Carlos López Degregori (Lima, 1952) studied at San Marcos University in Lima from 1970 to 1972 and after that at the Pontífica Javeriana University in Bogotá where he gained a liberal arts doctorate in 1977. He completed a post-doctoral study at the Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana in Madrid in 1990.
His first collection, entitled Un buen día (On a Good Day) appeared in 1978. For a short time Degregori belonged to the group “La sagrada familia”, but soon went his own way, treading a path which was considered unique and original by Peruvian critics. Degregori became a highly acclaimed poet in Peru. He has had nine collections published so far, amongst them Una casa en la sombra (A House in the Shadows); El amor rudimentario (Rudimentary Love); Lejos de todas partes (Far from Everything), Aquí descansa nadie (Here Lies No one) and El hilo negro (The Black Thread).
López Degregori’s poems have been collected in important Peruvian and Latin American anthologies. He has written numerous articles and essays on poetry, for national and international Latin American publications. His collaboration with the poet Edgar O’Hara, La generación poética peruana del sesenta. Estudio y muestra, a study of Peruvian poetry from the 1960s, was published in 1998. Together with O’Hara, Degregori also wrote the essay collection En la comarca oscura: Lima en la poesía peruana (In the Dark Realm: Lima City in Peruvian Poetry).
According to López Degregori, whom his fellow poets call “the Juan Rulfo of Peru”, a poem must have a powerful form and express strong emotions; it must be written in a language which precisely expresses what the poet wants to say. For Degregori, a poem leads an independent life of its own which should surprise and awaken the reader and reveal the flip-side of things. Degregori’s world of images is very personal and mysterious, with seemingly clear language and black humour masking familiar themes like love and death, and the fear of both.
Carlos López Degregori was a guest at the 41st Poetry International Festival. This text was written for that occasion.
Un buen día (On a Good Day), Ediciones La Sagrada Familia, Lima, 1978
Una casa en la sombra (A House in the Shadows), Instituto nacional de Cultura, Lima, 1986
El amor rudimentario (Rudimentary Love), Asociación Peruano Japonesa del Perú, Lima 1991
Lejos de todas partes (Far from Everything), Universidad de Lima, Lima, 1994
Aquí descansa nadie (Here Lies No One), Colmillo Blanco, Lima, 1998
Cielo forzado (Unnatural Sky), Seglusa / Colmillo Blanco, Lima 1988
Flama y respiración (Flame and Breath), PUCP, Lima, 2005
Retratos de un caído resplandor (Portaits of a Fallen Brightness), El Santo Oficio, Lima, 2002
A quién debemos temer (To Whom We Must Fear), PUCP, Lima, 2007
El hilo negro (The Black Thread) En la comarca oscura: Lima en la poesía peruana (In the Dark Realm: Lima City in Peruvian Poetry) (essays; with Edgar O’Hara), Lima, 1998