Order of Francisco de Miranda from the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, and in 2008, an honorary doctorate from the University of Córdoba, Argentina. He died in 2009.

In South America, Benedetti’s poems are printed on greeting cards, spray-painted on walls, and recited by lovelorn adolescents … Standing audiences crammed together to glimpse him during public appearances, often broadcast to crowds outside …

Intimate, introspective, filled with the cadences of everyday speech and the feelings of everyday people, Benedetti’s poetry is also rife with mischievous wordplay and Uruguayan and Latin American idioms

Monica Jimenez, Arlington Advocate

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About Louise B. Popkin, Translator

Louise B. Popkin resides in the Boston area, where she taught Spanish at local universities for 40 years..  She also spends several months each year in Montevideo, Uruguay, and her translations of Latin American poetry, theater and fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her book-length translations include Saúl Sosnowski and Louise B. Popkin, eds.,  Repression, Exile and Democracy: Uruguayan Culture (Chapel Hill: Duke U. Press, 1993) and Mauricio Rosencof, The Letters that Never Came (U. of New Mexico Press, 2004, Texas Tech U. Press, 2014 ).  Among the writers whose work she has translated are Claribel Alegría, Eduardo Del Llano, Ricardo Elizondo, Héctor Manjarrez, Mempo Giardinelli, Raquel Garzón, Daniel Ulanovski Sack, Sonia González Valdenegro, Margaret Niemayer, Eduardo Galeano, Leo Masliah, Idea Vilariño, Amanda Berenguer, Hugo Achugar, Hiber Conteris, and Teresa Porzcekanski. Her translations of short stories by Mario Benedetti are included in Mario Benedetti, Blood Pact and Other Stories (Curbstone Press, 1997).

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