sydVindenS POESI
POESÍA del Viento sur


sydVindenS POESI
POESÍA del Viento sur


Amante Eledin Parraguez Lizana was born March 27th, 1956, in Santiago Chile. He is the youngest sibling out of a long list of 11 brothers and sisters, but the only one born in the capital city of Santiago. His parents were poor peasants that settled in the southern province of Colchagua, where they worked as farmers. They emigrated to the city at the beginning of the 50’s looking for better conditions to raise a family. Once they were living in the city, his father worked as a gardener and his mother remained at home, taking care of her children.

His first year of school he attended “La Virgen de Pompeya” elementary school located in “Los Dominicos”, a small village were he lived at the time. After the first year, he attended another primary school called “Escuela Particular Nº 408, San Francisco de Las Condes” where he continued to receive an education until 1970, when he graduated from 8th grade.

In 1970 the first Socialist President in Chile was elected: Salvador Allende; this was also the same year he was finishing elementary school. In 1971, along with several students of poor socioeconomic backgrounds, Amante Eledin was registered to study at Saint George’s College, a private high school for upper class, mainly attended by students coming from wealthy families. He was integrated as part of a new educational initiative run by the Holy Cross Congregation priests at that time. This experience of being an integrated student in a high school for wealthy people, is the one he wrote about in his book MACHUCA, Tres años para nacer. In this book is based the film MACHUCA.

In 1973, Salvador Allende’s government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and due to this event, military authorities also took over Saint George’s High School. Amante Eledin Parraguez had to leave Saint George’s, (as an exiled student within his own country) and enroll at San Ignacio High School, run by the Jesuit Priests, where he finished his secondary studies.

In 1975 he attended the University of Chile, where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in Education and was ready to work as a public school teacher. While he attended the University of Chile, Amante Eledin worked as an illustrator for childrens educational material. These children and their parents participated in a non-governmental education program called “Padres e Hijos”, whose activities were developed in poor rural school and in “Comedores Infantiles” under the supervision of the Catholic Church.

In 1979 he received a scholarship to attend the University of Portland, where he earned a Masters degree of Art in education in 1981.

Back in Chile, he started to work as an elementary teacher at “Andacollo’s School” in Santiago. On top of his teaching responsibilities, he worked part time at “EDUPO” (The Popular Educational Team), where he worked with audiovisual and didactic material. Those participating in this program where people from community organizations belonging to the West Diocese Catholic Church of Santiago.

In 1986 Amante Eledin returned to Saint George’s College as a 4th grade teacher. As a Spanish language teacher he involved his students in reading and writing poems, and aside from the normal classes, he worked with his students in a Poetry workshops to encourage them to write poetry. In 1989 he published this experience in a book called El Pequeño autor

His first poems were published in a pamphlet called Mi casa in 1978. while he was studying at the University of Portland he published his book Digo mañana de algún modo. This book was later re-published in a second edition in 1992 in Santiago. Since 1981, when he returned to Chile, he began participating in a group composed of young poets of his generation, gathered around the Taller Hurbano, where he had the chance to publish some of his poems in “Contramuro” a poetry magazine.

By the second half of the 80’s, he founded the poets group Taller Barracón, along with other young poets of the former Taller Hurbano. He worked as the editor and was in charge of the publication of the magazine “Caliope”, which has been published since 1991.

The following books were also published: El único lugar (2003); Incierta travesía; and his novel El último cielo (2008), a story about a primary school teacher.

In 2008 Amante Eledin won a prize to write a book for children. Now he is preparing it’s publication which includes an essay about the use of children’s poetry in the classroom. The main purpose of this text is to encourage teachers to include poems in their language arts classes. This book will be titled Pequeños escritos para grandes lectores. At the present time, he is working as a teacher at Saint George’s College in Santiago, the same school where he grew up as student, and where he has spent most part of his life.


Other links:

Deutscher Spanischlehrerverband

(Participation of Amante Eledin Parraguez in the Congress of Spanish Litteratur in Hamburg)