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Sierra, Stella (1917–1997)

Sierra, Stella (1917–1997)

Stella Sierra (b. 5 July 1917; d. 1997), Panamanian poet. Sierra was born in Aguadulce, Panama. In 1936, she graduated from the Colegio Internacional de María Inmaculada, and in 1954 she received a degree in education with specialization in Spanish from the University of Panama.

Her first two books, Sinfonía jubilosa en doce sonetos (1942; Joyful Symphony in Twelve Sonnets) and Canciones de mar y luna (1944; Songs of Sea and Moon), confirmed her place in Panamanian letters. Her later publications, Libre y cautiva (1947; Free and Captive), Cinco poemas (1949; Five Poems), Poesía (1962; Poetry), and Presencia del recuerdo (1965; Presence of Memory) revealed her control over her poetic resources and the universality of her poetry.

Sierra has won many awards for both her poetry and her fiction. Among them the Demetrio H. Brid Prize for her short story Con los pies descalzos (1944; Barefooted), the Miró Prize for Sinfonía jubilosa, and a first prize from the Chancellery of Uruguay for her Himno para la glorificación de Franklin D. Roosevelt (1946; Hymn in Homage of Franklin D. Roosevelt). She has contributed to the weekly Semanario Mundo Gráfico, to Correo Literario, and to such literary magazines as Poesía de América, Cultura, and Épocas. Sierra has taught at the National Institute of Panama and at the University of Panama and has been a delegate at various international conferences. She died in Panama City in 1997. After her death, the Fundación Cultural Signos, the 9 Signos Grupo Editorial and her family members established the Stella Sierra Poetry Prize which is awarded Panamanian poets.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Enrique Jaramillo Levi, Poesía erótica de Panamá (1982).

Gloria Guardia, Aproximación a Libre y Cautiva obra escogida de Stella Sierra (1990).

Diane E. Marting, ed., Women Writers of Spanish America (1987).

David Foster, comp. Handbook of Latin American Literature, 2d ed. (1992), p. 461.

Additional Bibliography

Guardia, Gloria. Aproximación a libre y cautiva, obra escogida de Stella Sierra. Panamá: s.n., 1990.

Jiménez Faro, Luzmaría. Brevario de los sentidos: Poesía erótica escrita por mujeres. Madrid: Ediciones Torremozas, 2003.

Nathan, Viviane. Mujer, prensa, y poesía. Panamá: Dirección de Extensión Cultural, Universidad de Panamá, 1993.

                          Elba D. Birmingham-Pokorny

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