Nascimento and Neruda: A Centenary Celebration

Nascimento and Neruda: A Centenary Celebration

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A celebration of the publishing house in words and live music with readers including Bianca Jagger and Rosana Manso

An evening of readings and conversation to mark 100 years of Nascimento and its greatest writer, Pablo Neruda. With speakers including biographer of Neruda Adam Feinstein, publishers Bill Swainson and Pablo George-Nascimento, live music by Quimantu and special guest readers including Bianca Jagger and Rosana Manso.

It is 100 years since the legendary Nascimento publishing house came into existence, launching the careers of the first two Nobel Prize laureates from the South America, publishing the best-selling poetry book in the history of the Spanish language, and giving women authors in Chile a voice for the first time. 

Created by Manuel Carlos George-Nascimento, a Portuguese immigrant who managed to provide Chile’s first literary conduit for local talent. In his career as a publisher, this Azorean son of whalers published the ‘who’s who’ of Chilean literature, with the most important newspaper in the country calling him the ‘Anonymous hero of 20th Century literature’.

When the young and unknown Pablo Neruda walked through the door, an association was to begin that would last over 50 years and would define both men’s careers. Neruda officially dedicated his house in Isla Negra to ‘Don Carlos George-Nascimento, my first publisher.’

A free screening of the drama O Livreiro de Santiago (The Booksmith of Santiago) can be seen at 16.30. Separate ticket required.  


Bianca Jagger is a Nicaraguan social and human rights advocate and a former actress. She currently serves as a Council of Europe goodwill ambassador, founder and chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA, and a trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust.

Rosana Manso
is an actress, well known for her Spanish television roles in Noche de fiesta, Centro médico and Hospital Central.

Adam Feinstein is an acclaimed author, translator, journalist and Hispanist at King’s College London. His biography Pablo Neruda: a passion for life was first published by Bloomsbury in 2004 and reissued in an updated edition in 2013 (Harold Pinter called it ‘a masterpiece’). Also in 2013, Feinstein launched Cantalao, a biannual magazine dedicated to Neruda’s life and work. Feinstein’s translations from Neruda, Lorca, Benedetti and others have appeared in many publications, including Modern Poetry in Translation and Agenda. His book of translations from Neruda’s Canto General, with colour illustrations by the Brazilian artist, Ana Maria Pacheco, was published by Pratt Contemporary in 2013. He also wrote the introduction to the Folio Edition of Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths, which appeared in 2007.

Bill Swainson is a publisher and editor with forty years’ experience in independent and mainstream publishing, publishing a wide range of international writers including, from Spain and Latin America, Javier Cercas, Carlos Fuentes, Milton Hatoum, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Patricia Melo and Juan Gabriel Vásquez, plus biographies of Gabriel García Márquez by Gerald Martin and Pablo Neruda by Adam Feinstein and non-fiction by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera. He began his career at John Calder (Publishers) Ltd (1976-79), and has since worked at Allison & Busby (1980-87), Fourth Estate (1988-89), Harvill (1989-95), freelance (1995-2000) and most recently at Bloomsbury (2000-15). He is currently a literary consultant and freelance editor, working with, among others, Alma, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Haus Publishing and the Gingko Library, MacLehose Press and The French Institute. He has been a board member of the Poetry Society, the Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Translation Centre, and a literary advisor to both the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) and, since 1999, and the Santa Maddalena Foundation in Italy. In 2015 he was awarded an OBE for services to literary translation.

Pablo George-Nascimento is the great-grandson of Don Carlos, and the director of Nascimento's new reNascimento initiative. Raised in London from childhood, he graduated in Computer Science and Linguistics at the UL but decided to pursue a cultural career more closely related to his family tradition. After two decades spent working worldwide in the cultural milieu, he decided to pick up where his ancestors had left Nascimento. The new Nascimento aims to be a creative hub, integrating many disciplines and cultures, which attempt to reflect Pablo's own international upbringing from Santiago and Buenos Aires to Rome and London.

Quimantu were formed in 1981 by the Chilean musician and composer Mauricio Venegas-Astorga and since then have gained a reputation as one of Britain’s finest South American bands. Over the past two decades Quimantu have developed a unique repertoire, which gives audiences a fascinating overview of the diversity of South American music and an insight into its musical connections with Africa, Europe and beyond. From the haunting melodies of Andean, Celtic and Thai airs to the rhythms of Cuban Son and Northumbrian dances, the band is inspired by a desire to discover the music of the past and the sound of the future. The group has blossomed out of the very particular musical environment that exists in the UK, especially in London, an environment that has afforded Quimantu the opportunity to collaborate with leading musicians from almost every genre imaginable, from Western Classical to Indian Classical, African to traditional English Folk. The result is a powerful and inspiring musical message, a refreshing mix full of life and honesty that speaks directly to audiences’ hearts as well as their dancing feet in venues across the UK, Europe and Chile.


Name: Nascimento and Neruda: A Centenary Celebration
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Member: £10.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Friend of the British Library: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546