Tech Professor Edits Salvadoran Poet, April 9, 2008


by Kathy Hedges

SOCORRO, N.M., April 9, 2008 – Dr. Rafael Lara-Martinez, professor of Spanish at New Mexico Tech, is the editor of a newly published complete collection of the poetry of Pedro Geoffroy Rivas, a Salvadoran poet. The book, Poes√≠a Completa de Pedro Geoffroy Rivas, was published by El Salvador’s Directory of Publications and Printing of the National Council for Culture and Art, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Geoffroy Rivas’ birth.

Geoffroy Rivas was a noted journalist, anthropologist, linguist, and poet, who was one of the first writers to denounce the 1932 ethnocide of indigenous peoples of El Salvador. Geoffroy Rivas was an inspiration to Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton, the subject of two of Lara-Martinez’s earlier books. Geoffroy Rivas was the first poet to introduce avant garde poetry to El Salvador, as well as the first to write overtly political poetry. He spent some of his career living in exile in Mexico.

Two of the characteristics of Geoffroy Rivas’ poetry were the lack of punctuation and the lack of capital letters. Lara-Martinez was careful to transcribe the poems the way Rivas had intended them.

Lara Martinez is going to El Salvador for the release of the book on Tuesday, April 22, at the National Museum of Anthropology. A copy will also be available in Skeen Library at New Mexico Tech.