Sergio Ramirez, former vice president of Nicaragua and renowned novelist and essayist, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Tuesday, March 10, as part of the University’s Walton Arts & Ideas Series.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in Rowntree Hall, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.
Ramirez is considered a leading Latin American intellectual who served in the leftist Government Junta of National Reconstruction after the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship. He served as vice president of Nicaragua from 1985-1990 under the presidency of Daniel Ortega.
His lecture at U of O is titled, “Is There Still a Revolution in Nicaragua?” He will also discuss contemporary Central America, including the proposed $50 billion Nicaragua Grand Canal.
After years of serving as his country’s leading international diplomat during the Cold War, Ramirez in recent years has devoted himself to fiction writing. Earlier this month he was awarded the $250,000 Carlos Fuentes Prize for Literary Creation in the Spanish Language, a prestigious bi-annual prize awarded by Mexico’s Arts and Culture Council and National Autonomous University.
Ramirez, who has written more than 50 books, including novels, shorts stories and essays, was praised by the Fuentes prize jury for his “high quality literature” and his “free and critical intellectual role and civic vocation.”
Ramirez, who was born in Masatepe, Nicaragua, in 1942, received the Fuentes honor from the hand of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who called him an intellectual who “is part of the select group of writers who have made Latin American literature shine in the world.”
“His life is that of a consistent man who has linked word with action,” Nieto said, regarding the writer and politician who in 1977 headed the Group of 12 comprised of intellectuals, businessmen, priests and civic leaders who supported the Sandinista National Liberation Front and in 1984 was elected vice president of his country.
Considered one of the most important living Nicaraguan writers, Ramirez has also been a strong political activist over the past several decades. After serving as Ortega’s vice president, he was disappointed in the experience and became one of Ortega’s most vocal critics.
Ramirez’s books has been translated into more than 15 languages and he has been awarded numerous literary prizes, including the Alfaguara International Novel Prize in 1998 for “Margarita,” the Latin American Short Story Prize in 1971, and Chile’s José Donoso Prize in 2011.
As an editor, Ramirez founded the Nueva Nicaragua publishing house in 1981 and the online literary magazine “Caratula,” in 2004.
For more information on the event, please contact the Office of Public Relations at 479-979-1420.