January 25, 1995.


Distinguished Members of the Swedish Academy:

We, the undersigned professors of literature of various universities in the United States, have joined together to nominate the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra to the Nobel Prize in Literature.

First recipient of the distinguished Mexican Juan Rulfo Prize for Latino American and Caribbean Litertature in 1991, Nicanor Parra has been a pivotal forze in Latin American poetry since the publication of his Poems and Antipoems in 1954, a volume which promptly earned hire the title of "antipoet" and established the genre of ant antipoetry as a force to be reckoned with. Not only has his influence been felt in Chile (where he has replaced Neruda as the yardstick against which all poetry is measured) and throughout Latin America (in the colloquial, conversational poetry of linguistic collage of such poets as the Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal, the Peruvian Carlos Germán Belli, the Argentine Juan GeIman, and numerous others), but in the United States, especially in the work of the so-called Beat Generation (cf. Ferlinghetti , Ginsberg, Corso).

Using parody, irony, black humor, and the carnavalesque, antipoetry seek s to uncover the hypocrisy off all human institutions in an effort to affirm the relativity of truth. In a language steeped in coloquialisms and linguistic phrases drawn from the most diverse discourses (mass, communication, religion, law, commerce, science, folk song, jokes, other poetic texts), the subjective, lyric voice, of the poet gives way to the multiple voices of the populace. The poets have descended from Mount Olympus and poetry has been restored to the popular function it had in the days of the jongleur.

Nicanor Parra marked his eightieth birthday on September 5, 1994. We strongly urge the Swedish Academy to recognize his significant contributions to world literature and understanding for, as Professor Frank MacShane of Columbia University has stated: "Nicanor Parra is unquestionably one of the most influential and accomplished poets in Latin America, heir to the position long hold by his countryman, Pablo Neruda. As an exponent of "antipoetry", Parra has revolutionalized literary expression not only in Chile but all over the globe".

We have enclosed a basic bibliographical sketch from Contemporary World Authors and Professor Marlene Gottlieb, the coordinator of our Committee, will provide you with any other materials you require. Due to the difficulty of gathering actual signatures on the same document from different universities ire the United States, we have taken the liberty of listing the names and affiliations of all the professors who are participating in this nomination. Their actual signatures are on file in our office and can be forwarded to the Academy should this be necessary.

Respectfully yours,


Marlene Gottlieb,
Coordinator Lehman College
Graduate School
City University of New York


SISIB - Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile