Hugo Gola was born in Pilar, Argentina, in 1924. He studied Law and Literature at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) and subsequently became a lawyer. From 1962 to 1975 he was Professor of Argentinian and Iberoamerican Literature at the Instituto de Cinematografía and the teacher training institute of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Santa Fe, the capital of his native province. Faced with the impending Argentinian military dictatorship (1976 to 1983), he left the country for political reasons and spent one and a half years in England. He taught at the University of London in 1975, before finally going into exile to Mexico in 1976. He now lives in Mexico City.
He taught Latin American Poetry and Essay Writing at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City from 1979 until his retirement in 1997. From 1990 to 2000 he edited the Mexican journal ´Poesía y Poética´ and the book series of the same name, publishing 20 volumes of poetry between 1994 and 1999. These included works by Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Michaux and Zanzotto.
As well as nurturing his own poetic creativity, Gola devotes time to promoting other authors’ poems. He has compiled a literary anthology for young readers (1985) and edited the four-volume collection ´El poeta y su trabajo´ (The poet and his work, 1980-1983). This features poetic and theoretical works by William Carlos Williams, Paul Celan, Gottfried Benn, Maupassant, Tolstoy, Chekov, Kafka, Faulkner and others. He has translated literature from Italian (Cesare Pavese) and French (Gaston Bachelard, Charles Juliet and Paul Valéry) into Spanish.
In 1961 the 36-year-old published his first collection of poetry, ´Veinticinco poemas´ (Twenty-five poems) in Santa Fe. Initially Gola attempted to convey "the difficult side of the clarity of expression" (Eduardo Milán) through his poems. The linguistically pure, almost naturally mystical and ethereally inspiring influence of his great poetic model, Juan L. Ortiz (1896-1978), was impressively evident in his early phase. He published the collected works of this legendary Argentinian poet, ´Juanele´, in three volumes in Rosario, Argentina, from 1970 to 1971, introducing them with a virtuoso essay. His poetic language subsequently condensed and developed experimental and playful forms of composition, without cramping the creative emotional style of his writing. A bilingual selection of his poetry (Spanish-French) was published by the Maison des Ecrivains Etrangères, Saint Nazaire, Paris, in 1989.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)
Universidad Iberomaricana y Artes de México: México
Jugar con fuego
Universidad Nacional del Litoral: Santa Fe
El círculo del fuego
Constancio Vigil: Rosario
Editorial Provincial: Santa Fe