Luis Alberto de Cuenca

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Photo: Miguel Palop

A prolific and multifaceted writer, Luis Alberto de Cuenca possesses one of Spain’s most distinctive poetic voices. Trained in classical philology, Cuenca received his doctorate from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Until his retirement, he was research professor at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. He has written widely about Latin and Greek authors as well as on a broad range of modern authors, but he is best known for a large body of accessible, elegant and witty poems. Borrowing a term from Franco-Belgian cartoonists, he describes his poetry as “poesía de línea clara” (poetry with a clear line). His initial poetry collection, Los retratos (Portraits), appeared in 1971. Since then he has published more than a dozen other collections, most recently Después del paraíso (After Paradise). He has gathered his poems in the omnibus volume, Los mundos y los días (Worlds and Days), whose most recent edition dates from 2019.
From 1996 to 2000 Cuenca was the Director of Spain’s national library. From 2000 to 2004, he was Secretary of Culture. He is a member of the Spain’s Royal Academy of History. In 1989 he received the National Translation Prize for his translation of the Cantar de Valtario, a tenth-century Latin poem. In 2015 he received the National Poetry Prize for Cuaderno de vacaciones (Vacation Notebook). In 2021 he won the prestigious Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize. As a self-described “pop poet,” he has also composed lyrics for the Spanish rocker Loquillo and the Basque band Orquesta Mondragón. He appears frequently on Spanish radio and television. Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries, he has been a major influence on younger Spanish poets.



Interview by Carmen Sanjulián. Instituto Cervantes, Dublin Ireland. November 28, 2012.

Interview by Jesús Fernández Úbeda. The Objective. November 20, 2021.

“Urban Reality and Classical Antiquity: A Conversation with Luis Alberto de Cuenca.” Doncel, Diego and Dick Gerdes (tr.). World Literature Today. 90.5 (September/October 2016).

Interview by Diego Echévarri. La Grieta. January 26, 2016.

“Pienso, luego existo.” Video interview. RTVE. June 2, 2013.

“Detrás de Paraíso.” Video interview. RTVE. November 24, 2021.

Interview. “Encuentros digitales.” February 11, 2003.