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Collection Overview

Alegría, Claribel
Claribel Alegría Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
30 boxes and 14.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-30


Contains notebooks and drafts of the Nicaraguan-born Salvadoran writer Claribel Alegría's poetry, articles and essays, novels, short stories, speeches, and translations. Also includes correspondence with publishers, family, and such writers as Mario Benedetti, Julio Cortázar, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Alfonso Quijada Urías, and Sergio Ramírez. Additionally, the collection contains photographs, audiovisual material, and writings of others on Alegría.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection contains notebooks and notes and drafts of Alegría's writings, including manuscripts of Luisa en el país de la realidad, Saudade/Sorrow, and Soltando amarras/Casting Off. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged with family members, publishers, and such writers as Mario Benedetti, Julio Cortázar, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Alfonso Quijada Urías, and Sergio Ramírez. Also includes photographs, audiovisual material, and writings of others on Alegría.


Arranged in the following series and subseries:

Collection Creator Biography:

Alegría, Claribel

Claribel Alegría was born on May 12, 1924, in Estelí, Nicaragua, grew up in El Salvador, and moved to the United States in 1943. Shortly after her birth, her family was forced into political exile and sought refuge in El Salvador. Alegría attended finishing school in Hammond, Louisiana, and studied at George Washington University under the tutelage of Juan Ramón Jiménez. In 1947, she married Darwin J. (Bud) Flakoll, who became her life-long collaborator and translator. After graduating with a B.A. in 1948, Alegría published her first collection of poems, Anillo de silencio. Alegría and Flakoll moved frequently during the 1950s, traversing Latin America as a result of Flakoll's position in the United States Foreign Service. During this period, Alegría brought out several poetry collections as well as an anthology of Latin American writing, New Voices of Hispanic America, that she co-edited with Flakoll. After settling in Paris with their four children (Maya, Karen, Patricia, and Erik), Alegría and Flakoll collaborated on a novel, Cenizas de Izalco, centering on the matanza, the 1932 massacre of 30,000 peasants in Izalco, El Salvador. This novel as well as her poetry mark her as a member of la Generación Comprometida (the Committed Generation), a literary movement of the 1950s and 1960s dedicated to social and political justice. In 1966, Alegría and Flakoll moved to Mallorca and continued writing poetry and novels. With the success of the Sandinista Revolution in 1979, Alegría and Flakoll returned to Nicaragua to document the experiences of those who took part. Her poetry came to reflect her developing political awareness as she responded to death squads, massacres, and the legacy of dictatorship and oppression. Alegría has continued her political and poetic engagement with Central America, dedicating herself to the struggle for human rights. The death of Bud Flakoll in 1995 inspired her poetry collection Saudade/Sorrow. She has written over forty books in such diverse genres as poetry, essays, novels, and short stories. She was awarded the Casa de las Américas Prize in 1978 and the 2006 Neustadt Prize for World Literature.

Collection History


Purchased from Claribel Alegría, April 2010 (AM2010-111).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Alyssa Meyers in 2010. Finding aid written by Alyssa Meyers in 2010.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use, but financial documents are restricted until December 2030.

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:

Claribel Alegría 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:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-30