Daisy Zamora (20 June 1950 in Managua, Nicaragua) is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Latin American poetry. Her work is known for its uncompromising voice and wide-ranging subject matter that dwells on the details of daily life while encompassing human rights, politics, revolution, feminist issues, art, history and culture. She was raised in a wealthy liberal and politically active family. She attended convent schools and studied at the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua where she earned a degree in psychology. She earned a post graduate diploma from INCAE, a branch of Harvard University in Central America]. She also studied at the Academia Dante Alighieri and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes.
She was involved in the fight against the Somoza dictatorship in the 1970s, and joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1973. She was exiled to Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica. During Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution, she was a combatant for the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front), became the voice and program director for clandestine Radio Sandino during the final 1979 Sandinista offensive, then after the triumph of the revolution, was appointed vice minister of culture for the new government. Throughout her life, Daisy Zamora has been a well-known political activist and advocate for women’s rights.
Zamora is the author of five widely read books of poetry in Spanish, among them, En limpio se escribe la vida, La violenta espuma, and A cada quien la vida. The most recent one is Tierra de Nadie, Tierra de Todos (No-Man’s Land, Everybody’s Land), 2007. English translations of her work include The Violent Foam (Curbstone, 2002), Life for Each (Katabasis [U.K.], 1994), Clean Slate (Curbstone, 1993), Riverbed of Memory (City Lights, 1992). She is also a translator of poetry, and editor of several anthologies, including the first anthology of Nicaraguan women poets, La Mujer Nicaragüense en la Poesía (Editorial Nueva Nicaragua, 1992), a book about concepts of cultural politics during the Sandinista Revolution, and an anthology of the poetry workshops from the Latin American and Latino Studies Department, at UCSC in 2005. Her poems, essays, articles and translations have been published in magazines and literary newspapers throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Viet Nam, and her poems have appeared in more than fifty anthologies in Spanish, English, French, German, Swedish, Italian, Bulgarian, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Dutch, Flemish, Slovak and Czech. Her work is included in The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry. For the last several years, she has taught poetry workshops at a number of universities and colleges, most recently as a lecturer for the Latin American & Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has given poetry readings and lectures throughout the world, including many venues in the U.S., and was a featured artist in Bill Moyer’s PBS series The Language of Life.
In 1977, she was awarded the prestigious Mariano Fiallos Gil National Poetry Prize from the University of Nicaragua. In 2002, she was awarded a California Arts Council Fellowship for poetry, and that year she received an award from the Nicaraguan Writers Center in Managua for valuable contributions to Nicaraguan Literature. In 2006 she was honored Writer of the Year by the National Association of Artists in Nicaragua.
Daisy Zamora has three children: María Denise, Joaquín Ernesto and René Alberto. She is married to U.S. writer George Evans, and lives in Managua and San Francisco.