Verse and Reverse: Contesting Public Authority in Nicaraguan Newspaper Poetry

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Book Chapter

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Arts and Humanities | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


“What interests me for the purpose of this essay – perhaps as a necessary first step in the passage to working more substantively through the political history of Nicaraguan poetry – is what Nicaraguan verse does now with regard to the still vexing problems of national identity and independence. In what ways does poetry in Nicaragua, in times of globalization, continue to converse with and against public authority on matters of national interest? In order to delineate more clearly the object of my attention, I would like to provide it with a history and a name. Sandinismo and the Sandinista revolution (1979-90), and the conservative opposition to both, introduced into Nicaraguan public discourse a number of the constitutive elements of what I will call lyric publicity in the Nicaraguan public sphere. Before explaining what I mean by such an evidently and awkwardly unpoetical term, it is useful to examine, albeit schematically, the history of poetry’s public life in Nicaragua.”