Nicaraguan Poet Christian Santos

Born in Managua on 6 January 1941, Nicaraguan poet Christian Santos discovered her talent for expressing her feelings and viewpoints in poetry when she was only four years old, and would recite her poems to anyone who would listen to them. She was born into a family that had a number of renowned writers and artists, but this did not mean that Christian Santos could pursue her love of poetry and literature without any challenges, as gender stereotyping at the time often prevented women from reaching their full potential in a chosen career.

Santos moved to the United States at a young age, with the goal of pursuing her studies, but her career had to be put on hold for some time as she married a Nicaraguan and devoted her time to raising six children. Upon her return to Nicaragua, she hoped to resume her writing of poetry, but her husband objected to this, so she submitted her poetry in secret to the Literary Press and her work was published in the early 1970s. As was the case with many Nicaraguan artists at the time, Santos identified with the struggle of the NLSM against the Somoza regime and this was often reflected in her poetry.

In 1983, Christian Santos began working with the Association of Nicaraguan Women and was later appointed as the director and editor of the magazines The Ones and We Are. It was at this time that Christian found she could no longer ignore the inequality between the genders and wanted to use her poetry to highlight and promote gender equality. She got divorced in 1985 and went back to school and publishing, and in her own words “since then I have not stopped.”

Among her achievements are being appointed Delegate Minister of Cultural Ministry of the Rio San Juan Department in 1975, graduating as a journalist from the Central American University based in Managua and later from Florida International University. She has worked as editor and director for the United magazine and managed the Supporters magazine. Her novel The Tiger Near the River was published in 1997 and republished in 2004 with a study guide. Her collection of poems Agualuna was published in 1998, with Love’s Mark being published in 2001 – all have been critically acclaimed. Christian Santos continues to promote Nicaraguan literature, and specifically to encourage Nicaraguan women to find their voice and use it.