Dulce Maria Loynaz

“Dulce Maria Loynaz: (1903-1997) Cuban poet and prose writer. Born in Havana to a father who was a general in the struggle for Cuban independence, she showed her poetic gifts early, publishing her first poems in La Nacion at age seventeen. She studied civil law, and practice until 1961. In her major books, Versos, 1920-1938 (1938), Juegos de agua: Versos del agua y del amor (1947), Poemas sin nombre (1953), Carta de amor a Tut-ank-Amen (1953), and Ultimos dias de una casa (1958), the poet is intensely concerned with the beauty and evocative capacity of language which she uses to express nostalgia for places, scenery, and people, and to sing of the beauty of Cuba. Her devotion to language manifested itself in a process of distillation, though which she moved away from the formal elements of poetry, such as rhyme and verse forms, toward a poetic prose. In fact, her novel Jardin (1951) is characterized by the kind of lyrical expression on which her poetry is built. These qualities also pervade her travel book, Un Verano en Tenerife (1958). She received the Cervantes Prize in 1993.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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