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Withdrawn Module: Latin American Poetry (AM207)

Latin American PoetryPlease note that this module was available
until 2010, but has since been
withdrawn and is no longer available.

Tutor: Professor John King

This undergraduate second-year option module is only available to those students who have passed the Beginners Spanish module in their first year of studies. The module is taught through weekly 1½ hour seminars on literature and weekly 2 hour seminars on Spanish language. There is also individual tutorials to discuss feedback on student essays. Assessment is by three 2,000 word essays, that count for 50% of the module, and a two hour exam., that counts for 50% of the module.

By the end of the module, students should have:

  • Further developed writing and communication skills.
  • Increased your knowledge of the Spanish language.
  • Developed your ability to work on literary translation, from Spanish into English.
  • Acquired knowledge of selected, key, texts of twentieth century Latin American poetry.
  • Developed analytical and critical skills through close reading of the set poetry texts in Spanish.
  • Acquired knowledge of relevant cultural and critical contexts within which to situate the set texts.
  • Gained an understanding of critical concepts in literary and cultural theory.
  • Developed strategies for reading texts within the context of twentieth century Latin American culture and with reference to specific critical concepts and discourses.

Unit 1: An Introduction to Modernismo

Text: Selected poems by César Vallejo (handout)


  • G.Brotherston, Latin American Poetry: Origins and Presences.
  • M.Gonzalez and D.Treece, The Gathering of Voices.
  • A.Rama, Rubén Darío y el modernismo.
  • G.Kirkpatrick, The Dissonant Legacy of Modernismo.
  • K.Ellis, Critical Approaches to Rubén Darío.
Unit 2. César Vallejo

Text: Selected Poems from Los heraldos negros. (Handout).


  • Brotherston and Gonzalez, as above.
  • J.Higgins, The Poet in Peru.
  • J.Franco, César Vallejo: the Dialectics of Poetry and Silence.
  • D.Gallagher, chapter in his Modern Latin American Literature.
  • A.Flores, ed., Aproximaciones a César Vallejo.
  • J.Ortega, ed., César Vallejo.
  • S.Hart, Religión, política y ciencia en la obra de César Vallejo.
Unit 3: Pablo Neruda

Text: Pablo Neruda, Selected Poems, bilingual edition.


  • Brotherston, Gonzalez and Gallagher, as above.
  • C.Perriam, The Late Poetry of Pablo Neruda.
  • F.Reiss, The Word and the Stone.
  • M.Agosin, Pablo Neruda.
  • J.Felstiner, Translating Neruda.
  • S.Bizzaro, Pablo Neruda: All Poets the Poet.
  • E.Santí, Pablo Neruda: the Poetics of Prophecy.
  • V.Teitelboim Neruda: an Intimate Biography.
  • M.Durán and M.Safir, Earth Tones: the Poetry of Pablo Neruda.
  • R.De Costa, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda.
Unit 4. Octavio Paz.

Text: Octavio Paz, Selected Poems (Bilingual text).


  • Jason Wilson, Octavio Paz: a Study of His Poetics.
  • Jason Wilson, Octavio Paz (Twayne World Authors).
  • Brotherston, Gallagher and Gonzalez, as above.
  • J.Fein, Octavio Paz. A Reading of His Major Poems.
  • R.Phillips, The Poetic Modes of Octavio Paz.
  • I.Ivask, The Perpetual Present. The Poetry and Prose of Octavio Paz.
  • S.Yurkievich, Fundadores de la nueva poesía latinoamericana.
  • A.Flores, Aproximaciones a Octavio Paz.
Unit 5. Cuban Poetry: Nicolás Guillén and Nancy Morejón.

Texts: For Guillén, the anthology edited by Salvador Ortiz (see Salvador for copies). For Morejón, ‘Mujer negra’ and other handouts.


  • R.Abrahams, The Man-of Words in the West Indies.
  • M.Cobb, Harlem, Haiti and Havana…
  • R.Jackson, The Black Image in Latin American Literature.
  • J.Kubayanda, The Poet’s Africa.
  • V.Kutzinski, Against the American Grain.
  • V.Kutzinski, Sugar’s Secrets.
  • K.Ellis, Nicolás Guillén.
  • G.Pérez Firmat, The Cuban Condition.
  • I.Smart, Nicolás Guillén.
  • L.Williams, Self and Society in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén.
  • C.Boyce Davies, ed., Out of the Kumbla: Caribbean Women and Literature.
  • S.Castro Kláren et al, eds., Women’s Writing in Latin America.
  • D.Marting, ed., Spanish American Women Writers.
  • J.Finn, Voices of Negritude.
  • D.Meyer, ed., Contemporary Women Authors of Latin America.
Unit 6. Ernesto Cardenal. Poetry and Theology.

Text: Selected writings, handout.


  • W.Rowe,
  • S.White, Modern Nicaraguan Poetry.
  • P.Borgeson, Hacia el hombre Nuevo.
  • Selected essays by Robert Pring-Mill, handout.
  • M. Gonzalez, G.Brotherston, as above.
Unit 7. Argentine Women Writers: Alfonsina Storni and Alejandra Pizarnik.

Texts: Handouts of representative poems.


  • L.P.Condé, ed., Feminist Readings on Spanish and Latin American Literature.
  • R.Phillips. Alfonsina Storni: from Poetess to Poet.
  • C.Piña, Alejandra Pizarnik.