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Arequipa is the birthplace of Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. His family’s former home is now a museum dedicated to the renowned writer’s life and works. Two centuries ago, the Arequipeño poet Mariano Melgar made a name for himself as a forerunner of literary Romanticism in the Americas and one of the founders of Peruvian literature. His poems in the yaraví genre are a cornerstone of not only Arequipa’s literary culture, but traditional popular culture as a whole. Many of his poems feed his legend as a desperately enamored poet who died by firing squad at the age of 25 during the struggle for national independence. From Mariano Melgar’s days to our own, Arequipa has produced excellent literature that can be classified by eras and genres. It is no coincidence that the organization behind the international Hay Festival chose Arequipa as one of the locations for its annual event, making the city into a meeting spot for the most important trends, leading figures, and values in international contemporary culture.

Arequipa’s Most Notable Writers

Before 1900
1900 – 1950

Francisco Mostajo, Caesar Atahualpa Rodriguez, Augusto Aguirre Morales and Guillermo Market

1950 – 2020

Antonio Cornejo Polar, José Ruiz Rosas, Oswaldo Reynoso, Mario Vargas Llosa, Oswaldo Chanove, Alonso Ruiz Roses and Zoila Vega