Elena Poniatowska

(All Keynote events are included in conference registration.
Individual tickets available HERE.)

Evening Keynote Address

The Red Brushes of the Thirties in Mexico

Saturday, February 18 — 6 PM
Real de Minas Ballroom, San Miguel de Allende



Elena Poniatowska is one of Mexico’s most celebrated and prolific writers. Her novels have garnered numerous awards, and she has also written countless essays, historical accounts, short stories, and chronicles.

In 2006, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Most recently, on June 2, 2011, World Literature Today announced that Poniatowska has been nominated for the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature for 2012. This prize is widely considered to be the most prestigious international literary award after the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded not for any one work, but for an entire body of work.

Poniatowska is descended from the last Polish king, Stanislaus II on her father’s side, and from King Louis the XV of France on her mother’s side. Her family fled France during World War II and settled in Mexico, though she soon traveled to the U.S. to study, returning to Mexico in 1953 to begin her career as a journalist. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1954, and 58 years later, she is still writing. Her historical novel published this year, Leonora, about the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, won the Seix Barral Biblioteca Breve prize.

Poniatowska’s biographer, Michael Schuessler, is also on the faculty of the 2012 San Miguel Writers’ Conference. The biography is entitled Elena Poniatowska: An Intimate Biography. The Foreword is by Carlos Fuentes.