Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Colombian Poet Mario Rivero Passes Away

Colombian poet Mario Rivero

Colombian poet, art critic and editor Mario Rivero, known as the forerunner of the country’s urban poetry, died in Bogota, sources close to the poet said. He was 74.

Rivero, a native of Envigado near the northwestern city of Medellin, died from a heart attack Sunday at his home in the Colombian capital, where he lived for four decades.

The author burst onto the Colombian literary scene in 1966 with “Poemas Urbanas” (Urban Poems), a title covering the most ordinary everyday experiences he used to spark the country’s urban poetry trend that was just in its beginnings.

This volume of verse was followed by another 13 volumes, including two anthologies and a long interview, which Rivero published in the course of his literary career right up to his final work, “Balada de la Gran Señora” (Ballad of the Great Lady), in 2004.

Among a long list of titles, the poet published “Noticiario 67” (Newscast 67) in 1967, “Y Vivo Todavia” (And I’m Still Alive) in 1972, “Baladas sobre Ciertas Cosas que No Se Deben Nombrar” (Ballads about Certain Things that Shall Remain Nameless) in 1973, “Los Poemas del Invierno” (Poems of Winter) in 1984 and 1996, “Mis Asuntos” (My Affairs) in 1986, “Vuelvo a las Calles” (Back to the Streets) in 1989, “Del Amor y Su Huella” (On Love and the Marks It Leaves) in 1992, “Flor de Pensa” (Flower of Pensa) in 1998, together with the anthologies “Baladas” (Ballads) in 1980 and “Mis Asuntos” (My Affairs) in 1995, and the interview “Porque Soy Poeta” (Because I’m a Poet) in 2000.

As an editor, Rivero founded in 1972 the magazine Golpe de Dados, which he directed until his death.

Rivero created the magazine together with poets Aurelio Arturo, Fernando Charry Lara, Giovanni Quessep and Jaime Garcia, all from Colombia’s “disillusioned generation” of the 1970s that critics gave the name that they applied to the publication, Golpe de Dados, or Roll of the Dice.

In a biographical sketch of the author, the Casa de Poesia (House of Poetry) Silva, a cultural center in Bogota of which he was an assiduous collaborator, says that “before focusing on writing the works that would establish him as one of the most important poets of the later generations of the century in Colombia, (Rivero) tried many things and had multiple experiences.”

Rivero, adds the Casa Silva, was “a volunteer in the Korean War, a tango singer, theater actor, a book and artwork salesman; he lived his youth in constant movement, wandering through Central and South America with excursions to Europe as a seminary speaker and guide for artistic tours.” EFE

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