Gioconda Belli is a Nicaraguan writer and poet and one of the most internationally known Latin American authors. She is an actor in the recent history of Central America. One could even say she was the female face of the Nicaraguan Revolution. She interferes in the destiny of her country as a politically committed writer and actively campaigns for the rights of women in Nicaragua. With her novels „Inhabited Woman,“ „Daughter of the Volcano,“ „Republic of Women“ and her autobiography „The Defense of Happiness,“ she achieved great popularity – but she is also famous for her poetry. She expresses her desires and fantasies, be they political or erotic, with high self-confidence and linguistic power.
Gioconda Belli was born in 1948 in a middle-class family in Managua, Nicaragua. She studied in Spain and in the United States. Her first poems appeared in 1970 in the cultural magazine „La Prensa Literaria“ and in the same year she joined the FSLN Liberation Front against the Somoza dictatorship. This political commitment led her to exile in Mexico in 1975, and later to Costa Rica. In 1976, a Somoza court sentenced her in absentia to seven years in prison for subversive activities against the Somoza dictatorship. Nevertheless, Gioconda Belli remained politically active and in 1979, even before the victory over the dictatorship in Nicaragua, she became a member of the FSLN’s Foreign Policy Commission. In 1978 she was awarded with the Cuban literary prize „Casa de las Américas“ for her volume of poetry „Línea de Fuego.“ In 1984, she represented the FSLN in the National Council of Political Parties and advanced to become executive secretary of the Electoral Committee. She worked as editor of the cultural magazine „Ventana“ and „Nuevo Ananecer Cultural“ and in 1989 received the prize „The Political Book of the Year“ from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for „Inhabited Woman“.
Today, Gioconda Belli is a member of the Coordinated Committee of the Nicaraguan Writers‘ Association. She is also a member of the Real Academia Española (Academy of the Spanish Language) and PEN.