portrait of Gonzalo Rojas

Gonzalo Rojas

Gonzalo Rojas was born on the 20th of December 1917, in the port of Lebu (VIII Region) in Chile. He studied at the University of Chile.

He was the editor of the magazine Antarctica in Santiago and Professor in Valparaiso.

Between 1938-1941 he participated in the surrealist group Mandrágora founded by Braulio Sands, Teófilo Cid and Enrique Go'mez Correa. Seven years later in 1948 his first volume of poems was published.

The Chilean military coup (September, 1973) meant that the poet was exiled, an “undocumented person”. He was stripped of his diplomatic rank and was also prevented from working at any Chilean University. The University of Rostck - Eastern Germany offered him a post.

Gonzalo Rojas returned to Chile in 1979, thanks to a Guggeheim scholarship, but despite this he was still unable to teach at a university in Chile. He went to Chillán, 400 kilometers to the south of the capital, to live permanently.

He taught at universities in Germany, the United States, Mexico and Spain.

On the 5th of June 1992 he received the First Prize at Queen Sofía de Latin American Poesía and on the 13th of November he was awarded Chile's highest national award to writers: the National Prize of Literature.

Poems by Gonzalo Rojas