This study examines the powerful reinvention of language by Latin American poets associated with the avant-garde. It focuses on paradigmatic ideas such as creacionismo, ultraísmo, Brazilian Modernismo, surrealism, and the Semana de Arte Moderna through a selection of seminal writers. The essay questions an established view about the legacy of Latin American avant-garde poetry: that it has always been dependent on European concepts. Against this traditional standpoint, my investigation highlights the vanguard writers’ taste for materiality, sensation, the “primitive,” and will to reinvent language (including new, multidisciplinary forms of linguistic codification) as sites of critique with respect to Eurocentrism and substantialist accounts of poetry based on a metaphysics of presence. At stake in this questioning is a new conceptualization of Latin American experimental form. Never the result of blind imitation, the Latin American avant-garde’s dialogue with the currents of European modernism—such as Dada, surrealism, cubism or futurism—was framed by dissonance, simultaneity, and the reinvention of language. The essay illustrates how Latin American vanguard poets demonstrated a passion to attain a complex, intensive and anti-representational medium whose purpose was to surpass the limitations of conventional poetry and lay bear a “real” commensurate with the experience of the times.