MEXICO CITY – Mexican poet and editor Ali Chumacero Lora died of natural causes in Mexico City, the National Arts and Culture Council, or Conaculta, said on Saturday. He was 92.
Conaculta in a communique lamented the death of the poet, born in the town of Acopaneta in Nayarit state on July 9, 1918, who “dedicated his life to his love of poetry and books with generosity and devotion.”
A wake will be held Saturday for the writer at the Gayosso Funeral Home on Calle Sullivan in the San Rafael neighborhood, Conaculta officials said.
Later the organization will gather to offer a group tribute, the president of Conaculta, Consuelo Saizar, said on her Twitter account.
His poetic work comprises three books: “Paramo de Sueños” (Plateau of Dreams), “Imagenes Desterradas” (Images in Exile) and “Palabras en Reposo” (Words at Rest), which were published between 1944 and 1956.
He also published a book of essays entitled “Los Momentos Criticos” (Critical Moments) in 1987, and in 1997 he produced the CD “En la Orilla del Silencio y Otros Poemas” (On the Edge of Silence and Other Poems) recited by the author.
The late Mexican Nobel laureate in literature, Octavio Paz, considered Ali Chumacero “the magician and teacher of Mexico’s modern poets.”
Among the honors he received were the 1984 Xavier Villarrutia Prize for Literature, the 1986 Alfonso Reyes Prize, the 1987 National Prize for Science and Art in Linguistics and Literature, the 1993 Amado Nervo State Literature Prize and the 1996 Belisario Dominguez Medal of the Senate of the Republic.
In 2008 he received the Fine Arts Gold Medal as a tribute to his 90 years.
When the program of national tribute in his honor was announced, Ali Chumacero told reporters: “I would like that when I go with music to somewhere else, they remember me as a man who came from a small village called Acaponeta, in a small state called Nayarit, looking for his own place in the world.”
Conaculta described the work of the Mexican bard as “brief, but concentrated and powerful.”
For its part, the FCE publishing house “deeply” regretted in a communique the passing of “one of Mexico’s most important poets.”
The FCE, which in 1987 published a collection of Chumacero’s notes and literary essays, underscored the poet’s work as an editor, writer, proofreader and adviser for that Mexican publishing house.
“To his knowledge of the art and trade of publishing we owe countless FCE publications, particularly many of the emblematic volumes in the Mexican Literature collection, such as the works of Villarrutia and the poetry of Novo,” he said.
The FCE praised the brevity of Chumacero’s work and his long silence – in the last 44 years of his life he never wrote another book of poetry.
The publishing house recalled that the same writer said in 1987 that “to create something that survives us comes from our wish to leave a mark, a sign, a signal, etched on the fragile sheet of time: an ambition spurred by intelligence, lucidity, the imagination, and also, by the opportune symphony of silence.”