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Richard O’Mara

Richard O’Mara worked for forty years as a journalist–editorial writer, foreign editor, foreign correspondent– mainly for the Baltimore Sun. He is retired now from active journalism, but still writes for newspapers and journals such as VQR, Antioch Review, Sewanee Review, Under the Sun, Cimarron Review and High Plains Literary Review. His contributions to VQR over nearly a quarter century have largely been essays related to journalism and cultural and historical developments in Latin America. Most recently he spent three months as a Knight International Press Fellow helping out on a newspaper in Leon, Mexico. He is a graduate in English and History from the University of Maryland, he lives in Baltimore with his wife of over four decades, Susana Hanza O’Mara, born and raised in Argentina.


Recollections of a Nomad

It is difficult to travel around the world as a journalist, prying into other people's lives, without developing an appreciation of the idea of freedom perhaps somewhat more varied than that most people have. You will come to understand that all pe [...]

Getting Out the Views

You would be surprised at the people who read the editorial pages of newspapers. I used to be. Once I saw a bus driver reading the editorial page of my newspaper, and it made me nervous. He was glancing at it at the stops, and I was afraid he might [...]


There was a middle aged nun on our ship, a square built woman in a brown habit. She had a round, pink face, earnestly scrubbed, and moist eyes that gleamed with self-satisfaction through rimless glasses. We were sitting next to her at lunch one day [...]

H. L. Mencken: Prose Marvel

The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken. By Terry Teachout. HarperCollins. $29.95. A friend and colleague from my working days on The Baltimore Sun asked me some years back to name the journalist most people, anywhere, associate with our newspaper. [...]

Palestine on the Pampas

The diaspora of the Jews has scattered them across the world to more unlikely destinations than one could list. But few seem as outlandish as the small town set in the oceanic reaches of the Argentine pampas called Moises Ville. This sun-blasted pl [...]

The Jesuit Republic of South America

My wife, Susana, discovered an old journal in her home town of Santa Fe, in central Argentina, an account relating to one of the more edifying experiences in human history. She found it in a provincial museum. It was the memoir of an 18th-century [...]

The American Traveller

He was known as the American Traveller. He died young and was forgotten. Except for a brief revival of his work in the 1940's, he remains today off on the margins of literary history. Tourists in Mexico run across his journals now and again, as I [...]


The city of Santa Fe is the capital of Argentina's central province of the same name. It was founded by the conquistador Juan de Garay some four centuries ago. It is a flat, nearly treeless grid, white and ivory like an Arab town on the plain. The [...]