Ecuadorian poet, historian, author, and diplomat Jorge Carrera Andrade
“The images of Jorge Carrera Andrade are so extraordinarily clear, so connected to the primitive I imagine I am…participating in a vision already lost to the world. It is a place melancholy but grand.” — William Carlos Williams
Largely overlooked by American literary critics, Ecuadorian Jorge Carrera Andrade has long been considered one of the most important poets in Latin America. He began publishing poems in his teens, and his distinguished literary career spanned a wide range of work, from editing and translation to criticism and poetry, much of which was published internationally.
When Jorge Carrera Andrade was appointed Ecuadorian General Consul to the United States in 1940, he moved to San Francisco and quickly established friendships within the American literary community. He corresponded with a number of American writers including John Peale Bishop, Archibald MacLeish, Thomas Merton, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams.
Throughout his life, Andrade was a bridge between disparate worlds. As Steven Ford Brown details in Drunken Boat, during his childhood Andrade developed sympathetic relationships with the Indians who worked the land on his family’s country estate. His father’s views from the judicial bench — very liberal for this period in South America — were also sympathetic to the plight of the Indians. This empathy and impulse towards universal understanding would become an integral part of Andrade’s writing, as well as his work as ambassador to Japan, Peru, Nicaragua, the U.K., France, and other countries.