Novelist, playwright and poet Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After studies in theatre and music, she began to work in radio and theatre, and then moved to Canada where she continued her career as an actress, singer, writer, broadcaster, scriptwriter and TV interviewer.
Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto (1972), she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants (1973) she was invited to act as Consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada.
She organised the international conferences "Amnistia" (1970) and "Solidaridad" (1974) in Toronto to support and make known the democratic Spain that was developing in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and in 1976 at Bethune College, York University, "Spain 1936-76: The Social and Cultural Aftermath of the Spanish Civil War".
With her husband, filmmaker David Fulton, she set up Montero-Fulton Productions to produce documentary films on social, cultural and ecological themes. Their film, Crisis in the Rain, on the effects of acid rain, won the Gold Camera Award American Film Festival 1982. Montero was consultant-interviewer on Dreams and Nightmares (A-O Productions, California) about Spain under Franco, a film that won international awards in Florence, Moscow, Leipzig and at the American Film Festival 1975.
Among her many radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are: The Music of Spain – a series of 18 hours which presented Spanish music within a social and historical framework; Segovia: the man and his music — a 2-hour special (Signature); Women and the Law (Ideas); Foreign Aid: Hand-out or Rip-Off (Ideas).
Since 1978 Montero has been living in Barcelona, where she has continued to write and publish novels such as The Villa Marini, All Those Wars and Punto de Fuga. Her poem Les Cambres was printed with a portfolio of prints by artist Kouji Ochiai (Contratalla 1983). A cycle of prose poems, Letters to Janez Somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia, provided the basis for collaboration with painter Pere Salinas in a highly successful exhibition at Barcelona's Galería Eude (1995).
She won the 2003 NH Premio de Relato for Ménage à Trois, the first time the Prize was awarded for a short story in English.
Well known among her theatre work is the award-winning Frida K., which has toured Canada, played New York and Mexico and has been mounted in productions in Spain, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Latvia.
Photo by Pilar Aymerich.