Nichols, Elizabeth Gackstetter
About the author: Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri. She received her PhD from the University of Kansas where she began her interest in Venezuelan poetry. She continues her work in this field, especially in the area of the modern Latin American megalopolis’ effect on society and the literature it produces.2000 0-7734-7710-1
This study examines the work of two revolutionary modern poetry groups, Tráfico and Guaire. The poets of these groups, heady with the success of one of Latin America’s oldest democracies, and reared in the optimistic climate of the petroleum boom, felt sure of their ability to defy their poetic predecessors by revitalizing poetry with a populist infusion of everyday images and colloquial language. Using a cultural studies approach, this work examines the historical and cultural context of the poetic revolution they achieved, and discusses specific texts by many of the members, including Armando Rojas Guardia, Yolanda Pantin, Rafael Castillo Zapata, Igor Barreto, Miguel Márquez, and Rafael Arráiz Lucca. Textual analysis and consideration of cultural influences show how the main themes of the poets’ work: everyday life, alienation. love, and self-reflexive metapoetry reflect the specific modern, urban environment of Caracas in the early 1980s. Very little has been published on the subject of urban literature. This work will appeal not only to those interested in Latin American literature, but also readers interested in cultural studies, 20th-century popular culture, and the socio-cultural effects of the urban environment.