2do Certamen de Poesia José Gautier Benítez

The autonomous municipality of Caguas is sponsoring the second José Gautier Benítez poetry contest. The entry date for poems is the 11th of October and must be sent to the municipality by registewred mail to: 2do Certamen de Poesía José Gautier Benítez, Casa Amarilla Concha Meléndez, Apartado 907, Caguas, Puerto Rico 00726. The envelope must be prepared to meet certain rules, so I would recommend that you download the rules of the contest at the Caguas web portal.

The contest is open to all residents of Puerto Rico, expect for the employees of the Caguas Municipal government and their families. Each person can submit up to 3 poems, with each poem being between 100 and 300 verses. First place in the competition will receive a $1,000 prize, and there will be two second place prizes of $250 each. Finally, certificates of recognition will be awarded to the first and second place winners, as well as to the 10 runners-up. The awards ceremony will be the 12th of November in the Teatro Luis M. Arcelay de Caguas at 3:00 p.m.

José Gautier Benítez (April 12, 1848 – January 24, 1880) was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He is considered Puerto Rico's best poet of the Romantic Era. In 1878, he wrote the poem A Puerto Rico (To Puerto Rico), which was highly acclaimed by his contemporaries as one of his greatest works. A Puerto Rico also received an award from the Ateneo.

José Gautier Benítez died in San Juan, at 31 years of age. He was laid to rest in Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in Old San Juan. Even though he wrote less than a hundred poems, his works were considered better in quality than the works of other Puerto Rican poets of the time. Gautier Benítez's verses, titled Poemas (Poems) were published posthumously in 1880.