Naropa University Welcomes Poet/Activist Ernesto Cardenal

America's master poet, priest and former Sandinista to visit Naropa University as part of his 12-city U.S and Canadian book tour
Cardenal epitomizes what makes literature live in Central America today.

(April 14, 2011) -- Naropa University welcomes Ernesto Cardenal, CatholicPriest, poet, social activist, and the former Minister of Culture in Sandinista Nicaragua, for a reading and book signing at Naropa University's Allen Ginsberg Library, Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. as part of his 12 city book tour for the release of The Origin of Species and Other Poems (Texas Tech University Press, 2011).

Mr. Cardenal's Naropa University visit is part of the poet's stay in Colorado, which also includes events at the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Naropa University will host a welcoming ceremony, short reading and book signing from Cardenal's latest book, which includes an introduction by Anne Waldman, Distinguished Professor of Poetics, Summer Writing Program Chair/Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Waldman writes of Cardenal's work as being "a Whitmanesque embrace and also a timely political and spiritual resonance with the particularly difficult and early-broken-hearted new century...His optimism is constantly radiating with a scholarly wonder."

WHAT: Ernesto Cardenal Reading
WHEN: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Naropa University Allen Ginsberg Library Courtyard
WHY: Ernesto Cardenal's 12 City Book Tour
COST: Free and open to the public

Ernesto Cardenal (b. 1925), 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 Canadian campuses, including Naropa University. The author of more than thirty-five books, many of which have been 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. He lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where he is vice president of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and arts cultural organization.

Ernesto Cardenal is recognized as one of the most urgent and eloquent voice in a country of poets and revolutionaries, a cultural icon whose life and writings have altered history.

Cardenal's poetry is impure, defiantly, in that it unites political ugliness and the beauty of imaginative vision.
--Robert Bly

One of the world's major poets.

Cardenal is a major epic-historical poet, in the grand lineage of Central American prophet Rubén Darío.
--Allen Ginsberg

One of the most influential (and controversial) poets of his generation.
--Robert Hass

The event, free and open to the public, will take place in the courtyard outside the Allen Ginsberg Library at the Naropa University Arapahoe Campus. Ernesto Cardenal's Colorado tour includes the following additional public events:

  • Fri. 4/22: Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book, Denver, CO
  • Sat. 4/23: Innisfree Poetry Bookstore, Boulder, CO
  • Tues 4/26: CU Boulder Old Main Chapel, Boulder, CO
  • Wed 4/27: CU Boulder Old Main Chapel, Boulder CO, at 5:00 p.m.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.