Chilean poet-diplomat and politician, Pablo Neruda, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was a versatile writer and his works include surrealist poems, historical epics, political manifestos, and love poems. He is considered the national poet of Chile. As a politician, he served a term as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party and held several diplomatic positions.
Legendary Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara was eventually gearing up for a career as a priest and later studied theater, eventually switching to music. He pioneered the nueva canción genre of music in the middle of extreme political turmoil. He was tortured and shot dead during dictator Augusto Pinochet’s reign.
A vagabond who roamed around countries such as Chile, Mexico, and France, author Roberto Bolaño eventually settled in Spain, where he spent his days working odd jobs, such as garbage collection and dishwashing, and wrote at night. He is remembered for his Rómulo Gallegos Prize-winning novel The Savage Detectives.
Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and educator Lucila Godoy Alcayaga was better known by her pseudonym, Gabriela Mistral. The suicide of her first love inspired her poem Dolor. Her diplomatic assignments later took her to places such as Madrid and Lisbon. She is remembered for her emotional verses and her feminism.
Regarded as the intellectual father of South America, Venezuelan-Chilean poet Andrés Bello one taught revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar and also inspired the struggle for Venezuelan independence. He established the University of Chile and also penned masterpieces such as Las Silvas Americanas. As a legislator, he inspired the Chilean Civil Code.
One of the greatest Latin American poets in history, Nicanor Parra was often likened to Pablo Neruda. Apart from writing, he spent most of his life teaching theoretical physics at the University of Chile. He was a pioneer of the antipoetry style, which went against traditional styles of poetry.
Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro pioneered the avant-garde literary movement known as Creacionismo. His ideas on poetry were formed by his collaborations with poets from France and Spain. He also contributed to the movement Ultraísmo in Spain. He is best known for his masterpieces such as Altazor.
Born into an affluent family, Chilean author María Luisa Bombal later moved to Paris, where she attended the Sorbonne. She also participated in a literary movement in Argentina and spent 30 years in the US. Her novels portrayed women dissatisfied with their social roles and romantic failures.
Cervantes Prize- and Chilean National Prize-winning Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas was initially part of the Surrealist group Mandrágora. A professor, he was forced to go into exile after the 1973 Chilean coup. He later taught in Germany, Mexico, the US, and Spain. He is remembered for works such as La miseria del hombre.
Chilean author Eduardo Barrios initially took up several odd jobs, touring across Latin America, and then worked for various publishing houses. In Santiago, he became the public education minister and the director of the National Library. The Chilean National Prize winner is known for works such as Brother Asno.
Chilean poet Mariela Griffor mostly writes about her country and experience of being in exile in Sweden and the US. She has penned works such as House and The Psychiatrist, and has also the Wayne State University’s Institute for Creative Writers. She also serves as an honorary consul of Chile in Michigan.
Chilean poet Sergio Badilla Castillo is largely remembered as the pioneer of transrealism in poetry. Highly influenced by Nordic literature, he also translated quite a few literary works of Swedish, Finnish, and French authors. He led a nomadic life and also served as a journalist and a teacher.
Scottish-origin Canadian novelist Frederick Niven was born in Chile and later moved to Scotland with his mother. Starting his career as a journalist in Scotland, he later moved to British Columbia in Canada and penned his historical novel trilogy, The Flying Years, Mine Inheritance, and The Transplanted.
Regarded as the first-known poet born in Chile, Pedro de Oña gained-attention and is best-remembered for his verse epic-poem Primera parte de Arauco domado. He wrote it in rhymed couplets, praising military deeds of his patron Hurtado de Mendoza. Other notable works of de Oña includes El Vasauro, Temblor de Lima de 1609 and the sacred epic Ignacio de Cantabria.