Ricardo Blanco's Blog

Should writers reply to their critics?

  Should writers respond to their critics?  I have discussed this with several writer friends over recent years. The consensus seems to be a resounding No, because once you get involved it is difficult to back out with… Read More

A modest epiphany

      Sometimes a short poem hits the mark, for no particular reason, and without providing any easy way of explaining to others the random pleasure it delivers. I am looking through Postales, an intriguing book of… Read More

Great writer = good person? Not on your Nelly.

Is there any correlation between being a great writer and being a good person? I recall reading somewhere in an interview with Borges that he seemed to think that a truly great writer was likely be a good… Read More

Carnival photos

Here are a few pictures from Wednesday’s carnival in Granada, Nicaragua, where The Tears of Disenchantment (or broken-heartedness) were buried, allegedly.                                  … Read More

Ernesto Cardenal’s Prayer for Marilyn Monroe

  Yesterday I was introduced to one of the great poets of the 20th century, Ernesto Cardenal, on the fragile grounds that I have translated some of his poems, two of which appeared in Poetry Wales last year…. Read More

Brief from Nicaragua

At four in the morning there is a noise of riotous celebration from the nearby square, but I cannot be bothered to make it to the balcony to discover its source. Then there is an hour or so… Read More

Filibuster in Nicaragua

Of all countries of the world, there is a special place for those that have endured a suffering and a struggle for definition against powerful enemies both from within and without. Some of the struggles and mortifications that… Read More

The Monstrous Encumbrance

  I’m not sure if there’s a suitable analogy in human terms, but imagine if ninety-five per cent of your perceptual faculties were concentrated in your snout, and then someone came along and stuck a bloody great fence… Read More

Burying poverty and misery

  The banner photograph at the top of Blanco’s Blog was taken last year in Granada, Nicaragua at the VII International Festival of Poetry, towards the end of a rather hectic afternoon, on which misery and poverty were… Read More

The resentment and insecurity of the poet

  Pedro Serrano points me towards an article in the current New York Review of Books, about William Carlos Williams. In it, Adam Kirsch mentions Williams’ sense – whether it was true or not – of having been… Read More


Politicians are not needed, but they convince us that we need them to resolve the problems which, without them, would not exist. Fernando Sanchez  Dragó

Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen

A new collection of Leonard Cohen songs is a rare event, and Old Ideas, which recycles some familiar themes from the archive, does not disappoint. Throughout Cohen speaks or intones, in his trademark gravelese, not really venturing to… Read More