Oscar Hahn Biography
The biography of Oscar Hahn. This page has biographical information on Oscar Hahn, one of the best poets of all time. This PoetrySoup page also provides access to the poet's poems, best poetry, quotes, and video biographies...if available.
Óscar Arturo Hahn Garcés (born 1938 in Iquique, Chile) is a Chilean writer and poet. Known in Chile as one of the writers of the Generation of the 70s (also known as the "Dispersed" or "Decimated Generation" - "Generacion Trilce").
Óscar Hahn (born Óscar Arturo Hahn Garcés July 5, 1938 in Iquique, Chile) is a Chilean writer and poet. Known in Chile as one of the writers of the Generation of the 70s (also known as the "Dispersed" or "Decimated Generation"), Hahn studied at the Pedagogical Institute of Santiago during his youth. His first steps in poetry can be traced back to his adolescence in Rancagua. He felt impelled to write after a youthful relationship turned into an ironic love affair. In 1959 he won the Student Federation of Chile's Prize in Poetry. In the year 1961 he won the Society of Chilean Writers' Alerce Prize for the work This Black Rose (Esta Rosa Negra). In 1967 he won the Unique Prize of the First Contest in Northern Poetry of the University of Chile for the (then) regional seat of Antofagasta. He studied and set himself to the University of Chile's Curriculum in the Teaching of Literature while in residence at Arica. In 1972 he was awarded the degree of Master of Arts by the University of Iowa, USA and was named a member of the International Writers' Program there. He returned to Chile, where he took a job as Adjunct Professor at the University of Chile, Arica. In the next year, 1973, his life would change dramatically, due to political developments in his home country; on 11 September of that year, during the Chilean coup of 1973 he was detained by the newly-installed military government of Augusto Pinochet and threatened with execution, which event forced him to seek out new horizons once his charges were dismissed and he was released ten days later. A friend of his with military connections let him know that the US-backed regime that had just taken power by force had every intention of imprisoning him again, and advised him to flee the country. Pinochet had usurped the progressive government of the democratically-elected leader Salvador Allende, and was in the process of beginning the project of consolidating his power. Of this difficult experience he has since remarked, September 11 is a difficult date for me to forget, not only on account of the things that happened in the country at large but also because they took me prisoner, and they took me as a prisoner the very same night of September 11, which was deadly serious, since in that very moment they were just killing people without even asking them their names, just totally at random. It was a lottery, and I believe that I'm alive thanks to sheer chance, because there were people who were detained with me and they shot them dead; this could just as well happened to me, I don't know what reason took them away, instead of me, or instead of any of the others that survived." ("Oscar Hahn y 1973: estoy vivo gracias al azar  In 1974 he set down new roots in the USA. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Maryland College Park, and between 1978 and 1988 he collaborated in the composition of the Handbook of Latin American Studies issued by the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Chilean Academy of Language. Love's Disease (Mal de Amor), published in Santiago in 1981, was the only book of poems ever to be banned during the military dictatorship period after being published and distributed. According to the Washington Post, "one of the poems contained a verse which, the government had decided, was disrespectful toward the Virgin Mary, and the editor was notified that he was not to distribute the text." Hahn won the Society of Chilean Writers' Alerce Prize, the Municipal Prize of Santiago and the Altazor Prize (2003). He currently teaches Latin American literature at the University of Iowa. His daughter, Constanza Hahn, an
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