15 January 14 | Chad W. Post

It’s always sad to find out that one of your authors has passed away, especially someone as nice as Juan Gelman.

As Kaija pointed out upon hearing about his death, the one really great thing is that he was able to finally—after post office issues, bad addresses, and a host of other nineteenth century problems—able to get copies of his collection Dark Times Filled with Light before he passed on.

Below you’ll find more information about his life, but if you want to check out his poetry (in Hardie St. Martin’s wonderful translation), you can get 50% off the list price on our site by entering the code “darktimes” when you check out.

Here’s a bit from the BBC obituary:

Argentine poet Juan Gelman has died aged 83 in Mexico City. He is considered to be one of the greatest authors in Spanish and was awarded the prestigious Cervantes Prize in 2007.

Mr Gelman, a left-wing activist and a guerrilla in Argentina in the 1960s and 1970s, lived in Mexico for 20 years.

He wrote more than 20 books and regular columns for newspapers.

His son and his pregnant daughter-in-law died after being abducted by the military government in the 1970s. [. . .]

But in 2000, he was also able to trace his granddaughter, born before Maria Claudia’s presumed murder. The child had been handed over to a pro-government family in Uruguay.

The reunion was one of the most high profile involving disappeared people in Argentina’s history – fewer than 600 victims of the 1976-83 “dirty war” have been found.

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