Antonia Palacios

This month at my Antología blog I am posting my English versions of eight prose poems by the poet and novelist Antonia Palacios (Caracas, 1904-2001). This is the opening sequence of poems from her book Textos del desalojo, which she wrote between 1973-1975.

Palacios published her first book, París y tres recuerdos, in 1944. The book recounts her experiences in France in 1936, where she befriended Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo and Luis Aragón. In 1949 she published her novel Ana Isabel, una niña decente, which had appeared in installments in the newspaper El Nacional.

In 1976 she became the first woman to receive Venezuela's Premio Nacional de Literatura. Beginning in 1978, a group of young poets began meeting on a weekly basis in her house in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas for informal writing workshops. This became the famous Taller Calicanto, from which many of Venezuela's poets from the 1980s generation first emerged.

In 1991 Monte Ávila Editores published her collection of poems Ese oscuro animal del sueño. Upon her death in 2001, El Universal's literary supplement Verbigracia published the following interview with Palacios by María Elena Ramos (originally conducted in 1994).

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