Mercedes Negrón Muñoz
|Mercedes Negrón Muñoz|
Mercedes "Clara Lair" Negrón Muñoz
|Born||March 8, 1895
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
|Died||August 26, 1973
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Pen name||Clara Lair|
Negrón Muñoz was born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, into a family which included writers, poets and politicians. The town of Barranquitas, where she was raised, is located in the central mountain region of the island. Her father was the poet Quintín Negrón and her uncles the poet Jose A. Negrón and poet and statesman Luis Muñoz Rivera. She was also the cousin of Puerto Rico's first elected governor Luis Muñoz Marín. Negrón Muñoz received her primary and secondary education in her hometown and she studied literature in the University of Puerto Rico.
In 1937, Negrón Muñoz published the poem "Arras de Cristal" (Cracked Glass) under the name "Clara Lair", her assumed pseudonym.
In 1950, she published her second book of poems, titled "Tropico Amargo" (Bitter Tropic), in this book she included some of her previously published poems plus a new series of poems which she called "Mas Alla del Poniente". Both of her books received literary awards and public recognition from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. Among the many poets who were influenced by Negrón Muñoz' poetic style was the Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos.
In 1961, The Puerto Rican Institute of Culture published a book which included a selection of her poems. The Puerto Rican Institute of Culture also published in their magazine fragments of her poems "Memoria de una isleña" (Memories of an Islander) and "Últimos" (Last). The Puerto Rican poet Luis Lloréns Torres called Mercedes "The Puerto Rican Alfonsina Storni". Mercedes Negrón Muñoz died on August 26, 1973 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Isabel Cuchí Coll published a book about Negrón Muñoz titled "Dos Poetisas de América: Clara Lair y Julia de Burgos". A docudrama about the life of Negrón Muñoz titled "A Passion Named Clara Lair" was produced and directed by Ivonne Belen in 1996. Puerto Rico has honored her memory by naming a school after her, and in the town of Hormigueros there is a Hogar Clara Lair, a non-profit organization founded in 1991, which protects defenseless women. Also, the street in Old San Juan right in front of her last residence carries her name.
- This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Negrón and the second or maternal family name is Muñoz.
- Fernandez, Ronald; Méndez, Serafín Méndez; Cueto, Gail (1998). Puerto Rico Past and Present: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313298226.
- PUERTO RICO HERALD; Beautiful Barranquitas: Town of the Mighty Próceres; By Brenda A. Mari