Title of Work

Pobreza y poética en la poesía de Rocío Silva Santisteban

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

September 2019



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The constant economic crisis in Latin America has a special effect on women who, in addition to a room of their own demanded by Virginia Woolf, need time to write. Many poems in the extensive literary work of Rocío Silva Santisteban (1963) confront this economic precarity: when prices increase and the money runs out before the end of the month, the poetic subject longs for an inspirational moment to write. Writing is set in opposition to the struggle for subsistence, to maternal responsibilities, to hunger, and at other times the impossibility of writing is simply another characteristic of poverty. Following this thread, I analyze the theme of economic precarity in those poems that function as ars poetica. From “Sudando el dolor ajeno” in Silva Santisteban’s first book Asuntos circunstanciales (1984) through “Tiempos de carencia” in Las hijas del terror (2007), her most recent poetry book, I show how these economic concerns are essential components of the poetic labor.