Nicolás Guillén

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Guillén, Nicolás


(full name, Nicolás Guillén Batista). Born July 10, 1902, in Camaguey. Cuban poet and public figure. Member of the Communist Party of Cuba since 1937.

Guillén’s first verses were published in 1919. His poetic cycles Song Motifs (1930) and Sóngoro cosongo (1931; Russian translation, 1967) deal with the life of Cuban Negroes. In the poetry collections West Indies Company (1934) and Songs for Soldiers and Songs for Tourists (1937), Guillén turned to political lyrics. His stay in Spain in 1937 is reflected in the narrative poem Spain: A Poem in Four Sorrows and One Hope (1937). Guillén supported the Republic in the struggle against fascism, actively taking part in the Popular Front’s press. The cycle All Songs (1947) tells of the struggle and the sufferings of Cuba and other Latin American countries. For his progressive activity Guillén was arrested several times by the government of the dictator Batista. During 1954-59 he lived abroad, visiting the USSR and other socialist countries. In 1958 he published the poetry collection The National Dove.

In 1959, after the triumph of the people’s revolution, he returned to his homeland and in 1961 was elected chairman of the Cuban Writers’ and Artists’ Union. His poetry collection All Mine (1964) dealt with the new socialist homeland. Guillén’s work is closely linked to Cuban musical and oral folklore. Guillén was influenced by the tradition of Creole folk poetry, the freedom-loving Cuban poetry of the 19th century, and the classical forms and meters of Spanish poetry. In 1950 he became a member of the International Council of Peace. Guillén received the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations (1954).


Antología mayor. [Havana, 1964.]
In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1957.
Novye stikhi. Moscow, 1966.


Ospovat, L. S. “Nikolas Gil’en i narodnaia pesnia.” In Istorikoetnograficheskie ocherki. Moscow, 1961. Pages 498-533.
Plavskin, Z. Nikolas Gil’en. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Nikolas Gil’en: Biobibliografcheskii ukazatel’. Compiled by L. A. Shur. Moscow, 1964.
Zemskov, V. B. “Sony Gil’ena i narodnyi son.” Latinskaia Amerika, 1970, no. 3.
Augier, A. Nicolás Guillén, vols. 1-2. [Havana] 1962-64.


References in periodicals archive ?
Nicolas Guillen is a short, stocky man with a large barrel chest, caramel colored skin, bright hazel eyes, guttural voice, and an enormous head.
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The book includes analyses of the works of Felipe Pichardo Moya, Alejo Carpentier, Nicolas Guillen, Emilio Ballagas, Jose Zacarias Tallet, Felix B.
Arnedo-Gomez criticizes Kutzinski for not taking into account that the sexist elements she finds in the language of Afrocuban poets Nicolas Guillen and Jose Zacarias Tallet to describe the mulatto woman were part of the reality and culture of the black and mulatto Cuban men and women who are the poetry's subjects.
This article attempts to bridge the gap that separates Negrismo from Negritude by identifying some possible lines of convergence in the poetry of the Senegalese writer Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906-2001) and the Cuban writer Nicolas Guillen (1902-89).
Wade notes that the afrocubanista "trend" took hold of literary circles in the 1920s and 1930s "with authors such as Alejo Carpentier and Nicolas Guillen leading the way" (33).
As Nicolas Guillen, Cuba's national poet said, La Bodeguita "overflowed with surges of aged rum", and of course, dressed with the most genuine inspiration of "soneros" and "troubadours.
A poem by Cuban writer Nicolas Guillen adorns the wall, in addition to a few plaques commemorating her time as an FMLN combatant.
Combining music, poetry, dance and theater, a jazz band transformed Hart High School's cafeteria Thursday into a concert hall, where students listened to the sounds of jazz trumpet pioneer Miles Davis and Cuban poet Nicolas Guillen.
Writing on Alejo Carpentier, Jose Lezama Lima, and particularly Nicolas Guillen, Gonzalez Echevarria explains how the Baroque incorporates the strangeness of Otherness and reveals the Other's monstrosity to be the Otherness of Being itself.
Diverse offerings included a seminar on the implications of the global credit crisis on United Nations reform and the annual Casa de las Americas, Alejo Carpentier and Nicolas Guillen literary prizes.
Harlem, Haiti, and Havana: A Comparative Critical Study of Langston Hughes, Jacques Roumain, and Nicolas Guillen.