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Unpublished Work by Poet Who Disappeared during Argentina’s Dictatorship is Published

By Dialogo
April 14, 2009

Buenos Aires, April 13 (EFE) - More than three decades after its demise at the hands of the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983), the International Book Fair of Buenos Aires will host the presentation of the complete works of the poet Roberto Santoro, which includes unpublished texts, local press reported today. "Complete Poetic Works" (1959-1977) includes more than 250 pages of material that until now had not been published and was stored in old folders. This was contributed by Dolores Mendez and Paula Santoro, wife and daughter of the author, respectively. Santoro was last seen in 1977, when he was 38 years old, and is included in the list of missing writers, along with Haroldo Conti, Raymundo Gleyzer, Susana Pirí Lugones, Carlos Mugica, Enrique Raab, Francisco Urondo, Enrique Walter, and Rodolfo Walsh, among others. The complete works of the poet was compiled in a 650-page volume that will be presented at the next Book Fair, which will be held between April 23 and May 11 in the capital of Argentina. "Dolores Santoro handed the texts, which were typed sheets with corrections, to us. It is not absolutely clear that works were finished, but we decided to publish them, respecting the organization that, we assume, he intended for these poems," said Roxana Lopez Rodriguez, the author of the prologue and editorial staff member for this edition of the book, which is produced by publisher ”Razón y Revolución.” The unpublished texts were written by Santoro between 1963 and 1977, and were divided by the editors into three sections: Series, Songs, and Other Poems. In addition to devoting himself to literature, the author of "Tango y lo Demás", "El Último Tranvía" y "Literatura de la Pelota" was a painter, a salesman at a market, and an employee of the Trade Union of Musicians. Santoro, who was a leftist political activist and had denounced the kidnapping of several writers, was kidnapped by force from the school where he worked as a tutor by agents of the dictatorship on June 1, 1977. According to official estimates, during the military regime 18,000 people disappeared, but human rights organizations claim that there were 30,000 victims. In 2005 "Palabra Viva," the first anthology that gathered the works of 57 authors who disappeared during the military dictatorship, and which includes poems by Santoro, was published.