Nicolás Guillén

(2072 words)

The Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén was born in the provincial town of Camagüey, in Eastern Cuba, to mulatto parents (i.e. people of mixed sub-Saharan African and European ancestry) in 1902. It was in this same year that Cuba formally achieved independence from Spain as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898. His father was a newspaper editor and Liberal politician and the family were arguably part of the growing black middle-class during Guillén's early years. Nevertheless, Guillén's father was assassinated for his role in a political uprising in 1917 and Guillén became, at age fourteen, the main bread-winner for his mother and five younger siblings as the family struggled to survive. Furthermore, contemporary Cuban society, …

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Citation:
Pitman, Thea. "Nicolás Guillén". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12221, accessed 28 November 2014.]