Soledad Alvarez was born in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, in 1950. She began writing poetry while still in her teens and was published in various local magazines and newspapers. At the beginning of her career as a writer she was associated with the literary group “La Antorcha” and with the movement known as “Young Dominican Poetry”. During these years she also kept a column called “Soledad Alvarez escribe A.M.” (t: Soledad Alvarez writes in the A.M.).
In 1975 Alvarez moved to Cuba to study Philology at the University of Havana with a focus on Latin American Literature and during her studies worked at the prestigious Centre for Literary Research, where she met dozens of Latin American writers. Back in the Dominican Republic she worked as a journalist, cultural functionary and writer of essays and poems. She was a columnist for Dominican newspapers such as “El Nacional” and “Listín Diario”, and edited the cultural supplement “Isla Abierta” of the newspaper “Hoy”. Alvarez also formed part of the board of the Asociación de Críticos Literarios and from 1992 to 1994 was a member of the writers’ union “La Casa del Escritor Dominicano”.
In 1981 she was awarded the Siboney Essay Prize for her book “La Magna Patria de Pedro Henríquez Ureña” (t: The great motherland of Pedro Henríquez Ureña), based on the famous Dominican literary critic. In 1996 Alvarez edited “El Periolibro” – dedicated to Ureña -, a publication by UNESCO and the Fondo de Cultura Económica, which provides a web of Ibero American daily papers. Her first book of poems, “Vuelo posible” (t: Possible flight), appeared in 1994. The abstract as well as sensual poems hark on the transitoriness of desire and explore from a distinctly female perspective the possibilities of a balance between emotion and reason. Her collection of essays, “Complicidades” (1998; t: Complicities), contains critiques and commentaries on Dominican literature, in which the author traces the interconnections between reader, text, writer and the history of literature.
Alvarez whose poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and both Dominican and foreign publications, served on the jury of the prestigious Juan Rulfo literary prize in Mexico in 2002. She lives in Santo Domingo.
© international literature festival berlin