You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Nicaraguan poet, revolutionary Ernesto Cardenal to visit Austin


It took a revolution for contemplative monk Ernesto Cardenal to come out into the world and become part of Nicaragua’s history. His papers are now housed at Austin’s Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies.

In the institute, in the Benson Latin American Studies and Collection at the University of Texas, the life of this multidimensional leader and visionary will be accessible to the public.

Cardenal, 91, left an imprint in poetry as a well-regarded poet in Latin America and the world. He rebelled against dictator Anastasio Somoza in the 1970’s and helped oust him. As a priest, he was one of the main proponents of Liberation Theology, which sought better conditions for the poor of Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s.

More than 40 boxes of books, documents, manuscripts and photos have arrived at the Benson, which bought the collection, and are now being sorted out and organized. On Tuesday, Cardenal will read from his poetry and sit on a panel at the Benson. Cardenal last visited UT in 1991.

“Ernesto Cardenal is one of Latin America’s foremost public intellectuals,” said Virginia Garrard-Burnett, professor of history and director of the Benson in a statement. “A renowned poet and political activist, Cardenal has spoken out tirelessly and eloquently on behalf of the poor.”

His poetry blends religion and science and a wonder for the natural world, according to José Montelongo, bibliographer at the Benson. He writes “about the Big Bang, evolution and the history of small countries in his long cantos,” he said. Some of his books in English translation include “The Gospel in Solentiname,” “Psalms,” and “Prayer for Marilyn Monroe.”

Cardenal is also a sculptor who carves figures of birds and other animals in metal, wood, clay and other materials.

Influenced by his fellow monk and mentor Thomas Merton, Cardenal founded the religious and artistic community of Solentiname on the Great Lake of Nicaragua in 1965, where the seeds of revolution were planted. He joined the Sandinistas to overthrow Somoza and went on to serve as minister of culture for 10 years.

That was unusual for a priest and he ended up paying a high price for his political participation: He was ex communicated by the Catholic Church John Paul II in 1984,but was reinstated by Pope Francis 30 years later in 2014. Cardenal was a frequent guest of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, knew prominent writers — including author Julio Cortázar, a co-founder of the literary movement called the Latin American Boom — and was at the crossroads of the political and literary currents of the time.

“I belong to those who love the United States”, said Cardenal to Montelongo, in a spring 2016 visit to Managua. The United States was “perhaps the people who showed the most solidarity with the revolution of the people of Nicaragua.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

FORECAST: Austin gets another shot at storms on Tuesday
FORECAST: Austin gets another shot at storms on Tuesday

Tuesday forecast for Austin: Hours after storms left more than an inch of rain at Camp Mabry, Austin will face another shot at storms Tuesday as temperatures will remain below average — only reaching into the upper 80s. Rain chances will diminish and temperatures will increase as the week wears on and high pressure builds back in, the...
CAREFUL WITH SCAMS: IRS warns of summertime tax schemes
CAREFUL WITH SCAMS: IRS warns of summertime tax schemes

Even though tax season has ended for most taxpayers, the IRS said in a press release Monday that tax-related scams continue across the nation. “We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in the release. “Many of these are variations of a theme, involving fictitious...
Austin school board calls for $1.05 billion November bond package
Austin school board calls for $1.05 billion November bond package

The Austin school board Monday night called for a $1.05 billion bond package to be placed before voters in November. The bond projects, rolled into one proposition, total $1.13 billion, but trustees plan to apply $83.8 million in projected leftover bond funds and possible land sales of East Austin schools to reduce the total package amount. Despite...
Austin, other cities spar with state, DOJ in ‘sanctuary cities’ hearing
Austin, other cities spar with state, DOJ in ‘sanctuary cities’ hearing

Lawyers from numerous Texas cities sparred with the state and the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday in the first hearing in their attempts to upend Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary cities ban, before it can be implemented. The hearing, held in a federal courtroom in San Antonio, brought forward many previously filed arguments, claiming that...
Arkansas ruling could affect Texas gay marriage benefits case
Arkansas ruling could affect Texas gay marriage benefits case

Arkansas cannot exclude the names of same-sex spouses from their children’s birth certificates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that gay marriage advocates said should be a wake-up call for the Texas Supreme Court. Texas’ highest civil court is preparing to rule on a challenge by opponents of gay marriage who want to stop...
More Stories