Juan Gelman

Gelman was born of Jewish Ukrainian parents in Buenos Aires and grew up amid a myriad of languages and acquired a fascination for words early on in life. He published his first book of verse, Violín y otras cuestiones (Violin and other questions, 1956), in a time of coups and countercoups of a nascent Peronism.  In order to bring to life the streets and common people of Buenos Aires, in this book he created a collage of the everyday speech of the “rioplatense” including their slang and grammar, current events, and the tango imaginary. With the publication of cólera buey (oxen rage, 1965), his surreal blending of social engagement and wordplay expressed in a colloquial language marked an unnerving irony and poignancy that would continue to characterize his poetry.

After actively participating in the movements that brought back Perón in 1973—both the FAR (Revolutionary Armed Forces) and the guerrilla group Montoneros—he was sent to Europe in 1975 to work in public relations as a journalist. After the military coup of 1976, he remained in exile in Europe, denouncing human rights abuses, which by August of that year involves the personal loss as his son, Marcelo, and his pregnant daughter-in-law who “are disappeared” during the military dictatorship.

Between 1956 and 2009, more than twenty books of his poetry were published, and his more recent awards include the National Poetry Prize (Argentina, 1997), the Juan Rulfo Prize in Latin American and Caribbean Literature (Mexico, 2000), the Pablo Neruda Prize (Chile, 2005), the Queen Sofia Prize in Ibero-American Poetry (Spain, 2005), and the most prestige Spanish-language literary award, the Cervantes Prize in 2007. Having worked as a journalist and a translator in Argentina, Spain, France, and Italy, Gelman is presently living in Mexico City.

Books Published by CIAL:

Between Words: Juan Gelman's Public Letter

Juan Gelman's Commentaries and Citations

Books of Poetry by Juan Gelman: 

Anunciaciones. Madrid: Visor, 1988.
Anunciaciones y otras fábulas. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral/Planeta, 2001.
Carta a mi madre. Buenos Aires: Libros de Tierra Firme, 1989.
Cólera buey. La Habana: La Tertulia, 1965 (Buenos Aires: Espasa Calpe/Seix Barral, 1994).
Com/posiciones (1983-1984). Barcelona: Ediciones del Mall, 1986.
De atrasalante en su porfía. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 2009.
dibaxu. (1983-1985)Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, Biblioteca Breve, 1994.
El juego en que andamos. Buenos Aires: Nueva Expresión, 1959.
Fábulas. Buenos Aires: La Rosa Blindada, 1971.
Gotán (1956-1962), Buenos Aires: La Rosa Blindada, 1962/95.
Hacia el Sur. México: Marcha, 1982.
Hechos y relaciones. (1974-1978) Barcelona: Lumen, 1980.
Incompletamente. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 1997.
Interrupciones 1. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral / Planeta, 1997. (includes Citas y Comentarios  (1978-1979) and Carta abierta, (1980).
Interrupciones 2. Buenos Aires: Libros de Tierra Firme, 1986. Edición corregida, Buenos Aires: Seix Barral/Planeta, 1998.
Mundar. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 2007.
País que fue será. Madrid: Visor, 2004.
Relaciones. Buenos Aires: La Rosa Blindada, 1973.
Salarios del impío. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 2000.
Si dulcemente. Barcelona: Lumen, 1980.
Traducciones III. Los poemas de Sydney West. Galerna: Buenos Aires, 1969/1995.
Valer la pena. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 2001.
Velorio del solo. Buenos Aires: Nueva Expresión, 1961.
Violín y otras cuestiones. Buenos Aires: Gleizer, 1956.