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Voices of Colombian Writers Added to U.S. Library of Congress

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Colombia continues to contribute to Hispanic and North American culture in the United States with three new Colombian writers joining the Palabra Archive (the Hispanic Voice Archive) at the U.S. Library of Congress.

The voices of Jesuit priest and essayist Félix Restrepo, writer Armando Romero and poet Consuelo Hernández can now be heard reading their works. They are all part of the 800-recording Archive that honors writers from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean and other regions with populations of Hispanic and Portuguese heritage.

About Félix Restrepo

Restrepo recorded for the Library of Congress sections of “Marco Fidel Suárez, or the force of the spirit” from his book Gold in the Crucible: Eulogies of Marco Fidel Suárez. His voice was recorded on May 18, 1961, at the National Library in Bogotá.

The section read for the collection is part of the speech the priest gave at the inauguration of the Marco Fidel Suárez Monument in Bello Antioquia, on April 23, 1955, celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of the Colombian who served as the country’s president from 1918 to 1921.

Restrepo was dean of the Javeriana University between 1940 and 1944, and he founded the Ateneo Nacional de Altos Estudios (National Athenaeum of Higher Learning), which would later become the Instituto Caro y Cuervo, one of the most important research institutions for Spanish.

Listen to Restrepo here

About Armando Romero

Armando Romero, who recorded the audio in Washington DC on January 14, 1983, read excerpts from his first book El Poeta de Vidrio (The Glass Poet), published in Venezuela in 1976.

Romero was part of the Nadaism or Nothin-ism movement which was led by the Colombian writer Gonzalo Arango. He published , published the Primer Nadaista Manifesto (First Nadaist Manifesto) on 1958 and was influenced by French existentialism, nihilism and what was known in the United States as the Beat Generation. Nadaism arose in reaction to La Violencia and characterized the decade of the 60s, especially among artists, writers and musicians.

Romero has a Ph.D. from Pittsburgh and lives in the United States, where he is Professor of Literature at the University of Cincinnati. In 2008, he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Athens, Greece.

Listen to Romero here

About Consuelo Hernández

The poet Consuelo Hernandez recorded her voice for the Library of Congress in 2016, reading from several of her works: The Last Vagoń, Voices of Loneliness, Violin solo: Poems for Musicians and Painters, Pilgrim's Manual, Poems from Debris and Ashes = Poems of rubble and ash, and My Kingdom Without Shores.

Hernández is a fellow of the National Humanities Fund. She is the author of nine books: seven collections of poetry and two academic books on Latin American poetry. In 2011, her collection of poetry, Polifonía sobre rieles, won the Antonio Machado Poetry Prize in Spain, and, the same year, she received the James Street Prize for the Best Article published in Latin American Essays.

She is currently an Emerita Associate Professor in World Languages and Cultures at American University in Washington DC.

These three authors are part of the forty two new voices that the Library of Congress added to the Archive.

Listen to Hernandez here

The PALABRA Archive is a collection of original audio recordings of 20th and 21st century Luso-Hispanic poets and writers who read their works. With registered authors from all over Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean and other regions with populations of Hispanic and Portuguese heritage, this archive has to date close to 800 recordings.


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