True Poets Happen All of a Sudden / Los verdaderos poetas son de repente
Gonzalo Rojas (1916-2011) was born in Lebu, Chile, to a family of miners. As a university student captivated by Catullus and Ovid, the avant-garde poet Gonzalo Rojas fell in love with surrealism and jazz. As a diplomat for the Allende government in China and Cuba, he was condemned to exile and continued writing in the Democratic Republic of Germany, Venezuela and the United States. He returned definitively to Chile in 1994. He was awarded the Chilean National Prize in Literature (1992), the Reina Sofía Prize in Spain (1992), the José Hernández Prize in Argentina (1997), the Octavio Paz Prize in Poetry and Essay in Mexico (1998), and the Cervantes Prize (2003), among others. His work has been translated to some 20 languages. His major works are: La miseria del hombre (1948), Contra la muerte (1964), Oscuro (1977), Transtierro (1979), Del relámpago (1981), Materia de testamento (1988), Diálogo con Ovidio (1999), Concierto (2004), Con arrimo y sin arrimo (2010).