Nicaraguans are very proud of the country's poets. One of the most famous is Rubén Darío (1867-1916). He is best known for writing in informal language and using unconventional literary forms. Darío, whose real name was Felix Rubén García Sarmiento, is often called the "Prince of Spanish-American literature." In his honour, his birthplace in Nicaragua was renamed Darío. The Rubén Darío National Theatre in Managua is also named for him.

 Granada is an important city in the history of Nicaraguan literature. The "Vanguardia" poets of the 1920s and 1930s, such as Joaquín Pasos and Pablo Antonio Cuadra, made their home there. Joaquín Pasos wrote Canto de Guerra de las Cosas ("War Song of Things"), a poem considered to be a masterpiece. The Palacio de Cultura Joaquín Pasos honours him. Other popular Nicaraguan writers include Azarías Pallais, Salomón de la Selva and Alfonso Cortés.

In the countryside, music is still sometimes played on traditional instruments such as maracas, which are made from gourds and make a rattling sound, and chirimias (wind instruments like clarinets). Folk and contemporary music are more popular in the cities and towns. Reggae music is popular on the Caribbean coast, especially in Bluefields, a largely English-speaking town.
  Did you know?
"Everyone's a poet in Nicaragua" - or almost everyone. You can find poets everywhere from remote mountain villages to government offices in Managua.
The Solentiname Islands, located in the southern part of Lake Nicaragua, are a haven for artists and craftspeople. They are well-known for a colourful and unusual style of painting, called the "Solentiname School." In the early 1970s, Ernesto Cardenal, priest, poet and later Minister of Culture in the Sandinista government, visited the islands and noticed a local resident drawing. He gave the man paper and coloured pencils and encouraged him to continue. Later, the Nicaraguan painter Roger Pérez de la Rocha visited the islands to teach the local people painting techniques. By 1974, many residents were painting pictures of daily life. These paintings have been displayed in galleries in Managua, New York and Paris.
  Did you know?
Ernesto Cardenal and Carlos Mejía Godoy composed the well-known Nicaraguan Missa Campesina or Peasant Mass. This popular mass draws on the ideas of liberation theology, which views religion in Latin America from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed.