Dulce María Loynaz

Dulce María Loynaz (1902-1997) is one of Cuba’s most celebrated poets. Her first book, Verses 1920-1938, was published in Cuba in 1938, but her novel and subsequent books of poetry were published in Spain in the 1950’s, where she achieved great success. After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Loynaz did not go into exile. She chose to remain in Cuba, but when she refused to join the Communist Party, her books were removed from Cuba’s public libraries and she herself was ostracized. In less than a year, Loynaz went from a widely published poet in Spain to a forbidden poet in Cuba. For the next thirty years, she lived in seclusion in her Havana home, unpublished and virtually forgotten. Loynaz was a 90-year-old widow when Spain’s Royal Spanish Academy unexpectedly awarded her the 1992 Premio Miguel de Cervantes, the highest literary accolade in the Spanish language. After the prize, Cuba finally published Loynaz’s novel, Garden, her Complete Poems, and her essays. She died five years later.

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