William Ospina


William Ospina, winner of the Rómulo Gallegos Award, is a poet, essayist, novelist and translator. He studied Law and Political Sciences in Cali, eventually going into journalism. He is the author of the non-fiction works Aurelio Arturo (1991), Es tarde para el hombre (It Is Too Late for Man, 1994), Esos extraños prófugos de Occidente (Those Strange Refugees From the West, 1994), Los dones y los méritos (The Gifts and the Merits, 1995), Un álgebra embrujada (A Bewitched Algebra, 1996), ¿Dónde está la franja amarilla? (Where is the Yellow Band?, 1997), Las auroras de sangre (Blood Dawns, 1999) and Los nuevos centros de la esfera (The New Centres of the Globe, 2001); and two poetry collections, Hilo de Arena (Line of Sand, 1986), La luna del dragón ( The Dragon Moon, 1992), El país del viento (Wind Country, 1992) and ¿Con quién habla Virginia caminando hacia el agua? (Who is Virginia Talking to as She Walks Towards the Water?, 1995).

In 2005, he published the first instalment of a literary trilogy; Ursúa, a dramatic novel based on the real-life character of Pedro de Ursúa, the Spanish conquistador who founded the Colombian city of Pamplona. His second novel, El país de la canela (The Cinnamon Country), continued the theme of Amazonian journeys in the 16th Century and won the Rómulo Gallegos Award in 2009. The third novel is entitled La serpiente sin ojos (The Blind Serpent) and was published in 2012. 

William Ospina is considered one of the most outstanding writers, poets and essayists of recent generations and his works are elegant charts of his literary loves, accompanied by a clear ideological position on history and the modern world.     

"The most important book of the year."

Gabriel García Márquez, on Ursúa

© Daniel Mordzinski

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By William Ospina

  • Guayacanal

    NOVEL, 2019

    In Guayacanal - the name of the farm around which family life revolved -William Ospina tells the story of his great grandparents, grandparents and Padua, his place of birth, and its surroundings...

  • Stop Dead

    NON FICTION, 2016


  • From Havana to La Paz

    ESSAY, 2016

    ‘These essays address our turbulent history from different angles, exploring the potential of our community, the challenges we face today and the endeavours we will need to embark upon...

  • Collected Poetry

    POETRY, 2017

    The collected poetry of William Ospina, from his early poems to the collections Hilo de arena (Thread of Sand), La luna del dragón (The Dragon Moon), El país del viento (Wind...

  • The year of the summer that never came

    NOVEL, 2015

    “I was surprised to find out that the eruption of a volcano in Indonesia in 1815 was one of the most significant reasons for the birth of the Western legend of the vampire and the nightmare...

  • This needs to stop

    NON-FICTION, 2014

    Colombia is changing. After centuries of repetition, in which a culture, a people and a land have been persistently ignored and crushed by the arrogance of those in power, an enormously exciting...

  • América mestiza

    NON FICTION, 2013

  • Night School

    ESSAY, 2013

    “The most important knowledge that a human being can achieve can only be found within them. That doesn’t mean that one should grow up indifferent to the world around them, it means...

  • Haunted Algebra

    NON FICTION, 2012

    Of poets and dreamers, of spells and juggling, is made this book of essays. And indeed, as a sorcerer who is adding ingredients to his steaming pot, William Ospina has summoned the magical arts of...

  • The Blind Snake

    NOVEL, 2012

    "... Ursúa had never felt in better shape for an adventure; he had more energy, was in complete control of himself, and yet he had never felt so reluctant to travel, to set out on a...

  • The Cinnamon Country

    NOVEL, 2012

    ROMULO GALLEGOS NOVEL AWARD 2009 The novel is narrated by a Spaniard who tells the tale of how he went to Peru to claim an inheritance that had been stolen from his father by Pizarro. Once...

  • Ursúa

    NOVEL, 2012

    At just fifteen years old, Ursúa sails to America in search of fortune and glory. He first arrives in Peru, where Pizarro's insurrection, the general confusion and the fact that the...

  • Where Is the Yellow Strip?

    ESSAY, 2012

    In one of his stories, Gabriel Garcia Márquez writes about a man dying of poverty in paradise. Any Colombian, rich or poor, can recognise themselves portrayed there. We have made the...

  • The Magical Lamp

    ESSAY, 2012

    Four essays on education, and in praise of reading. Our era is paradoxical and exciting, it might be described by Oscar Wilde's words on certain doctors: "They know everything, but that's...

  • It is Too Late For Man

    NON FICTION, 2012

    Paul Valéry wrote that the two dangers facing society are order and disorder. This text focuses on the order and disorder of contemporary society. It is governed by an idea; that the...

  • In search of Bolívar

    NON FICTION, 2010

    “ As soon as he died, all the rancour was converted into veneration, all the complaints switched to eulogies; all his deeds became legend. Dead, he was no longer a man but a symbol. Latin...

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