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Latin American Avant Garde, Venezuelan Literature, María Calcaño, Erotic Poetry


Abstract: This essay treats the Venezuelan avant-garde and its historical development through the poet María Calcaño (1906-1956). An analysis of Calcaño’s work reveals how her erotic avant-gardism was excluded from male-dominated avant-garde literary circles in Venezuela in the 1920s and the 1930s. Rather than analyzing the Latin- American avant-garde as a product of European vanguardisms, I show how Calcaño’s poetry draws upon women’s physical and erotic experience to generate a new female- authored avant-garde poetic corpus. Calcaño therefore produces work that illustrates the poetic expression of women’s identity in Venezuela. She is the first poet who breaks with poetic forms and uses popular genres, including songs, to create what would be a new canon of poetry that takes feminine identity as its central theme.



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