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Ministry of Culture Honors Dominican Poet on Her Centennial Anniversary of her Birth

Santo Domingo, June 28, 2018 – In a memorable event held to highlight the literary legacy of the author of Una mujer está sola (A Woman is Alone, unofficial translation), the Ministry of Culture posthumously honored Dominican poet Aída Cartagena Portalatín on what would have been her 100th anniversary.

The event was organized by the directorates of the Book and Reading Office, the International Poetry Festival and the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National Library.

Vice Minister of Identity and Culture, Edilí Pichardo, headed the ceremony accompanied by National Library Director Diómedes Núñez Polanco; Ruth Herrera, Director General of Books and Reading and León Félix Batista, in charge of the International Poetry Festival.

In his remarks, Library Director Diómedes Núñez Polanco described the event as a true act of love on the part of academics.  He defined poet Aída Cartagena Portalatín as a true representative of Dominican literature.

Present during the events were Dominican poets Soledad Álvarez, César Zapata, Armando Almánzar Botello, Delta Soto, Iván García, Basilio Belliard, Juan Hernández Inirio, Manuel García Cartagena, Clary Almonte, Amable López Meléndez, Pedro Pablo Fernández and Luis Reynaldo Pérez.

Family members of the renowned Dominican poet were also present: Mayra Cartagena Salomón, Carlos Mesa Cartagena, Milagros Cartagena Infante, Cuqui Cartagena, Lesly Brea Cartagena y Miranda Brea.

During the event, relatives of the poet donated many of her personal books and documents to the National Library.

Also included in the program was the participation of 35 Dominican writers, under the coordination of the Books and Reading and the International Poetry Festival offices, in a segment titled “100 Minutes of Poetry in Honor of Poet Aída Cartagena Portalatín.”

Writer and artist Yanela Hernández read a fragment of one of Cartagena Portalatín’s best known poems: Una mujer está sola.

To conclude the event the Directorate of Books and Reading and the International Poetry Festival office presented a special segment titled “100 from Aída Cartagena Portalatín.”

Event organizers presented Aída Cartagena Portalatín’s family members with a special plaque.  They, in turn, thanked the Ministry for honoring one of the country’s most important poets.

Aída Cartagena Portalatín

Aída Cartagena Portalatín, Dominican poet, writer and essayist was born in the north-central town of Moca, on June 18, 1918.  She died in Santo Domingo on June 3, 1994.

She was one of the very few Dominican female writers from the first half of the 20th century who managed to raise her voice and prevail in a literary environment dominated mostly by men. Some of her poems – Estación en la tierra, Una mujer está sola y La casa – (Earth Station, A Woman is Alone and The House, non-official translations) confirm the loneliness and rebellious attitude that marked most of the writings. At the same time, most of her writings strive to place the women of her generation in a just space.

Her novel Escalera para Electra (Stairs for Electra, non-official translation) was a finalist in the prestigious Seix Barral literary contest in 1969. She is the Dominican writer that has been most researched and studied.  The Dominican editorial house Ediciones Cielonaranja is currently working on the publication of her complete works.

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