Maria Clara Sharupi Jua
María Clara Sharupi Jua writes poetry in Spanish and Shuar, a language spoken by the indigenous community of the same name. Born and raised in the Amazon rainforest, María Clara's poetry mixes imagery from nature and the traditions of her indigenous culture, which pre-dates that of the Incas.
Her inspiration is best explained in her own words: 'I write to enable the world to hear the voice of the Shuar people. This is a voice of the jungle, the mountains, rivers, birds, plants, insects, trees, and the sacred waterfalls that are born of our mother and sister earth and are one with the cosmos. I want to convey the wisdom of my ancestors and the orality of my culture that inhabits every syllable I put into writing. While as humans, our blood is all the same colour, our voices are the hues that matter, because they uniquely adorn our language.'
María Clara's work has been published in numerous literary journals and books, including Amanece en nuestras vidas, the first anthology of poetry from Ecuadorian indigeneous women writers, and Collar de historias y lunas, an anthology of Latin American female indigenous poets. She has conducted poetry readings at various universities and book fairs, and is an invited guest at the 2012 International Poetry Festival of Medellín in Colombia.
She served on a team of professional Shuar translators that edited the official translation of the Ecuadorian constitution from Spanish into Shuar Chicham. She is a member of the World Poetry Movement and participated in the first International Colloquium of Indigenous Women Writers.