Carmen Berenguer dies at 78

This morning, around noon, the outstanding national poet died Carmen Berenguer, He was 78 years old. As indicated to Worship sources close to the author, suffered from respiratory problems that forced her to be admitted last Monday, May 13, to the Catholic University Clinic, on Marcoleta Street, where she died.

Important part of the literary generation of the 80s, Berenguer stood out for his poetry with critical overtones. Among his most notable works are Bobby Sands faints on the wall (1983), You were born painted (1999) or At half mast (1988). Close to names like Pedro Lemebel either Juan Pablo Sutherland.

The latter, contacted by Worshippoints out: “One of the great Chilean poets is leaving, who unfortunately did not receive the National Literature Prize. Her poetry, from her first book, marked a moment in Chilean poetry in the 80s. She had poetry with grit, strength, urbanity, with politics, and she demonstrated that her poetic project is impossible not to look at, not to be moved. ”.

Carmen Berenguer.

“His work is very extensive, there are notable books such as At half mast, fur sayalor chronicle books, such as You were born painted. It is a completely superb place from the poetic, disturbing point of view, which has been read for decades, it is a poet who meets the living flesh of the street. Her books are found in different parts of the public space, not only in academics. She will always have a huge scar with the urban and with different types of subalternities that had not been recorded in poetry, women, for example, but also the night, the urban.

Berenguer, as Sutherland said, did not receive the National Literature Prize, for which she was one of the candidates on two occasions, 2016 and 2020, years in which the award ended up going to Manuel Silva Acevedo and in the Mapuche poet Elicura Chihuailafrespectively.

The critic Eugenia Brito noted about her: “Berenguer’s contribution to Chilean literature consists of the rupture of verse, on the one hand with graffiti writing, which echoes, screams, testimony of torture. Writing then seems to suffer the same rigor of hunger: it is brief, yet exhaustive and efficient. On the other hand, Berenguer imitates orality, the most naked form of common and ordinary speech in poetry.”

For its part, Soledad Bianchi, academic and literary critic, comments Worship about Berenguer’s work: “He was not afraid to vary, to change. The book Bobby Sands faints on the wall He published it during the dictatorship without asking permission, at a time when you had to ask for permission to publish anything. That character -Sands- was totally transferable to any Chilean who was in prison. After in Traces of the century, he played, he tried other forms. I find it very interesting that he has dared to break with his previous poetry. In At half mast He winks at De Rokha by placing a similar name – that of Raimunda -. I am very sorry for the loss of Carmen, I supported her in 2020 when she was nominated for the National Award and it seemed fair to me that she had won it.”

“She was an insatiable writer, she didn’t stop writing, whether it was her own poetry or about other people. An anthology was published by the U of Talca on the chronicles of Pedro Lemebel, she made the prologue and the selection. Its a big lost”.

In recent years, after overcoming cancer, Berenguer was elected president of the Society of Writers of Chile (SECH), on two occasions, 2012 and 2015. She remained active by publishing, in 2020 she published Plaza de la Dignidad, chronicles, poems and photographic record (Mago editors, Santiago), and in the coming months the volume will reappear Traces of the century, by Cuneta publishing house.

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