Alegra, Claribel

Alegra, Claribel, 1924?2018, Nicaraguan-Salvadoran poet, b. Nicaragua as Clara Isabel Alegra Vides, grad. George Washington Univ. (B.A., 1948). Her family went into exile in El Salvador when she was an infant. She wrote more than 40 volumes of poetry in an imagistic and lyrical style; her first book of poetry, Anillo de Silencio [ring of silence], was published the year she graduated from college. Among her other collections are Sobrevivo [I survive] (1978), La Mujer del ro/Woman of the River (1989), and Saudade/Sorrow (1999). She was critical of the Salvadoran government and lived largely abroad or in exile for many years. She and her husband, Darwin J. Flakoll, settled in Nicaragua in 1985, where she supported the Sandinistas. Though she mostly wrote about the difficult daily lives of ordinary people and her own sorrows, her writing also reflected Latin America's political struggles, particularly in her fiction, nonfiction, and journalism, some of which she wrote in collaboration with Flakoll. Her fiction, such as the three novellas of the 1970s and 80s translated as Family Album (1995), often marries magical realism and sociopolitical themes.

See S. M. Boschetto and M. P. McGowan, Claribel Alegra and Central American Literature: Critical Essays (1994).

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