Nicanor Parra Sandoval (born 5 September 1914) is a Chilean poet, mathematician, and physicist. He is considered an influential poet in Chile and throughout Latin America. Some rank him among the most important poets of Spanish language literature. Parra describes himself as an "anti-poet," due to his distaste for standard poetic pomp and function; after recitations he exclaims "Me retracto de todo lo dicho" ("I take back everything I said").
Parra, the son of a schoolteacher, was born in 1914 in San Fabián de Alico, Chile, near Chillán in southern Chile. He comes from the artistically prolific Chilean Parra family of performers, musicians, artists, and writers. His sister, Violeta Parra, was a folk singer, as was his brother Roberto Parra Sandoval.
In 1933, he entered the Instituto Pedagógico of the University of Chile, and qualified as a teacher of mathematics and physics in 1938, one year after his first book, Cancionero sin Nombre, appeared. After teaching in Chilean secondary schools, in 1943 he enrolled in Brown University in the United States to study physics. In 1948, he attended Oxford University to study cosmology. He returned to Chile as a professor at the Universidad de Chile in 1946. Since 1952, Parra has been professor of theoretical physics in Santiago and has read his poetry in England, France, Russia, Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. He has published several books.
Parra chooses to leave behind the conventions of poetry; his poetic language renounces the refinement of most Latin American literature and adopts a more colloquial tone. His first collection, Poemas y Antipoemas (1954) is a classic of Latin American literature, one of the most influential Spanish poetry collections of the twentieth century. It is cited as an inspiration by American Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg.
|“||As far I know, only the Mexican poet Mario Santiago has made a lucid reading of his work. We others have only seen a dark meteorite.||”|
—Roberto Bolaño about Nicanor Parra in Entre paréntesis
Parra has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. On December 1, 2011, Parra won the Spanish Ministry of Culture's Cervantes Prize, the most important literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world. On June 7, 2012, he won the Premio Iberoamericano de Poesía Pablo Neruda.
List of works
- Cancionero sin nombre (Songbook without a Name), 1937.
- Poemas y antipoemas (Poems and Antipoems), 1954; Nascimento, 1956; Cátedra, 2005, ISBN 978-84-376-0777-1
- La cueca larga (The Long Cueca), 1958
- Versos de salón (Parlor Verses), 1962
- Manifiesto (Manifesto), 1963
- Canciones rusas (Russian Songs), 1967
- Obra gruesa (Thick Works), 1969
- Los profesores (The Teachers), 1971
- Artefactos (Artifacts), 1972
- Sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui (Sermons and Teachings of the Christ of Elquí), 1977
- Nuevos sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui (New Sermons and Teachings of the Christ of Elquí), 1979
- El anti-Lázaro (The Anti-Lazarus), 1981
- Plaza Sésamo (Sesame Street), 1981
- Poema y antipoema de Eduardo Frei (Poem and Antipoem of Eduardo Frei), 1982
- Cachureos, ecopoemas, guatapiques, últimas prédicas, 1983
- Chistes para desorientar a la policía (Jokes to Confuse the Police), 1983
- Coplas de Navidad (Christmas Couplets), 1983
- Poesía política (Political Poetry), 1983
- Hojas de Parra (Grape Leaves / Pages of Parra (Spanish pun)), 1985
- Nicanor Parra: biografía emotiva (Nicanor Parra: Emotional Biography), Ediciones Rumbos, 1988
- Poemas para combatir la calvicie (Poems to Combat Baldness), 1993
- Páginas en blanco (White Pages), 2001
- Lear, Rey & Mendigo (Lear, King & Beggar), 2004
- Obras completas I & algo + (Complete Works and More), 2006
- Discursos de Sobremesa (After Dinner Declarations), 2006
- Poems and antipoems: Edited by Miller Williams. Translators: Fernando Alegría and others. New Directions Pub. Corp., 1967
- Nicanor Parra: Poems and Antipoems, ed. David Unger, New Directions, 1985, ISBN 978-0-8112-0959-5
- Antipoems: How to Look Better and Feel Great. Translator: Liz Werner. New Directions. 2004. ISBN 978-0-8112-1597-8.
- After-Dinner Declarations. Translator: Dave Oliphant. Host. 2009. ISBN 978-0-924047-63-3.
- Radio Universidad de Chile (Spanish)
- "Nicanor Parra un antipoeta, matemático y físico". EL UNIVERSAL (in Spanish). EL UNIVERSAL, Compañía Periodística Nacional. 1. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Los desconocidos años de Nicanor en Oxford, Qué Pasa (in Spanish), 05-08-2009
- "Chilean poet Nicanor Parra wins Cervantes Prize". CBC News. 1 December 2011.
- "Nicanor Parra Havana 1965". Allen Ginsberg Project. Allen Ginsberg Project. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Nicanor Parra awarded Cervantes Prize". BBC News. 1 December 2011.
- Rodriguez M., Javier (1 December 2011). "El poeta chileno Nicanor Parra, premio Cervantes". El Pais. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- "Nicanor Parra gana Premio de Poesía Pablo Neruda". Cultura Latercera (in Spanish). Latercera. 6. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nicanor Parra.|
- Nicanor Parra Official website
- Nicanor Parra website at the Universidad de Chile
- Nicanor Parra: De los Antipoemas a los Artefactos Dramáticos – Madrid
- La Antipoesía de Parra y el lenguaje del artefacto UNESCO
- El Proyecto de la Antipoesía de Nicanor Parra
- Nicanor Parra en Biblioteca Virtual Cervantes
- Nicanor Parra: Antipoemas, parodias y lenguajes híbridos. De la Antipoesía al lenguaje del Artefacto | Premio Cervantes 2011 – Universidad Complutense de Madrid – UCM – PDF Adolfo Vásquez Rocca PH.D.