What I appreciated most about this attractive woman with the fine features, fair complexion and ready smile, was that she did not give a “booster club” talk about revolutionary culture, but rather an honest appraisal of current efforts, which must have been difficult to do considering Vidaluz’s almost religious identification with the objectives of the revolution.

Raised in comfort as the daughter of an officer in Somoza’s guardia, Vidaluz now has a commitment to an egalitarian program that fosters the development of a popular culture. And as the former wife of a leading member of the contra, Vidaluz seems to work doubly hard to realize the “solidarity, love, sharing, and hope” that the revolution symbolizes to her.

Poet, former director of Libraries and Archives, founding member and associate director of the Ministry of Culture until 1988, and current director of the Antonio Valdivieso Ecumenical Center, Vidaluz Meneses has dedicated herself totally to furthering the cultural goals of the revolution, the point of convergence of her acclaimed poetic sensibility and her strong Christian conscience. Here Vidaluz describes her work at the Ministry, in all its frustrating limitations and exciting possibilities, discusses the role she sees for her own writing, and relates openly the heavy personal toll that her revolutionary commitment has exacted.