Pablo Antonio Cuadra

Pablo Antonio Cuadra

Cuadra, Pablo Antonio, 1912-2002, Nicaraguan poet, b. Managua. Early in life, Cuadra became a member of the Vanguard literary movement and edited (1929) its journal. Influenced by Rubén Darío and preoccupied with the identity of Nicaragua and its people as well as of Latin America as a whole, he often treated these themes in his poetry, e.g., Poemas nicaraguenses [Nicaraguan poems] (1933). Active politically, Cuadra broke with the Somoza dictatorship in the 1940s, adopted liberation theology, and became a vocal supporter of Nicaragua's poor and oppressed. He was co-director of La Prensa newspaper in the 1950s and in 1961 became editor of the influential journal El Pez y La Serpiente [the fish and the serpent]. Cuadra went into self-imposed exile during the Sandinista regime, returning after its fall. Little of his verse is available in English translation except for the collection The Birth of the Sun: Selected Poems, 1935-1985 (1988). The versatile Cuadra was also an essayist, critic, playwright, and graphic artist.

Pablo Antonio Cuadra (1912-2002) was a Nicaraguan essayist, art and literary critic, playwright, graphic artist and one of the most famous poets of Nicaragua.

Early life and career

Cuadra was born on November 4, 1912, in Managua but spent the majority of his life in Granada. Cuadra or PAC was the son of Carlos Cuadra Pasos and Mercedita Cardenal. Cuadro is first cousin-of Ernesto Cardenal. He married Adilia Mercedes Bendaña Ramírez.

Vanguardia movement

In 1931 Cuadra, along with José Coronel Urtecho, Joaquín Pasos, and other writers, founded the Vanguardia literary movement in Granada.

Later career

Cuadra's Poemas nicaragüenses was published in 1934. He opposed the American intervention against Augusto César Sandino in the 1930s and broke with the Somoza dynasty in the 1940s. Cuadra later became an outspoken advocate for Nicaragua's poor, embracing liberation theology and other intellectual currents the Somoza government considered subversive. He later also criticized the post-1979 Sandinista National Liberation Front régime for stifling the independence of Nicaragua's culture and for several years thereafter he lived in self-imposed exile in Costa Rica and Texas.

In 1954 he became co-director of La Prensa newspaper alongside his cousin and partner, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, who was assassinated by Somoza supporters in 1978. He was briefly jailed for his opposition to the FSLN in 1956. In 1961 he became editor of the influential journal El Pez y La Serpiente (the fish and the serpent), which was highly influential in Latin America.


He died on January 2, 2002 in Managua, following a respiratory illness. He was buried on January 4 in Granada, where he spent the majority of his life.


Cuadra won many literary honors, among them the Gabriela Mistral Inter-American Cultural Prize, awarded by the Organization of American States in 1991.

Published works

External links


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