María Mercedes Carranza: who was she and what did she achieve?

Who was María Mercedes Carranza? | Her achievements and poems

There are many Colombian women important to the history of this country. For example, Soledad Acosta de Samper, Piedad Bonnett or Ángela Becerra. However, there is also a name that has also stood out in this territory: María Mercedes Carranza. Here we will tell you who she was and why she has been so important.

Who was María Mercedes Carranza?

Carranza was born in Bogotá on May 24, 1945, and died on July 11, 2003. She was the daughter of Rosa Coronado and Eduardo Carranza (a poet of great prestige). Well, Maria moved with her family in 1952, since her father worked as a cultural attaché at the Colombian embassy in Madrid.

She was there between 6 and 13, at which time she began to be influenced artistically by her family. Carranza came from a family of artists. Her father and her maternal great aunt (the poet Elisa Mújica) even helped her to create her texts (Uniandinos, 2021). 

In his childhood, she discovered the powers of legends and stories. However, by 1958 she returned to the Colombian capital, where she had a difficult period of adaptation. She was still a child, so she felt a cultural nostalgia. For some time, she even thought of abandoning everything and returning to Madrid.

Despite this, Carranza decided to study Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá between 1965 and 1978. She even graduated with a thesis on her father’s work. From that moment on, she would start working in journalistic fields, which would allow her to reach the artistic area of poetry (Buenos Aires Poetry, 2019). 

Her achievements and poems

However, María Mercedes Carranza managed to overcome the burden of being the daughter of a renowned poet. At the age of 20, she was appointed director of Vanguardia, the literary page of the Bogotá newspaper El Siglo. Later, she was appointed editor-in-chief of the magazine Nueva Frontera. This allowed her to begin to generate her artistic work. 

In 1971, she edited the anthology Nueva poesía colombiana, which disseminated the work of eight young poets. In 1972, her first famous poetry book appeared: Vainas y otros poemas (El Heraldo, 2019). From then on, she would become famous with several works, that stand out:

  • Tengo miedo (1983).
  • Maneras de desamor (1993).
  • Hola, soledad (1987). 
  • El canto de las moscas (1997) (El País, 2020).

Carranza‘s work was essential for the cultural history of Colombia. Mainly, because most of her productions show the philosophical problems that we all live with at some point. She managed to capture, through words, the existential debates about life. In short, María Mercedes Carranza was a very relevant woman in the life of Colombia. Through her work, we could see the importance of words and how they can represent what we feel. We hope you liked this information!


Buenos Aires Poetry. (2019, January 10). Kavafiana | María Mercedes Carranza.

El Heraldo. (2019, October 20). Tres poemas inéditos de María Mercedes Carranza.

El País. (2020, June 9). Lea 12 poemas de amor, soledad y muerte de la poeta colombiana María Mercedes Carranza.