The leader of the 19th-century Spanish-American Modernismo movement, Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío had been a prodigy who had started writing poems at age 14. Best remembered for his works such as Azul, he earned the tag of the Prince of Castilian Letters. He had also held various diplomatic posts.
Nicaraguan priest Ernesto Cardenal was one of the most significant poets of his country. His works despised American imperialism and capitalism and used slogans as symbols. He was also part of the Sandinista Front that removed Anastasio Somoza, following which he became the minister of culture in the new cabinet.
Nicaraguan novelist and poet Gioconda Belli is noted for works like the semi-autobiographical novel La Mujer Habitada and the allegory El infinito en la palma de la mano that won her Premio Biblioteca Breve. A prominent member of Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which established a revolutionary government overthrowing Anastasio Somoza DeBayle, Belli handled media relations for the FSLN government
Rigoberto López Pérez was a Nicaraguan poet, composer, and artist. He is best remembered for murdering the longtime dictator of Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza García. 25 years after his death, Rigoberto López Pérez was declared a national hero by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua on September 21, 1981.
Tomás Borge was a Nicaraguan statesman and writer. He is credited with co-founding the Sandinista National Liberation Front, a socialist political party in Nicaragua. A revolutionary at heart, Tomás Borge formed friendships with Tamara Bunke and Che Guevara in an attempt to end the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza García. Tomás Borge also authored several poems and essays.
Claudia Chamorro Barrios is a Nicaraguan writer and former ambassador of Nicaragua to Costa Rica and Cuba. During the 1980s, she worked as a diplomat for the Sandinista government. Chamorro is perhaps best known for her memoir, Tiempo de Vivir, which narrates her son's sickness and death from leukemia.
Sergio Ramírez is a Nicaraguan intellectual and writer who played an important role during the revolution of 1979. He is best known for his service as the Vice President of Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990. Ramírez is the recipient of many prestigious awards such as the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, Jose Donoso Award, and Casa de las Américas Novel Prize.
Nicaraguan-Salvadoran author and poet Clara Isabel Alegría Vides, better known as Claribel Alegría, was an influential name in Central American literature. The Neustadt Prize winner was known for her masterpieces such as Flowers from the Volcano. She was highly critical of the Salvadoran military government and often wrote on socio-political issues.
Nicaraguan military leader Humberto Ortega, the brother of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, was associated with the Sandinista Popular Army, which was built to overthrow the Nicaraguan National Guard. He later served as Nicaragua’s defense minister and also penned several books, such as Epic of the Insurrection.
Roberto Solis is a Nicaraguan criminal, armored car robber, and convicted murderer. He is also known for writing poetry while spending time in prison. He spent 23 years in prison for killing a security guard named Louis Dake. Roberto Solis was given parole in 1992 and has been missing since 1993.
Arlen Siu gained fame in Nicaragua as singer-songwriter and guitarist by the time she joined the Sandinistas. Killed by the soldiers of National Guard at just 20 years of age, Siu is counted among the first female martyrs of Sandinista revolution. Her works on Marxism and feminism remained a source of inspiration for the Sandinistas and the Nicaraguan women's movement.
Daisy Zamora is a Nicaraguan poet whose work covers human rights, politics, daily life, feminist issues, art, revolution, history, and culture. A political activist, Zamora took part in the fight against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza García during the 1970s. Daisy Zamora has also been an ardent supporter of women's rights for many years now.
Martha Chaves is a Nicaraguan-Canadian actress, comedian, playwright, and activist. She is best known for her stand-up comedy, which she performs in English, Spanish, Italian, and French. She has featured in famous comedy festivals, including Just for Laughs. In 2017, Martha Chaves was honored with the prestigious Canadian Comedy Award under the Best Standup Comic category.
Pablo Antonio Cuadra was a Nicaraguan essayist, playwright, graphic artist, art and literary critic. He is also counted among the most popular poets of Nicaragua. During his lifetime, Pablo Antonio Cuadra won many literary awards, including the prestigious Gabriela Mistral Inter-American Cultural Prize.
Fabio Gadea Mantilla is a Nicaraguan writer, radio journalist, and politician. He is credited with co-founding Radio Corporación, a news radio station in Nicaragua. In 2010, Mantilla was selected to run for the presidency in the 2011 general election. He lost the election to the Sandinista National Liberation Front member Daniel Ortega.
Afro-Nicaraguan visual artist and poet June Beer is known for her pathbreaking naïve art, which centered around themes such as feminism and Black identity. Largely self-taught, she was also the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast’s first female poet. Her criticism of the Somoza dictatorship got her imprisoned twice.
Rubén Darío Prize-winning Nicaraguan poet and women’s suffrage activist María Teresa Sánchez is remembered for her immense contribution to Nicaraguan culture. She mostly wrote on themes of pain and sadness. She also established the Círculo de Letras association and founded her own publishing house, Nuevos Horizontes.
Legendary Nicaraguan poet Alfonso Cortes is considered the most influential poet from his country after Modernismo founder Rubén Darío. Though a fine poet, a bout of serious mental illness resulted in him being chained during much of his later life. Song of Space remains one of his most popular works.
Considered Nicaragua’s most significant author, Jose Coronel Urtecho co-founded the Vanguardia movement, which was meant to attack bourgeois culture and US intervention. A supporter of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, he wrote socio-political masterpieces, which were later collated into collections such as Mea máxima culpa.
Nicaraguan poet Roberto Vargas has also been a prominent political activist. He is known for his efforts in organizing community meets in the Mission district of San Francisco. He helped the local poets of the Latin community and also contributed to the Nicaraguan Revolution through his Spanish newspaper Gaceta Sandinista.
Salomon de la Selva was a Nicaraguan poet and political advisor. Apart from his literary work, de la Selva is best remembered for his service as an advisor to Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés. Thanks to his association with Valdés, Salomon de la Selva had a major influence on Mexican politics.
Christianne Meneses Jacobs is a Nicaraguan American teacher, writer, and editor. She is best known as the publisher of a Spanish-language children's magazine called Iguana. In 2009, Iguana was awarded the Multicultural Children's Publication Award. Christianne Meneses Jacobs is also credited with founding another children's magazine called YO SÉ!
Omar D'León is a Nicaraguan poet and painter. He is credited with founding a museum called Museo-Galeria 904, which was vandalized and robbed after it was partly destroyed due to the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake. Today, Omar D'León’s paintings are preserved in museums like the Art Museum of the Americas, Ponce Museum of Art, and the José Luis Cuevas Museum.
Nicaraguan poet Yolanda Blanco is credited for organizing the first poetry lectures ever, which featured major women poets of her country. A Calicanto member, she also participated in the Venezuelan literary scene, when she was overlooked by the Sandinista party. She often wrote on themes such as feminism, nature, love, and sexuality.
Nicaraguan author and politician Omar Cabezas was a Sandinista leader and commander during guerrilla war against Anastasio Somoza Debayle. He recollected his guerrilla war days in Fire From the Mountain. He was part of the Sandinista government before being removed amidst disagreements. Cabezas was elected to the National Assembly during the 1990 elections and remains a public figure till present.
Joaquin Pasos was a Nicaraguan essayist, poet, and narrator. One of the most important literary figures of the national Vanguardia movement, Pasos is best remembered for his war poem, The song of the war of things. Joaquin Pasos is also remembered for his revolutionary work against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza García.
Salomón Ibarra Mayorga was a Nicaraguan poet, lyricist, and political thinker. He is credited with penning the lyrics of the Nicaraguan national anthem, Salve a ti, Nicaragua. An ardent supporter of peace and democracy, Ibarra Mayorga is best remembered for his patriotism and anti-interventionist stance. In 1949, he was honored with the Rubén Darío National Prize.
Josefa Toledo de Aguerri, a distinguished Nicaraguan feminist, suffragist and reform-pedagogue was considered a pioneer for women’s education in Nicaragua. She was the first woman in Nicaragua who served as general director of education. The Union de Mujeres Americanas named Josefa along with Dame Angélica Balladares de Argüello as Women of the Americas (1950) and Woman of Nicaragua (1959) respectively.
Azarias Pallais was a Nicaraguan writer and poet. Counted among Nicaragua's greatest poets of all time, Pallais is best remembered for his immense contribution to the development of modernism in literature in the Spanish-speaking world. Azarias Pallais achieved international success in 1928 when he published one of his best known poems, Beautiful Minor Tone.
Martha Cecilia Ruiz is a Nicaraguan poet, journalist, writer, and social activist. She is best known for directing a popular radio talk show titled El País Azul. Martha Cecilia Ruiz is also known as the founder of the Forum of Cultural Journalists of Nicaragua and Three Times Three.
Blanca Castellón is a Nicaraguan poet and the current vice president of the Nicaraguan Center of Writers. The recipient of the prestigious Instituto de Estudios Modernistas of poetry, Blanca Castellón is renowned for penning such poems as Ama del espíritu, Flotaciones, and Orilla opuesta.
Karly Gaitán Morales is a Nicaraguan journalist, writer, and film historian. She is best known for her compilation work, a book named To Conquer a Dream, which outlines the history of Nicaraguan cinema. The book has been hailed as Nicaraguan cinema's first biography.
Lucía Pineda Ubau is a Nicaraguan journalist who is currently working as the news director of a TV channel called Canal 15. She made headlines in 2019 when she was arrested on charges of promoting terrorism and inciting violence and hate. Following protests against her arrest by various organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, she was released from prison.
Erwin Krüger Urroz was a singer and a folklore poet from Nicaragua. He was born on November 2, 1915 in the city of León, the second largest in Nicaragua. His father was a German and mother was a Nicaraguan. Known for his literary works and singing pursuits, Erwin died in Managua on July 28, 1973.
A pioneering female leader of Nicaraguan poetry, Mariana Sansón Argüello created her own brand of surrealist poetry. Almost a Renaissance woman of her time, she was, apart from being a literary figure, a painter, a professor, and a plastic artist. She was also the first female member of the Nicaragua Academy of Language.
Carlos Martinez Rivas was a Nicaraguan poet best remembered for his 1944 love poem, The recovered paradise. He also had a successful career as a diplomat in Mexico, post which he worked at The National Autonomous University of Nicaragua as a professor.
Carlos Rigby was a Nicaraguan poet who is often counted among the most prominent poets of Nicaragua's Atlantic coast. His work incorporates several languages including Creole, Spanish, and English and focuses on the oral poetic tradition.
Vidaluz Meneses was a Nicaraguan poet, social activist, and librarian. She is credited with co-founding the Nicaraguan Association of Writers and served as its first president. Vidaluz Meneses is counted among the most important Nicaraguan poets of the 1970s. In 2013, she was honored with the prestigious International Latino Book Award.
A pioneering female figure in Nicaraguan poetry, Ana Ilce Gómez Ortega was a significant pillar of the generation of the '70s literary movement. Apart from being a poet, she had also worked as a journalist and public relations professional and was associated with the Armando Joya Guillén National Library as its director.