Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Juan Antonio Corretjer
Corretjer's father and uncles were involved in the "Ciales Uprising" of August 13, 1898, against the United States occupation. When he was a lad, he would often acompany his father and uncles to political rallies. He went to elementary school in his hometown.
Corretjer joined the "Literary Society of Jose Gautier Benitez", which later would be renamed the "Nationalist Youth", while he was still in elementary school. When he was in 8th grade, he organized a student protest against the American authority in his town. He was expelled from school and he was not permited to attend any schools in the municipality of Ciales. Corretjer was forced to go to school in the town of Vega Baja.
In 1920, when he was only 12 years old, Corretjer wrote his first poem "Canto a Ciales" (My Song to Ciales). In 1924, Corretjer published his first booklet of poems. In 1927, he worked as a journalist for various newspapers and publications in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the U.S.
In 1935, Corretjer travelled to Cuba. In Cuba, he joined an anti-Batista group whose aim was to overthrow the dictator. He also traveled to Haiti and to the Dominican Republic looking for international support for Puerto Rico's independence movement.
In 1936, Corretjer met and became friends with the nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos. He was named "Secretary General of the Nationalist Party" soon after. Corretjer was jailed in 1937, 1947 and in 1950 because of his political ideas.
Besides being an outspoken political activist, Corretjer is considered by many as one of Puerto Rico's greatest poets of the 1930s era. The themes and inspiration for his poems and essays were derived from the love that he felt for his country. Among his poems are: "Agueybana" (1932), "Amor a Puerto Rico" (1937) (Love of Puerto Rico), "Cantico de Guerra" (1937) (Song of War), "El Leñero" (1944) (Timberman), "Tierra Nativa" (1951) (Native Land), "Yerba Bruja" (1957) (Bewitched Grass) and many more.
Among his essays are: "Llorens"; "Juicio Historico" (Historical Trial); "La Revolucion de Lares" (The Revolution of Lares); "Nuestra Bandera" (Our Flag) and many others.
Juan Antonio Corretjer died in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 19, 1985.
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