Biography and History

Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano (1899-1947) was a poet, literary critic, editor, and teacher who lived and worked in Mexico City, Mexico. He was a member of the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud, a literary group which was founded in 1918 by Ortiz de Montellano, Jaime Torres Bodet, José Gorostiza, and others. Alfonso Reyes, José Vasconcelos, and other writers had established the first Ateneo de la Juventud in 1908. Ortiz de Montellano and the members of the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud began writing for literary magazines while still students. Salvador Novo and Xavier Villaurrutia joined the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud in 1921. Jorge Cuesta and Gilberto Owen were other poets who later joined the group. Through the decade of the 1920s, these writers had their work published in magazines and newspapers. In 1928, Ortiz de Montellano, Bernardo J. Gastélum, and others started the magazine Contemporáneos. Ortiz de Montellano directed Contemporáneos from June 1928 through December 1931. The writers who contributed to Contemporáneos (these writers became known as the Contemporáneos group) were considered vanguard, or experimental writers and sought to reaffirm Mexican literature's ties with Modernist prose and poetry, as represented by the writers Paul Valéry and Marcel Proust, among others. Ortiz de Montellano also served as an occasional editor of Letras de México, a literary magazine which was published from 1937 to 1947.

Ortiz de Montellano's published books of poetry include Avidez (México: Ediciones del Ateneo de la Juventud, Librería Cultura, 1921), El trompo de siete colores (México: Cultura, 1925), Red (1928), Primer sueño, (1931), Sueños, (1933), and Muerte de cielo azul (1937). Sueño y Poesía is a volume of Ortiz de Montellano's poetry which was compiled by Wilberto Cantón, and published posthumously in 1952.

Ortiz de Montellano's prose works include Antología de cuentos mexicanos (editor and author), two theatrical pieces, Pantomima and El Sombrerón, (1930, 1931), La poesía indígena de México (1935), Figura, amor y muerte de Amado Nervo (1943), numerous literary essays published in Contemporáneos, and an exchange of letters with other poets published in Una botella al mar. Conversación epistolar a propósito del libro Sueños (1946). Many of his prose writings are included in Obras en Prosa (1988), a compilation edited and introduced by María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls.

Source: From the finding aid for C0664


  • Poets, Mexican -- 20th century..