Stella Díaz Varín and the other side of Chilean poetry

Better known as «La Colorina», Stella Díaz Varín was a fierce poet with a controversial personality.

La Tercera
La Tercera

Born August 11, 1926, in a middle-class family in La Serena, Stella Díaz Varín grew up under the protection of her peculiar parents; an anarchist watchmaker and the descendant of a French family without any prestige. She was better known for her character of «La Colorina» (The Redhead) than for her work, nevertheless, almost 10 years after her death, Stella Díaz is considered one of the greatest poets of the 50’s generation.

She spent her adolescence reading, writing, and forging a strong desire to move away from the conservative society of La Serena. At eighteen, and against the will of her mother, she decided to go to Santiago to study medicine. There she met Pablo Neruda, Teófilo Cid, Pablo de Rokha, Jorge Teillier, Enrique Lihn, Nicanor Parra, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Luis Oyarzún, José Donoso, Enrique Lafourcade, Carlos Droguett, Ester Matte and Delia Domínguez, among many other writers with whom she shared, discussed, and build herself as a poet.

Stella Díaz used to attend the literary gatherings at the Iris Café, in the middle of the Bohemian nightlife of El Bosco, these were the places where the character of La Colorina was born, who stood out among the people because of her strong personality, red hair, beautiful figure and deep voice. Naín Nómez, a famous Chilean literary critic, writes:»rebel to the catalogues and prototypes, a critical friend of truths, marginal and marginalized, which has influenced her deletion from the literary canon».

A mythical figure, also called the «first Chilean punk poet» and «the Chilean Bukowski«, the poet was involved in many controversial incidents, including the time when she publicly punched Lafourcade because of an article he had written for El Mercurio. Among her poetic works, the ones that really stand out are Razón de mi ser (1949), Sinfonía del hombre fósil (1953) Tiempo, medida imaginaria (1959) and Los dones previsibles (1992). Her deep and unprecedented philosophical style as well as her controversial personality, marked a before and after in Chilean poetry.

Source: Valentina Celedón, Los dones previsibles de Stella Díaz Varín: Una poesía situada en la reminiscencia y la muerte.