Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Division of Languages and Literature
Biography:Alma Guillermoprieto is a prize-winning journalist and author, and a former professional dancer with the National Ballet Company of Mexico. A native of Mexico who now lives in Colombia, she has written frequently about Latin America for the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, and National Geographic. Guillermoprieto began her reporting career in 1978, covering the conflict in Central America for the Guardian and, subsequently, the Washington Post. She was one of two journalists (the other, Raymond Bonner of the New York Times) who broke the story of the 1981 El Mozote massacre in San Salvador. As a dancer, she studied with Merce Cunningham in New York City and taught at the National School of the Arts in Havana. Her many honors include a MacArthur fellowship, George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, two Overseas Press Club Awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the International Women’s Media Association. Her first book, Samba (Knopf, 1990), was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of two collections of essays originally written for the New Yorker and New York Review of Books: The Heart That Bleeds (Knopf/Vintage, 1994) and Looking for History (Vintage, 2001). A memoir, Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution (Pantheon), was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2004. In its review, Foreign Affairs described Guillermoprieto as “one of the most perceptive commentators on Latin America, a writer whose political analysis is sensitive to culture and history and punctuated by telling details that illuminate larger dilemmas,” and the memoir as “once begun, almost impossible to put down.” In Spanish, she has published several anthologies of her work and others; she also edited La Vida Toda, an anthology of 21st-century US journalism. Guillermoprieto served as the first visiting professor at Harvard’s Institute for the Humanities, teaching a course on Mexican cinema and history. She has also taught at the University of Chicago, University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies, University of Chicago, and Princeton University; in recent years, she’s taught online and physical journalism workshops throughout Latin America, the United States, and Spain. Guillermoprieto was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. At Bard: Fall 2023.