Clara Lair

Mercedes Negrón Muñoz
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Mercedes "Clara Lair" Negrón Muñoz
Born March 8, 1895
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
Died August 26, 1973
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Pen name Clara Lair
Occupation poet

Mercedes Negrón Muñoz[note 1] a.k.a. "Clara Lair" (March 8, 1895 – August 26, 1973), was an influential poet whose work dealt with the everyday struggles of the common Puerto Rican.

Early years

Negrón Muñoz was born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, into one of Puerto Rico's most influential families, which included writers, poets and politicians. The town of Barranquitas, where she was raised, is located in the central mountain region of the island. Her father was the poet Quintín Negrón and her uncles the poet Jose A. Negrón and poet and statesman Luis Muñoz Rivera. She was also the cousin of Puerto Rico's first elected governor Luis Muñoz Marín. Negrón Muñoz received her primary and secondary education in her hometown and she studied literature in the University of Puerto Rico.[1]

"Clara Lair"

Negrón Muñoz, influenced by her family's love of literature, developed a love for poetry because it was the form of art which permitted her to freely express herself. In 1937, she published one of her most renowned poems, "Arras de Cristal" (Cracked Glass) under the name "Clara Lair", her assumed pseudonym. She soon gained recognition as one of the great poets of Latin America.[2]

In 1950, she published her second book of poems, titled "Tropico Amargo" (Sour Tropic), in this book she included some of her previously published poems plus a new series of poems which she called "Mas Alla del Poniente". Both of her books received literary awards and public recognition from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. Among the many poets who were influenced by Negrón Muñoz' poetic style was the renowned Puerto Rican poet, Julia de Burgos.[3]

In 1961, The Puerto Rican Institute of Culture published a book which included a selection of her poems. The Puerto Rican Institute of Culture also published in their magazine fragments of her poems "Memoria de una isleña" (Memories of an Islander) and "Últimos" (Last). The Puerto Rican poet Luis Lloréns Torres called Mercedes "The Puerto Rican Alfonsina Storni". Mercedes Negrón Muñoz died on August 26, 1973 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[4]

Legacy

Isabel Cuchí Coll published a book about Negrón Muñoz titled "Dos Poetisas de América: Clara Lair y Julia de Burgos". A docudrama about the life of Negrón Muñoz titled "A Passion Named Clara Lair" was produced and directed by Ivonne Belen in 1996. Puerto Rico has honored her memory by naming a school after her, and in the town of Hormigueros there is a Hogar Clara Lair, a non-profit organization founded in 1991, which protects defenseless women. Also, the street in Old San Juan right in front of her last residence carries her name.

Note

See also

References

External links

  • Primera Hora (First Hour)

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