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Collection Overview

Cobo Borda, J. G., 1948-
J. G. Cobo Borda Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
24.21 linear feet and (44 containers)
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-43
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-002025


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 2017. There are also manuscripts of speeches and interviews, nonfiction works, documents, photographs, a few papers of others, scrapbooks, and a small amount of printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personal and working papers of Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda, Colombian poet, journalist, and diplomat: notebooks, manuscripts of poems, nonfiction writings, speeches and interviews, correspondence, documents, photographs, papers of others, and printed material.

The collection primarily contains manuscript poems, nonfiction, and speeches and interviews, dating from the 1970s to 2011, and correspondence from 1969 through 2011. The strengths of the collection are the autograph and typescript manuscript poems which document the author's creative process in writing poetry, numerous nonfiction manuscripts on primarily Colombian literature and art, and correspondence with other Latin American authors.

Cobo Borda's poetry in manuscript form includes poems which are included in the anthologies Todos los poetas son santos, published by Fondo de Cultura Económica in 1977, and El animal que duerme en cada uno y otros poemas, published by El áncora Editores in 1995. The poems in the collection which are labeled "Poeta en Tokio" probably appear in published form in Poemas orientales y bogotanos (1991). There are also manuscript poems for two books, Furioso amor and Amor absoluto, tentatively scheduled for publication in 1997. Of his nonfiction books, there are manuscripts for Obregón (on Colombian painter Alejandro Obregón), Fabulas y leyendas de El Dorado, Cultura y violencia a través de la obra de García Márquez, and Desocupado lector.

In his role as director of the cultural magazine Eco from 1973-1984, Cobo Borda corresponded with many Latin American writers and cultural figures. Representative authors in the Correspondence series are Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Germán Arciniegas, literary critics Angel Rama, Rafael Gutiérrez Girardot and Martha Canfield, Argentinian novelists Manuel Puig and Angélica Gorodischer and poet Enrique Molina, Colombian novelists Darío Ruiz Gómez and Darío Jaramillo Agudelo, and poets and essayists José Emilio Pacheco, José Kozer, Juan Liscano, Elkin Restrepo, Alvaro Mutis, Guillermo Sucre, and José Luis Díaz Granados. The collection also includes a large amount of correspondence with publishers, editors, and literary agents. Publishing firms represented in the correspondence include Editorial Seix Barral, Fondo de Cultura Económica, and El áncora and Monte Avila Editores. There is substantial correspondence with publishers or editors Pere Gimferrer, Jaime García Terrés, Vicente Gerbasi, Eugenio Montejo, and others.

The collection also includes curriculum vitae of J. G. Cobo Borda; photographs of Cobo Borda and others covering the period 1985-1996; a few papers of others, most notably, seven nonfiction articles by José Bianco, dated 1973-1984; and printed material, including published poems of Cobo Borda and several articles about the author.

Furthermore, there is a series of minimally processed additional papers which contain notebooks, manuscripts, general and diplomatic correspondence, photographs, video cassettes, audio cassettes, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous materials.

Collection Creator Biography:

Cobo Borda, J. G., 1948-

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.

Collection History


Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda sent some of his papers to be on deposit at the University in the mid-1980s. In 1985, the University began purchasing shipments of his papers at regular intervals.


No materials were removed from the collection during 2022 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1998. Finding aid written by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1998. Some additional materials processed by Jill Baron in 2012 and Armando Suárez in 2022.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

J. G. Cobo Borda Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-43
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-002025

Find More


Poetry Consejos para sobrevivir (Bogotá: Ediciones La Soga al Cuello, 1974) Todos los poetas son santos (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1977), also Todos los poetas son santos e irán al cielo (Buenos Aires: El Imaginero, 1983) Salón de té, 1969-1979 (Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Cultura, 1979) Casa de citas (Caracas: Ediciones la Draga y el Dragón, 1981) Ofrenda en el altar del bolero (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1981) Roncando al sol como una foca en las Galápagos (México: Premia, 1982) Almanaque de versos (Bogotá: Editorial Oveja Negra, 1988) Tierra de fuego (Bogotá: Fundación Simón y Lola Guberek, 1988) Dibujos hechos al azar de lugares que cruzaron mis ojos (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1991) Poemas orientales y bogotanos (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1991) El animal que duerme en cada uno y otras poemas (Bogotá: El áncora, 1995) Furioso amor (Bogotá: El áncora, 1997) No sabes con cuanto gusto te disfrutó, impúdica (México: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1997) Nonfiction La alegría de leer (Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Cultura, 1976) La tradición de la pobreza (Bogotá: Carlos Valencia, 1980) La otra literatura latinoamericana (Bogotá: Procultura-El Ancora, 1982) Obregón (Bogotá: Editorial La Rosa, 1985) Letras de esta América (Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1986) Visiones de América Latina (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo Editores, 1987) Poesía colombiana, 1880-1980 (Medellín: Universidad de Antioquia, 1987) José Asunción Silva, bogotano universal (Bogotá: Villegas Editores, 1988) La narrativa colombiana después de Gabriel García Márquez y otros ensayos (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo Editores, 1989) Cultura y violencia a través de la obra de García Márquez (Madrid: Embajada de Colombia en España, 1994) La mirada cómplice: 8 artistas colombianos (Calí: Universidad del Valle, 1995) Historia portatil de la poesía colombiana (1880-1995) (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo, 1995) Desocupado lector (Colombia: Temas de Hoy, 1996) Para llegar a García Márquez (Bogotá: Temas de Hoy, 1997) Colombia, Venezuela: historia intelectual (Colombia: Presidencia de la Rep?blica, 1997) Anthologies (Selection, prologue and notes by J. G. Cobo Borda, unless otherwise noted.) Album de la nueva poesía colombiana, 1970-1980 (Caracas: FUNDARTE, 1980) Album de poesía colombiana (Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Cultura, 1980) Antología de la poesía hispanoamericana (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1985) El Aleph borgiano (Bogotá: Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, 1987) Arciniegas de cuerpo entero (Bogotá: Planeta, 1987) Fabulas y leyendas de El Dorado, prologue by Arturo Uslar Pietri (Barcelona: Tusquets Editores, 1987) Palabras de mujer. Poetas latinoamericanas (Bogotá: Siglo XXI Editores de Colombia, 1991) "Para que mis amigos me quieran más" [homage to Gabriel García Márquez] (Bogotá: Siglo de Hombre Editores, 1992) El mundo cambió en América [anthology of Germán Arciniegas' writings] (Bogotá: Intermedio, 1993) Colombianos y argentinos: historias y encuentros (Bogotá: Asociación Argentina de Colombia, 1994) Leyendo a Silva [three volume anthology of José Asunción Silva's writings] (Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1994-1997)

Subject Terms:
Colombian essays -- 20th century.
Colombian poetry -- 20th century.
Colombians in Argentina -- 20th century.
Critics -- Colombia -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Diplomats, Colombian -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Latin American literature -- 20th century.
Poets, Colombian -- 20th century -- Manuscripts.
Genre Terms: