Jaime Sáenz

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Jaime Sáenz
Born (1921-10-08)8 October 1921
La Paz, Bolivia
Died 16 August 1986(1986-08-16) (aged 64)
La Paz, Bolivia
Occupation Writer, poet, dramatist, journalist, professor
Language Spanish

Jaime Sáenz Guzmán (29 October 1921 – 16 August 1986) was a Bolivian poet, novelist, and short story writer. Born in the city of La Paz, he lived his entire life there, and the rough topography and harsh climate of this Andean city had a powerful effect on much of his work. His poetry, though individual to the point of being difficult to classify, bears some similarities with surrealist literature.

Throughout his life, Sáenz struggled with alcoholism, a struggle about which he frequently wrote in his poems. Accordingly, he is often viewed as a sort of poète maudit, or "cursed poet". Sáenz was openly, "unashamedly", bisexual.[1]


Jaime Sáenz Guzmán was born on 29 October 1921 in La Paz, Bolivia to Lieutenant Genaro Sáenz Rivero and Graciela Guzmán Lazarte. In 1921[clarification needed] his parents sent him to Muñoz school, and then to the American Institute, he ended his schooling in 1937. In 1938 he traveled to Germany with some classmates to return in 1939, this trip would be crucial in his life.

In 1941 he started to work in the Bolivian Department of Defense, then in the Bolivian Treasury. In 1942 he joined the United States Information Service and worked there until 1952. In 1943, he married German citizen, Erika [her last name has not been documented] and in 1947 they had a daughter, Jourlaine. In 1948 Erika definitely left Sáenz.[clarification needed]

From this moment, Sáenz devoted his life not only to write, but to drink too. Carlos Alfredo Rivera, one of his best friends, didn't want him to drink anymore so he gave him advice and tried to persuade him. Sáenz, despite this, orders just when he's about to die in a delirium tremens crisis.


  • El escalpelo (1955)
  • Aniversario de una visión (1960)
  • Muerte por el tacto (1967)
  • Recorrer esta distancia (1973)
  • Al pasar un cometa (1982)
  • Los cuartos (1985)
  • Vidas y Muertes (1986)
  • La piedra imán (1989)
  • Felipe Delgado -novela- (1989)
  • La noche (1984), - The Night: A Poem by Jaime Saenz (bilingual edition), Princeton UP 2007, ISBN 0-691-12483-3
  • Obras inéditas (1996)
  • Obra dramática (2005)
  • La bodega de Jaime Saenz (2005)
  • Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz, University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0-520-23048-5
  • Tocnolencias (2009) [2]

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External links[edit]