Artist of the Month: Rafael Romero

Writter and Poet

Existential or anthropological concerns, the dark parts of ourselves, and that which motivates us to act in certain ways are all issues which, in our day-to-day lives, we usually choose not to think about or we set aside, but for this writer from Jocotenango, that’s not an option.

Rafael Romero, born 32 years ago in this city near La Antigua, spent most of his life in his hometown of Jocotenango until 6 years ago, when he left Guatemala to move to Spain where he has resided ever since. Living in Madrid has left its mark on this author, since it was a radical change that came to better both his life and his art.

His literary beginnings started at age 17 as a result of high school work, then his reading led him to discover great Latin American writers such as César Vallejo, who inspired him to begin writing poetry, Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, and Carlos Fuentes, among others.  The list also includes the Guatemalan writers Luis Cardoza y Aragon and Luis de Lión, and he counts all of them as pillars of his career, because, as he says, “If I had not read their works, I would not have started my career as a writer.”

After having left Guatemala, he started keeping a blog called Mula que es Uno (The Idiot That Is Oneself) in order “to maintain the link with culture, with our language, with the way we express ourselves.” Two years ago he began to be published in magazines, and now runs his own called Te Prometo Anarquía. (I Promise You Anarchy). Now 15 years “after all that silence which I passed through,” after his ideas have matured, after having assimilated the influence of the authors he read when he was younger, and after having adapted his writing to a new literary vision, he comes to us with several offerings:  his novel El Elegido (The Chosen One), his book of poems Distensión del Ansia (Distention of Anxiety) and his book of short stories Génesis y Encierro (Genesis and Closure).

His literature has led him to venture into inhospitable yet enriching places, such as inside the self, and that which can be seen beyond, and that which is inside of each of us. “I’ve always had this tendency to question what we do here, where we came from. The obvious doesn’t interest me.” Those things which can cause repulsion or rejection are “precisely the raw materials with which I build my work. It’s exactly what I like to explore. It’s what I try to capture in my writing, both in poetry and in narrative,” he concludes.

The online magazine Te Prometo Anarquía (I Promise You Anarchy) is a project which aims to be a showcase and open space for young, emerging, and little-known artists who want to exhibit their ideas, whether they are writers, poets, or artists born in Guatemala. For more information,visit

Génesis y Encierro

Distensión del Ansia

El Elegido (The Chosen One)

El Elegido(The Chosen One), writtenin a first-person confessional style with colloquial language,tells the story of Bartolo, a brokencharacter, a street-corner drunk,a shy, somewhat asexual person towhom drinking is the only thingthat matters. The story unfoldsaround him as a tragedy whichfinds him, although he never seeks it.









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