Ernesto Cardenal

Appears in: Poets

Born in Nicaragua in 1925, Reverend Father Ernesto Cardenal is a renowned political poet. Cardenal attended both the University of Mexico, and Columbia University in New York. He studied theology at the Benedictine Monastery in Cuernavaca, Mexico and alongside the poet/monk Thomas Merton as a member of the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemani in Kentucky. He was ordained as a priest in 1965.

After the fall of Managua in 1979, Cardenal was named the Minister of Culture of Nicaragua by the new Sandista regime, a position he maintained until 1988. Cardenal co-founded the literary and cultural organization Las Casas de los Tres Mundos or "Houses of the Three Worlds."

Cardenal used his writing to support the Nicaraguan revolution in 1979, but broke with the Sandistas in 1994. He continues to write and publish lyrical poetry focused on politics, Christianity, Indigenous issues and Central American history.