Burgos, Julia de (1914–1953)

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Burgos, Julia de (1914–1953)

Julia de Burgos (b. 17 February 1914?; d. 6 July 1953), Puerto Rican poet. Born to a poor family in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Julia Constanza Burgos García studied at the University of Puerto Rico's High School and Normal School. She taught at a small rural school while continuing her university studies. Her first work, a small typewritten edition of Poemas exactos a mí misma (Poems exactly like myself, 1937), was followed by Poemas en veinte surcos (Poems in twenty furrows, 1938) and Canción de la verdad sencilla (Songs of simple truth, 1939), honored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. In 1940 Burgos left Puerto Rico for New York, where she lived a bohemian life. Later that year she moved to Cuba, where she remained until 1942. A failed love affair brought her back to New York, where she suffered from ill health and the alcoholism that eventually caused her death. Two poems, "Welfare Island," written in English, and "Dadme mi número" (Give me my number) foreshadowed her death, alone and anonymous, in New York. Her body was later brought to Puerto Rico and buried near the Río Grande de Loíza, which she had glorified in one of her most famous poems.

Burgos's poems are about love, death, the passing of time, Puerto Rico, freedom, and justice. Images of rivers and the sea permeate her poetry, especially in El mar y tú (The sea and you), published posthumously in 1954.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Ivette Jiménez De Báez, Julia de Burgos, vida y poesía (1966).

Sherezada Vicioso, Julia de Burgos, la nuestra (1987).

Additional Bibliography

López, Ivette. Julia de Burgos: La canción y el silencio. San Juan, PR: Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humani-dades, 2002.

Vázquez, Lourdes. Hablar sobre Julia: Julia de Burgos: bibliografía 1934–2002. Austin, TX: SALALM Secretariat, 2006.

                                        Estelle Irizarry

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Burgos, Julia de (1914–1953)

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