The 10 Most Recognized Ecuadorian Poets in History

Basil Manning

The Ecuadorian poets Most recognized were some of the most influential writers of the 20th century, who found in the contrast of political and social problems with the beauty of their country a bastion to write.

These writers, each with their own message to convey, come from such diverse backgrounds, ranging from elites to impoverished classes. Among them are Gonzalo Escudero, Karina Gávez and José Joaquín de Olmedo.

Some of the most renowned poets date from the early 20th century or even earlier. Some of them have been recognized as some of the most important Latin poets along with Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz..

Today many of the authors of this genre still speak of the beauty of Ecuador and the marked inequalities observed in many other Latin American countries.

The main Ecuadorian poets

1- Gonzalo Escudero

Gonzalo Escudero, born in Quito on September 28, 1903 and died in Brussels on December 10, 1971, was an Ecuadorian poet and diplomat.

He was the son of politician Manuel Eduardo Escudero and Elina Moscoso Dalgo. As a curiosity, at the age of 15 he obtained first place in the National Poetry Contest with his poem The poems of Art.

Shortly after, he received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the Central University of Ecuador. He was distinguished as a professor of international law at the University of Quito.

In addition, he served as Minister of Education, Secretary of the Chamber and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as ambassador to several South American nations between 1956 and 1965..

Among his most outstanding work are Introduction to death from 1930, Hurricane and Sun Propellers out of 1933, Itanoche out of 1947, Air Statue out of 1951, Angel Matter out of 1953, Self portrait from 1957, and Requiem for the Light from 1971.

His work is defined as highly avant-garde with a marked influence of modernism. It has characteristic rhythms and musicalities that separate it from other poets.

2- Karina Galvez

Karina Gálvez, born on July 7, 1964 in Guayaquil, is an Ecuadorian-American poet.

He resided in the state of California in the United States from 1985 to 2012 and since then he has lived again in Ecuador. He studied Economics at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil and obtained a degree in Tourism and Real Estate from the California Travel School. He also speaks English, French, Italian, German and Portuguese.

His first book Poetry and songs was published in 1995 and contains both Spanish and English versions of his poems.

A selection of his poems was included in the anthology of New Poetry and Hispano-American Narrative of the XXI Century published in Spain. Another of his best known productions is the prose poetry called Ecuador that hurts.

His poems have been translated into English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech, and Slovak. Each of his writings has a romantic and easy-to-read tone.

Also, common themes included are love and odes to Guayaquil and California. He has also written several poems and writings aimed at a child audience such as The Little Star of the South Y Once upon a time there was a duck.

3- José Joaquín de Olmedo

José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri, born in Guayaquil on March 20, 1780 and died in the same city on February 19, 1847, was a President of Ecuador and a poet.

He was the son of the Spanish captain Don Miguel de Olmedo y Troyano and the Guayaquileña Ana Francisca de Maruri y Salavarría.

During his life he dedicated himself to the creation of novels, sonatas, poems, among others. The common theme of his productions was patriotism.

Among his most recognized works are I sing to Bolívar, Winner in Miñarica Y To General Flores. He also designed the flag and shield of Guayaquil and composed the lyrics for its anthem. In 1848 it was published Poetic Works, a collection of his works.

4- Jorge Carrera Andrade

Jorge Carrera Andrade, born in Quito on September 18, 1903 and died in the same city on November 7, 1978, was an Ecuadorian poet, historian and diplomat.

He studied Philosophy and Letters in Spain and later studied Foreign Relations in France. He served as consul and ambassador to numerous countries in America, Asia and Europe.

His career in literature encompasses work in a variety of genres including poetry, criticism, translation, and editing..

In 1922 he published Ineffable pond with themes alluding to nature. Another of his most notable works is The garland of silence of 1926 in which it is maintained in a line in which it refers to more earthly and small issues compared to other more transcendental and political of other authors of the time.

The beheaded generation

The so-called "Decapitated Generation" was formed by a group of young Ecuadorian writers during the first two decades of the 20th century..

It was made up of Ernesto Noboa and Caamaño, Humberto Fierro, Medardo Ángel Silva and Arturo Borja. These poets were grouped under this name because they all died at a young age due to causes of suicide or reasons that could not be clearly established..

The term was coined by journalists and historians who noticed the similarities in the verses composed by these artists.

5- Ernesto Noboa and Caamaño

Ernesto Noboa y Caamaño, born in Guayaquil on August 2, 1889 and died in Quito on December 7, 1927, was an Ecuadorian poet. Noboa y Caamaño came from a wealthy family in the city of Guayaquil. During his childhood he suffered constant neuroses that were appeased with morphine.

All his work was collected in a book entitled Romance of the hours, published 1922. Vesperal Emotion is one of his most recognized poems and marks a new era in the composition of this genre in Ecuador.

Before his death a book called The Shadow of the Wings that never saw the light. His delicate and precise poetry shows marked influences from Baudelaire, Samain and Verlaine.. 

6- Humberto Fierro

Humberto Fierro, born in Quito in 1890 and died in the same city on August 23, 1929, was an Ecuadorian poet. Fierro came from a wealthy family, son of Enrique Fierro Rosero and Amalia Jarrín Zapata.

In 1919, Fierro published his first book entitled The lute in the valley and his second book Palatine evening it was published until 1949, 20 years after his death. His inspiration came from reading authors such as Baduelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine and Hugo.

7- Medardo Ángel Silva

Medardo Ángel Silva, born in Guayaquil on June 8, 1898 and died in the same city on June 10, 1919, was an Ecuadorian poet.

Silva came from a working-class family. However, he attended a prestigious school during his childhood and came to work in the newspaper "El Telégrafo" in the city..

Like the other so-called members of the “Decapitated Generation”, Fierro was widely influenced by the modernist movement of Rubén Darío and the French romantic poetry of the 19th century..

His poems have in common a fantasy and at the same time a fascination with death. He used some pseudonyms such as "Jean d'Agreve" and "Oscar Rene" for his literary work, which was to be published posthumously..

His only published works while alive were the poems of The tree of good and evil 1918 and the novel Maria Jesus 1919. A selection made by Gonzalo Zaldumbique and called Chosen poems was published in Paris in 1926.

One of his best known poems, The soul on the lips, was popularized by the Julio Jaramillo song that uses his verses

8- Arturo Borja

Arturo Borja Pérez, born in Quito in 1892 and died in the same city on November 13, 1912, was an Ecuadorian poet.

Of high birth, Borja was a direct descendant of Juan de Borja, III Duke of Gandía, grandson of Pope Alexander VI, and Enríquez de Luna, granddaughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon. His father, Luis Felipe Borja Pérez, sent him to Paris for medical problems with his eye and it was there that he acquired command of French.

His direct inspirations were the verses of Verlaine, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, Samain and Baudelaire. Borja married Carmen Rosa Sánchez Destruge on October 15, 1912, less than a month prior to her suicide. He maintained friendship with Humberto Fierro and Ernesto Noboa Caamaño. He died of a morphine overdose.

His poetic production was not extensive but each work was of very good quality. Twenty poems were published while he was alive, gathered in a book called The onyx flute, and six other poems were to be published posthumously. Each poem was marked by a remarkable melancholy and a longing for death..

His poem, For me your memory, It was converted into a popular hallway by composer Miguel Ángel Casares Viteri and performed by Carlorta Jaramillo.

9- Alfredo Gangotena

Mireille de Lassus / CC BY-SA (

Born in 1904 from Quito and died in 1933, Gangotena was the son of a wealthy family with whom he moved to France in his teens. This allowed him to rub shoulders with illustrated artists from Paris and Latin American writers living there such as Vicente Huibodro or his compatriot Jorge Carrera Andrade..

His work is linked to avant-garde, being this very experimental and innovative. His themes used to be family or death, being a rather gloomy poetry and difficult to understand if his personal context is not understood..

It should also be noted his command of French, which greatly influenced the way of expressing himself, totally ignoring Americanisms or other native styles of Ecuador..

Among his poetic works we can highlight L'orage secret (1927), Origénie (1928) or Nuit (1938), all of them in French, but largely translated by Gonzalo Escudero and Filoteo Samaniego.

10- Moon Violet

Pingulla / CC BY-SA (

Born in 1943 in Guayaquil, she is one of the most important contemporary poets of her generation. She also has experience as an essayist and narrator, having a doctorate in Educational Sciences..

Love is the main theme in his writings, although he has also manifested a certain sensitivity and pessimism when his focus was directed to life and the sorrows of the world. To express it, paradox, irony or black humor have been very present in his literary style..

Some of his most notable works have been The water window (1965), And with the sun I cover myself (1967), Yesterday he called me spring (1973), Acrobat heart (1983) Smoke memory (1987) The gates of the grass (1994) or The hidden candle (2005).


  1. Private Technical University of Loja. Basic Library of Ecuadorian Authors. GONZALO ESCUDERO. [Online] December 2, 2015. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  2. Biographies and Lives. Ernesto Noboa Caamaño. [Online] 2004. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  3. -. Humberto Fierro. [Online] 2004. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  4. -. Medardo Ángel Silva. [Online] 2004. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  5. íHistory. Biography of Arturo Borja. [Online] November 24, 2014. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  6. Galvez, Karina. Official site. Biography. [Online] 2017. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  7. José Joaquín Olmedo. [Online] [Cited on: March 13, 2017.]
  8. Biographies and Lives. Jorge Carrera Andrade. [Online] 2004. [Cited on: March 13, 2017.] 

Yet No Comments