Jorge Carrera Andrade was born in Quito, Ecuador, the son of a liberal-minded judge. In the atmosphere of his home, Carrera Andrade quickly became aware of the social injustices of his countrymen, particularly those directed against the Ecuadorian Incas. This was much of the subject matter of his early poetry; and would remain with him as he traveled internationally, becoming Ecuador’s representative to UNESCO.
He began his literary career in his early teens, editing the magazine La idea. His first books, published in 1926, were Guirnalda del silencio and Estanque inefable. In 1928, he traveled abroad, studying in France, Germany, and Spain. Throughout the 1930s he remained in France, where he served as editor of the publishing house, Cuadernos del Hombre Neuvo. Beginning in 1940 he served, for several years, as the Ecuadorian consul to San Francisco.
Carrera Andrade's poetry is not experimental nor hermetic, but known for its lucid qualities and for its highly structured forms. "True poetry," as he writes, "is only that which has fallen from combat with the angel." However, his social concerns and the metaphors drawn from his own culture, particularly those of El hombre planetario (1959, The Planetary Man) lends a deep richness of imagery and feeling to his work.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Estanque Inefable (Quito, 1922); Guirnalda del silencio (Quito: Imprenta Nacional, 1926); Boletines de mar y tierra (Barcelona: Cevantes, 1930); El tiempo manual (Madrid: Ediciones Literatura, 1935); Rol de la manzana: Poesías (1926-1929) (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe); La hora de las ventanas iluminadas (Santiago de Chile: Ercilla, 1937); Biografía para uso de lo pájaros (Paris: Duadernos del Hombre Nuevo, 1937); Registro del mundo (Quito: Universidad Central, 1940); País secreto (Tokoyo: published by the author, 1940); Canto al Puente de Oakland/To the Bay Bridge (San Francisco: Hoover Library on War / Stanford University, 1941); Lugar de origen Caracas: Editiones Suma, 1944); Poesís escogidas (Caracas: Editiones Suma, 1945); Registro del mundo, antologia poetica. 1922-1939 (México: Seneca, 1945); Canto a las fortalezas volantes: Cuaderno del paracaidista (Caracas: Ediciones Destino, 1945); Edades poeticas, 1922-1956 (Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1958); Mi vida en poemas: Ensayo autocritico seguido de una seleccion poetica (Caracas: Ediciones Casa del Escritor, 1962); Hombre planetario (Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1963); Obra poetica completa (Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1976).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:
Secret Country: Poems, translated by Muna Lee (New York: Macmillan, 1946); Visitor of Mist, trans. by G. R. Coulthard (London: Williams & Norgate, 1950); Selected Pomes of Jorge Carrera Andrade, translated by H. R. Hays (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1972).