Photo: Claudia Posadas
Rafael Cadenas (Barquisimeto, 1930) is a Venezuelan poet, translator, and educator. He formed part of the “Tabla Redonda” group in the early sixties, when he was active in the Communist Party of Venezuela. He was imprisoned and exiled during the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez, and he took refuge on the island of Trinidad until 1957. He has published the books Los cuadernos del destierro (1960), Falsas maniobras (1966), Memorial (1977), Intemperie (1977), Anotaciones (1983), Amante (1983), Dichos (1992), Gestiones (1992), Apuntes sobre San Juan de la Cruz y la mística (1995), and En torno a Basho y otros asuntos (2016). He received a Guggenheim grant in 1986 and an Honoris Causa doctorate from the Central University of Venezuela. His work has been awarded several important prizes, including the Premio Nacional de Ensayo in 1984, the Premio Nacional de Literatura in 1985, the Premio San Juan de la Cruz in 1991, and the Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca in 2016. In 2022 he received the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious award given to writers of Spanish-language literature.