Alí Calderón was born in 1982 in Mexico City. He is a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, the director of the Mexico City International Poetry Festival, and the co-founder and editor of the electronic literary magazine Círculo de Poesía.
Calderón's poetry mixes linguistic and poetic registers. Words and phrases may be taken from medical and scientific discourse or from Old Spanish, Occitan, Italian, and French to be substituted for Spanish. No one book develops a consistent style. Instead, each cycles through poems that align themselves with various and contradictory schools: simple, paired-down conversational poetry at one extreme and the Latin American Neo-Baroque at the other.
More than mere aesthetic eclecticism, this mixing has to do with a stance towards poetic discourse in the modern world. Though parody is one motive, there are others. For example, a certain kind of American experience is expressed. The poem 'Mexican Democracy' weaves together contemporary headline news of cartel violence with accounts of Aztec sacrifices taken from sixteenth century chronicles. This layering of language shows how the colonial world seems to lie just under the surface of contemporary life. Alternatively, it serves as witness to the way technology fragments the world. In one poem, Calderon layers Pizarro's search for El Dorado with interactions on social media; in another, emails and text messages interrupt a visit to Beatrice's grave.
Calderón is decidedly cosmopolitan. Travel throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Western and Eastern Europe figure in all of his poetry collections. In much the same way, his essays on poetics draw from contemporary American (Spanish, English, and Portuguese), European, and Asian poetry, philosophy, and linguistics. This cosmopolitanism is also seen in his work as an anthologist who tries to highlight contemporary Mexican and Latin American poetry to the world and bring contemporary international poetry to Mexico and Latin America.
Imago prima. Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, 2005
Ser en el mundo. Taberna Librería Editores (Ediciones de Medianoche), Zacatecas, 2011
De naufragios y rescates. Biblioteca FIP, Granada, 2011
En agua rápida. Valparaíso, Granada, 2013
Las correspondencias. Visor, Madrid, 2015
Anthologies Edited and Co-Edited
La luz que va dando nombre. (Poetry, co-edited) Secretaría de Cultura, Puebla, 2007
El oro ensortijado: Poesía viva de México. (Poetry, co-edited) Eón, Mexico, 2009
Poesía ante la incertidumbre. Antología de nuevos poetas en español. (Poetry, co-edited) Visor, Madrid, 2011
Solo una vez aquí en la tierra. (International poetry, co-edited), Valparaíso, México, 2014
En el ombligo de la luna. (International poetry, co-edited), Valparaíso, México, 2015
Al menos flores, al menos cantos. (International poetry, co-edited), Valparaíso, México, 2016
Revinventando al lirismo: Problemas actuales sobre poética. (Criticsim) Valparaíso, Granada, 2015
La generación de los cincuenta. Un acercamiento a su discurso poético. Tierra Adentro, México, 2005
Del poema al transtexto: Ensayos para leer poesía mexicana. Caza de Libros, Bogotá, 2015
Piedras para una refundición. Buenos Aires Poetry, Buenos Aires, 2017
Becario de la Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, 2003-2004
Premio Interuniversitario (BUAP/UDLA/UIA) de Oratoria del estado de Puebla, 2003
Premio Nacional de Poesía Ramón López Velarde, 2004
Premio Latinoamericano de Poesía Benemérito de las Américas, 2007