Pedro Mir
Place of birth
Dominican Republic
National identity
Dominican Republic

Pedro Mir

Short biography
Pedro Mir is considered one of the Dominican Republic's most significant poets. Pulitzer-winner Junot Díaz recently said in The New York Times: "We need a lot more books in English about the Dominican experience. Fortunately the field is growing, and there's some good stuff out there. I recommend one start with one of the country's greatest poets, Pedro Mir, his Countersong to Walt Whitman and Other Poems. Pure genius." Author photo: Joseph Shneberg

"Colleague, contemporary, and the equal in lyric vitality, epic ambition, and communal significance to Pablo Neruda or Nicolas Guillen, Mir remains, with Martinique's Aime Cesaire, perhaps the most masterfully elegant and majestic among the living voices of a generation that boasts more than its share of world-class poets." 
—Roberto Márquez, Village Voice

Pedro Mir (1913–2000) is recognized as the Dominican Republic's foremost literary figure of the twentieth century. Since publishing his first poems in 1937, he sought through literature to place the Caribbean experience in global historical perspective. He also produced work in the fields of history, fiction, and art criticism and theory. In 1947, the subject of mounting suspicions of the Trujillo dictatorship, he was forced to go into exile. When he returned fifteen years later, following the death of the dictator, the poet immediately won the hearts of the Dominican people, and his poetry readings were mass public events attended by enthusiastic crowds of citizens from every walk of life. In 1982 the legislature of the Dominican Congress conferred upon him the title of National Poet, and in 1993 he received the National Prize for Literature, the highest honor a literary artist can receive in the Dominican Republic. On the occasion of Mir's death, the president of the Dominican Republic declared three days of national mourning and celebrated the poet's memory and his work: "[Don Pedro] will always be with us because his thinking was transcendent, and he truly fathomed the national Dominican soul."