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CLARA ISABEL ALEGRÍA VIDES

Nicaraguan poet, essayist, novelist and journalist who was a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America

Born in Nicaragua on May 12, 1924. A Nicaraguan poet, essayist, novelist and journalist who was a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America. She writes under the pseudonym Claribel Alegría. Alegría was born in Estelí, Nicaragua and grew up in the Santa Ana area in western El Salvador. In 1943, she moved to the United States and in 1948 received a B.A. in Philosophy and Letters from George Washington University. She met her husband Darwin Flakoll and they bought a house in Deia in 1969. They had four children. Alegría was committed to nonviolent resistance. She had a close association with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle and took control of the Nicaraguan government in 1979. Alegría returned to Nicaragua in 1985 to aid in the reconstruction of Nicaragua. Alegría now lives in Managua, Nicaragua.

Alegría has published novels and children’s stories. In 1978 she received the Cuban-sponsored Casa de las Américas prize for Sobrevivo (I Survive), a poetry collection. She was awarded this prize alongside Gioconda Belli. In 2006, she was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. She has recently published a translation of Lao Tzu’s iconic Tao Te Ching with her son Erik. At 93 years old she just won the Reina Sofia de Poesia prize.

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