Nicaraguan Writer and Political Figure Gioconda Belli to Speak

woman sitting on stone stair with iron railing leaning on hand, smiling, green plants in background.  photo by Ian Wagemann

Photo by Ian Wagemann.

AUSTIN, Texas —Nicaraguan writer and political figure Gioconda Belli will give a free public talk at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection to celebrate the library’s acquisition of her literary archive.

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., in the Ann Hartness Reading Room, Sid Richardson Hall unit 1, 2300 Red River. No tickets necessary. Details here.

The acclaimed author of nine novels, a memoir, two volumes of essays, nine poetry collections and four children’s books, Belli is the recipient of several major literary prizes over her decades-long career, including the prestigious Casa de las Américas Prize for poetry (1978) and the Reina Sofía de Ibero-American Poetry Prize (2023). 

Known for her feminist writing and erotic poetry, Belli has a broad international following, with works translated into at least 20 languages. The English translation of her memoir, “The Country Under My Skin,”was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times book prize. 

She was among the leaders of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, which defeated the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle in the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979, and she worked in support of the Sandinista government until 1993. Amid her increasingly vocal criticism of the Daniel Ortega–Rosario Murillo regime, Belli was forcibly expelled, stripped of her citizenship and declared a traitor to her country in February along with 93 other Nicaraguans. This is her second exile.

As a longtime admirer of her literary work and her activism, I am honored that Gioconda has entrusted the Benson with her collection,” said Melissa Guy, director of the Benson, who interviewed Belli last spring. “We look forward to engaging students and faculty with the archive, and to welcoming Nicaragua’s greatest living poet to Austin in the near future.”

Read the full interview with Belli here.

For more information: Susanna Sharpe, Communications Coordinator, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections

woman (belli) between two stone walls, smiling, hands pressed outward against walls