In 2002 the country of Ecuador celebrated the centenary of the birth of their most beloved poet, Jorge Carrera Andrade, in seminars, poetry contests for children, public readings, and media events. In the same year, a group of Ecuadorian intellectuals gathered in Cuenca, Ecuador, to examine the life and work of Carrera Andrade. In the United States Steven Ford Brown and Dr. J. Enrique Ojeda of Boston College arranged and conducted readings and panel discussions on the life and work of Carrera Andrade at the Americas Society (New York City), Library of Congress (Washington, DC), State University of New York at Stony Brook (Long Island), and Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Jorge Carrera Andrade was born in 1902 in Quito, Ecuador. After his first European experience (1928-1933), he served as Ecuadorian Consul in Peru, France, Japan, and the United States. There were also appointments as Ambassador to the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands), France, Great Britain, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. He also served as Secretary of State of the Country of Ecuador. During his time in the United States, Carrera Andrade developed many literary relationships with American writers, and his work was praised and championed by John Malcolm Brinnin, Dudley Fitts, H.R. Hays, James Laughlin, Muna Lee, Archibald MacLeish, Carl Sandburg, William Jay Smith, Wallace Stevens, Donald Walsh, and William Carlos Williams.
A prolific writer Carrera Andrade’s poetic work developed for half a century in books published in Quito, Ecuador, Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Santiago, Chile, Tokyo, Japan, Caracas, Venezuela, Paris, France, Managua, Nicaragua, Dakar, Senegal, San Francisco and New York City, United States. In 1972 Obra poetica completa, which gathers the totality of his lyric work, appeared in Quito. His poetry has been translated into French, English, German, Italian, and Polish. He also published books of essays, history, and an autobiography, El volcan y el colibri (The Volcano and the Hummingbird).
After his diplomatic career ended in 1969, he was appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook (Long Island) where he lectured for two academic years. He spent his last years in his native city of Quito as Director of the National Library of Ecuador. During his life and after his death, he has been universally recognized with Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, and César Vallejo as one of the most important South American poets of the twentieth century.