Rafael Cadenas (Barquisimeto, 1930) is Venezuela’s most renowned and celebrated living poet. Whether in the prose poems of the 1960s or his more condensed, at times aphoristic later production, Cadenas’ poetry always avoids grandiloquence and pathos. Poetry is here refined to its purest manifestation, and offers a unique approach to the human soul in all its glory and dejection. Cadenas is also the author of essays on various subjects, ranging from the uses and abuses of the Spanish language in Venezuela to the mysticism of St. John of the Cross. He has translated to Spanish the poetry of D. H. Lawrence and Walt Whitman. Cadenas’s poems have been published in anthologies in Venezuela, Spain, and France, and Fondo de Cultura Económica of Mexico has collected his poetry and prose in Obra entera. Poesía y prosa 1958-1998 (2000, 2009). Cadenas has been awarded the National Prize for Literature and the National Prize for Essay in his country. In 2009 he was awarded the FIL Guadalajara Award. He lives in Caracas.