Jaime Manrique

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Photograph of author Jaime Manrique

Jaime Manrique (born 16 June 1949) is a bilingual Colombian American novelist, poet, essayist, educator, and translator.


Manrique was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. He lived his childhood between the city of his birth and Bogotá. In 1966, he emigrated with his mother to Lakeland, Florida. He received a B.A. in English literature at the University of South Florida in 1972.

In 1974, Manrique met Pauline Kael, The New Yorker's film critic, with whom he began a friendship that lasted until her death in 2001. His book Notas de Cine: Confesiones de un Crítico Amateur (1979), is dedicated to Kael.

In 1977, Manrique received permission from the Argentine novelist Manuel Puig to join a workshop that Puig taught at Columbia University. Manrique was working on El cadáver de papá (1980). Puig encouraged him to continue writing fiction when he said that he liked his writing because "it came from under the epidermis." They became friends after that. Manrique described their friendship in The Writer As Diva, an essay included in Eminent Maricones.[1]

Also in 1977, Manrique met the American painter Bill Sullivan. The couple lived between Colombia and Venezuela until the end of 1979. Until Sullivan's death in 2010, they remained partners.

Jaime Manrique began his career as university professor in the USA in 1987 at the Eugene Lang College of The New School for Social Research (The New School). His career as educator continues to this day.

Writing career[edit]

His first poetry volume Los Adoradores de la Luna, won Colombia's National Poetry Award in 1975. His first novel published in English was Colombian Gold in 1983. In 1992 he published Latin Moon in Manhattan. About this novel James Dao wrote in The New York Times: "A picaresque tale about a gay Colombian immigrant's adventures among hookers, self-made millionaires, narcotics traffickers and elderly book mavens..." and also stated that "the novel is hardly intended to portray the "typical" immigrant experience."[2]

In 1995 he published My Night with Federico García Lorca[3] (Lambda Book Award Finalist), about which John Ashbery said, "Memories of an ecstatic childhood—walks by the sea, 'a happy mambo,' eating deceptive tropical fruits—merge with those of recent loves in these luscious, incantatory poems."[4] In 1997 appeared the novel Twilight at the Equator which Ilan Stavans in The Washington Post called "He is, after all, the most accomplished gay Latino writer of his generation, a picaro prone to shock his readers by testing the moral standards of his time."

In 1999 he published Maricones Eminentes (Arenas, Lorca, Puig and Me)[5] for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. About Maricones Eminentes Ilan Stavans said in The Washington Post that the book is "his sterling examination, through short narrative lives, of the gender wars in the Hispanic world. ...Posterity is a puzzle, of course. Whether this volume will last I cannot say, but that it should I have no doubt." And Susan Sontag said "A splendid memoir of Manuel Puig. It evokes him—how he really was—better than anything I've read."[6] In 1999 he also The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist award. In 2006 he published Our lives are the Rivers about which the San Francisco Chronicle wrote "A compelling story that melds history and biography into the context of a passionate love affair, Our Lives Are the Rivers is a masterful piece of historical fiction."[7] The novel received The International Latino Book Award (Best historical novel 2007).

In 2012 Manrique published Cervantes Street (Akashic Books, 2012). About the novel The Wall Street Journal said "Cervantes Street is exciting to read...Under Mr. Manrique's pen, the world of renaissance Spain and the Mediterranean is made vivid, its surface cracking with sudden violence and cruelty...This novel can be read as a generous salute across the centuries from one writer to another, as a sympathetic homage and recommendation... Cervantes Street brings to life the real world behind the fantastic exploits of the knight of La Mancha. The comic mishaps are funnier for being based in fact. The romantic adventures are more affecting. Cervantes Street has sent me back to Don Quixote." Junot Díaz said about the novel "A sprawling vivacious big-hearted novel. Manrique is fantastically talented". And Sandra Cisneros said "Cervantes Street, Jaime Manrique's magnificent novel, is a fabulous tale of the life of Miguel de Cervantes, an extraordinary portrait of a writer's life created from fact and imagination. I read it in bed over two or three days, never wanting the tale to end. Manrique is our Scheherazade."[8]

Manrique novels, poemas and essays have been translated into English, Spanish, Hebrew, Polish, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and other languages.

Teaching career[edit]

He has taught at The New School for Social Research, 1978-1980 (Writer in Residence); Mount Holyoke College, 1995 (Writer in Residence in the Spanish Department); Columbia University, 2002 – 2008 (Associate Professor in The MFA in Writing); Rutgers University, 2009 (Visiting Writer in the MFA Program in Writing); and The City College of New York, 2012 – to the present (Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Classic and modern Languages and Literatures)


  • Like This Afternoon Forever, 2019[9]
  • Como esta tarde para siempre, 2018
  • El libro de los muertos, poemas selectos 1973-2015, 2016
  • Cervantes Street, 2012
  • Our Lives Are the Rivers, 2006
  • The Autobiography of Bill Sullivan, 2006
  • Tarzan My Body Christopher Columbus, 2001
  • Eminent Maricones:Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me, 1999
  • Mi cuerpo y otros poemas, 1999
  • Twilight at the Equator, 1997
  • Sor Juana's Love Poems, 1997
  • My Night with Federico García Lorca, 1995
  • Latin Moon in Manhattan, 1995
  • Scarecrow, 1990
  • Colombian Gold:A Novel of Power and Corruption, 1983
  • El cadáver de papá, 1980
  • Notas de cine:confesiones de un crítico amateur, 1979
  • Los adoradores de la luna, 1977[10]

Prizes and Awards[edit]

  • 2019: Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement for Like This Afternoon Forever[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Manrique, Jaime (1999). Eminent Maricones. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 39–61. ISBN 978-0299161842. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  2. ^ Dao, James (1992-10-09). "Land of Magic in Heart of Queens; Others See Grit; Colombians Find Bogota on Roosevelt Ave". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  3. ^ Manrique, Jaime (1995). My night with Federico García Lorca (Bilingual ed.). Hudson, NY: The Groundwater Press.
  4. ^ Manrique, Jaime (1995). My night with Federico García Lorca (Bilingual ed.). Hudson, NY: The Groundwater Press. pp. Back Cover.
  5. ^ Manrique, Jaime (1999). Eminent Maricones (Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me). Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0299161842.
  6. ^ Manrique, Jaime (1999). Eminent Maricones (Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me). Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. p. Back Cover. ISBN 978-0299161842.
  7. ^ Walch, Robert (March 5, 2006). "Our Lives Are the Rivers Review". San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. ^ Cisneros, Sandra (2015-12-18). "The Millions Year in Reading 2015". The Millions. The Millions. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Summer reads: 10 new Latino books". NBC News. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  10. ^ "Books by Jaime Manrique". jaimemanrique.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jaime Manrique wins the 2019 BILL WHITEHEAD AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT!". www.akashicbooks.com. Retrieved June 23, 2019.

External links[edit]