Sunday, February 5, 2012

Isabel de los Ángleles Ruano

   Isabel de los Ángeles Ruano was born in Chiquimala, Guatemala in 1945.  She lived part of her childhood in Mexico from 1954 to 1957. In 1957, she returned to Guatemala where she attended Instituto Normal de CentroAmérica (INCA) and graduated as a teacher of primary education. Friends at INCA report that when she arrived to school, she brought with her an immense wealth of knowledge of literary works and important writers. Her intelligence and constant contemplation of life was reflected most naturally in her passion for poetry. On this account, she chose to pursue her literary career most fervently and became acquainted with well-known writers in Guatemala.

   In 1966, at 21 years of age, Isabel traveled again to Mexico, this time to publish her first works of poetry titled under "Cariátides" (Caryatids, or sculpted female figures which are used as columns in buildings--such as in the architecture built in Ancient Greece) with a prologue written by the Spanish poet, Leon Felipe who is said to have told her: "You are a child, an angel, a poet. You have a destiny. And you have to come to tell us something".  She returned to Guatemala to work as a journalist, which had also been a long ambition of hers. In the 80s, she began to exhibit a mental disorder. She quit her job as a journalist and became a street vendor instead. She also began to wear men's clothing, It is not clear as to whether this was a personal choice or part of her mental delirium. Her bizarre story of a "poet gone mad" does not censor her tremendous reputation. She is still regarded today as one of Guatemala's best writers who can still be found walking the streets of the capital, lost in a far reality of her own, yet filled with joy and gratitude.

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