“By a blessing that surpasses me, I am now the direct voice of the poets of my race and the indirect voice of the very noble languages of Spanish and Portuguese”, said Gabriela Mistral in 1945 when she received the Nobel Prize of Literature on December 10. On that day, the Chilean poet became the first and -so far- only Latin American woman to receive the award from the Swedish Academy, and today we celebrate the 70th anniversary from this date with a long list of activities prepared for its commemoration.
The tribute extends throughout every region of the country, by means of different artistic manifestations that seek to bring the work of Mistral to the people. The Minister of Culture, Ernesto Ottone, said that the initiative focuses on “reclaiming issues of national contingency through her work. It is amazing to read her texts and realize that the reflections she made are the same ones we share today.”
The program of the National Council of the Arts and Culture (CNCA) includes visual interventions, library activities, poetic acts and a cultural festival in Santiago, as well as the distribution of 130 thousand copies of an anthology which includes 10 poems that were chosen by popular vote through a campaign on social networks. The activities are part of the National Reading Plan, along with the authorization of the Franciscan Order of Chile, keepers of Mistral’s work.
Moreover, the Gabriela Mistral Foundation will make a tribute for the writer through the publication of the book “From Chile to the World, 70 years since Gabriela Mistral’s Nobel Prize”: a bilingual edition which highlights the value of her work at an international level, expecting that readers meet or reencounter with the national writer.
Meanwhile, at Universidad de Chile‘s main campus, a museum room opened last week with some of the author’s unreleased material. The institution hosts the exhibition called “Poem of Chile. Writing only ends in death”, where a series of personal belongings of the poet, drawings in her honor by other artists, and photographs are being exhibited.
The event’s schedule is available here.
This post is also available in Spanish