- Category: PA 2011
Born in 1951 in Medellin (Colombia), Fernando Réndon gained his first experiences writing poetry and having it published in journals as a teenager.
In 1982, Réndon founded the Latin American poetry magazine Prometeo, which has issued 89 issues to date. The journal sparked off the establishment of many poetry initiatives in the cultural metropolis of Colombia. This helped provide an ethical and aesthetic counterbalance to the terror of the civil war, which has now been raging for over 40 years.
With a team of organisers, Réndon founded The International Poetry Festival of Medellin in 1991, during a time when the streets of the city were at their most precarious. The team envisioned the festival as a tool for protesting against injustice and terrorism; the event became a form of cultural resistance. Taking place in June each year, the festival regularly attracts crowds of over 160,000 and has become the biggest event of its kind in the world. So far, around 1000 poets from 157 countries across five continents have participated.
Réndon has published several poetry books including Bajo otros soles (1989), Canción en los Campos de Marte (1992), Los motivos del salmon(1998) and En flotación (2010), among others. Rendón has received the international poetry prize Poets Against War (Casa de Poesía Morada al Su) in 2010 and the Rafael Alberti Poetry Prize in 2010. Réndon’s poetry has been translated into several different languages, including English, French, Italian, German, Arabian, Portuguese, Catalan, Croatian, Hungarian, Ukrainian and Uzbek.
Of his fascination for poetry, particularly within his context, Rendón says, “Pain sensitizes us. Poetry enables us to cope with the crisis and to identify with our city despite the hostilities and the war.”