Ernesto Cardenal to Launch New Book during 12-City Tour

Ernesto Cardenal, widely acknowledged as Latin America's greatest living poet, will visit with students, read from his works and sign copies of his newest collection of poems at 12 U.S. and Canandian campuses, including Texas Tech University, this spring.

Written by Kate Lepard

Ernesto Cardenal, widely acknowledged as Latin America's greatest living poet, will visit with students, read from his works and sign copies of his newest collection of poems at 12 U.S. and Canandian campuses, including Texas Tech University, this spring.

“It is a great honor to have El Padre—Father Cardenal—to spend such an extended time with North American audiences,” said Irene Vilar, editor of Texas Tech University Press’ series “The Americas,” in which Cardenal’s book, “The Origin of Species and Other Poems,” is included.

Twice a Nobel Prize nominee, Cardenal is considered by many to be the strongest candidate for the literature prize in 2012.

Cardenal’s North American visit coincides not only with the release of his latest volume by Texas Tech University Press but also with the U.S. screening of the Mexican film “Solentiname: Ernesto Cardenal,” which examines Cardenal’s fight to bring down the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua.

Among the 20 new poems included in Cardenal’s collection, are several poems appearing for the first time in English, as well as poems which have never been published. Cardenal also has added new cantigas, or cantos, to supplement his book, “Cosmic Canticle.”

“When TTU Press offered to publish Ernesto Cardenal’s most recent book of poetry as well as his future volume of memoirs, we knew we were involved with something very special,” said Robert Mandel, director of Texas Tech University Press and founder of “The Americas” series.

Tour datesare as follows. Event details are available from local contacts listed.

1. Denison University, Denison, Ohio, April 11-13

Presentation:  4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, Burton D. Morgan Welsh Hills Room

Contact: Peter Grandbois, (740) 587-5793, or

2. SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton, N.Y., April 13-15

Presentation: 5 - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, St. James Church, 155 Main St., Johnson City, N.Y.

Contact: Juanita Diaz Cotto, professor of sociology and director, Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program, (607) 777-4916, or

3. Xavier University, Cincinnati, April 15-17

Presentation: Noon Saturday, April 16

Contact: Irene Hodgson, director of the Latin American Studies minor, (513) 745-3541, or

4. Michigan State University, Lansing Mich., April 17-19

Presentation: 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, RCAH Theatre, Snyder Hall

Contact: Elvira Sanchez Blake, department of romance and classical languages, (517) 708-8680, or,,,

5. Loyola University, Baltimore, Md., April 19-20

Presentation: Tuesday, April 19, Library Auditorium

Contact: Thomas Ward, professor of modern languages and literatures and director of Latin American and Latino studies,

6. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis., April 20-22

Presentation: Thursday, April 21

Contact: Daisy Cubias, (w) (414) 286-5547, (c) (414) 324-0974,, or

Professor Cesar Ferreira, (414) 229-1103,

7. Boulder, Colo., April 24-27:

7a. Naropa University, Boulder, Colo.

Presentation: 11 a.m. April 24

Contact:  Joe Richey, (303) 413-9649, or

7b. Colorado Humanitie and Center for the Book, Boulder, Colo.

Presentation: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 22

Contact: Tim Z. Hernandez, or

7c. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

Presentation: April 26 and April 27

Contact: Anne Helen Becher, department of Spanish and Portuguese, (303) 492-1957,

8. PEN World Voices Festival, 92nd Street Y Poetry Gala, New York, N.Y, April 28-30

Presentation: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, 92nd Street Y, Unterberg Poetry Center, 1395 Lexington Ave.

Contact: Laszlo Jakab Orsos, director PEN World Voices Festival/Public Programs,

(212) 334-1660 ext. 121, or or

9. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., May 1-2

Presentation: Sunday, May 1

Contact: Fernando Segovia, Oberlin graduate professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Divinity School, (615) 322-2776, or

10. York University, Toronto, May 2-4

Leslie Sanders, department of humanities, (416) 736-2100 ext. 66604, or

11. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, May 4-6  

Luncheon: 11:30 Thursday, May 5 (by invitation)

Contact: John Beusterien, associate professor of Spanish, (806) 742-3145 ext. 270, or

Presentation: Literary Lubbock, 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 5, Merket Alumni Center, Lubbock, Texas; ticketed dinner and event

Contacts: Robert Mandel, director, Texas Tech University Press, (806) 742-2982 and

Barbara Brannon, marketing manager, Texas Tech University Press, (806) 742-2982, or

12. Festival de la Palabra, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 6-9

Events: Saturday and Sunday, May 7 - 8

Contact: Mayra Santos Febres, (787) 210-6799,, or

About the Author:

Author of more than 35 books, many translated into multiple languages, Nicaraguan poet, Ernesto Cardenal, was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1965. His studies with Trappist monk Thomas Merton and his involvement with the Sandinista movement in his home country have informed his writing and political activism.

Cardenal lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where he is vice president of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and cultural organization.

More information about “The Origin of Species and Other Poems” is available at

A high-resolution image of the book cover for promotional use may be downloaded from

Other promotional materials are also available on the Texas Tech University Press website.