Biography and History

Juan Gustavo (J. G.) Cobo Borda was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1948. His primary, secondary, and university education was obtained in Bogotá. He studied at two universities there: Universidad de los Andes and Universidad Nacional from 1966 to 1970. He was a manager of the Librería Buchholz (a bookstore) in Bogotá from 1970 to 1975. Cobo Borda has been a published poet since the early 1970s ( Consejos para sobrevivir, 1974) and since the mid-1970s, he has pursued a career in government service while writing poetry and essays, and directing two magazines, Eco and Gaceta, in the period, 1973-1984. He also founded and directed the magazine Revista Cancilleria de San Carlos (No. 1-No. 14) from 1990 to 1992.

Cobo Borda began his career in government by serving as assistant to the director of the Instituto Colombiano de Cultura (Bogotá) from 1975 to 1978. He was appointed subdirector of the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) from 1978 to 1982. In 1983, he was named “Agregado Cultural” (cultural attaché) for the Embassy of Colombia in Argentina. He worked and resided in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 1983 to 1989. In 1990, he returned to Bogotá to work as subdirector of Cultural Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Colombia, and in 1992, he was named cultural attaché for the Embassy of Colombia in Madrid, Spain. He served in Spain from 1992 to 1994. In 1994, he was appointed “Asesor Cultural” (cultural advisor) by the incoming president of Colombia, Ernesto Samper Pizano (1994-).

J. G. Cobo Borda was elected to permanent membership in the Academia Colombiana de la Lengua in 1993. In addition to having written many books of poetry and essays, he has written extensively for newspapers and literary magazines published in Latin America and Spain. He also founded and directed the magazine Gaceta from 1975 to 1982, published by the Instituto Colombiano de Cultura in Bogotá, Colombia. He also served as director of the magazine Eco, published by the Librería Buchholz in Bogotá, from 1973 to 1984. The author currently lives in Bogotá and is married to an Argentinian, Griselda Díaz. He has two daughters, Natalia (from an earlier marriage) and Paloma, born in 1993.

Source: From the finding aid for C0278

  • J. G. Cobo Borda Papers. 1951-2011 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0278

    Consists of personal and working papers of Cobo Borda, a Colombian poet, essayist, journalist, and diplomat, primarily manuscript poems and essays as well as correspondence, spanning the period from 1970 to 2011. There are also manuscripts of speeches and interviews, nonfiction works, documents, photographs, a few papers of others, and a small amount of printed material.