Diego, Eliseo (1920–1994)

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Diego, Eliseo (1920–1994)

Eliseo Diego (b. 2 July 1920; d. 2 March 1994), Cuban poet and essayist. Diego was born in Havana, where he studied law for two years at the University of Havana. He was part of the editorial board of the literary publication Clavileño and was one of the founders of the influential magazine Orígenes, where his first poems and short stories appeared between 1944 and 1956. He taught English and served as inspector of English instruction for the Ministry of Education. In 1959 he earned a degree in education from the University of Havana. In 1962 Diego was put in charge of the Department of Children's Literature at the José Martí National Library in Havana, a post he occupied until 1970. He was secretary of public relations for the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC), and served on juries for several important literary contests in Cuba, including those of the UNEAC and the Casa de las Américas. He traveled widely to represent Cuba officially at international cultural events.

In 1993 Diego was awarded Mexico's Juan Rulfo literary prize, among the most important in Latin America. One of the foremost Cuban poets of the century, Diego exerted great influence on the younger generation of Cuban poets, especially after the publication of his first book, En la calzada de Jesús del Monte (1949). There is one compendium of his poems in prose, essays, and short stories (Prosas escogidas, 1983) and another of his poetry up to 1983 (Poesía). Both were published in Havana in beautiful editions. Other works by Diego include Entre la dicha y la tiniebla: Antología poetica, 1949–1985 (1986), and Veintiséis poemas recientes (1986). His poetry has been translated widely. Diego died in Mexico City.

See alsoCuba: Cuba Since 1959xml .


Arcos, Jorge Luis. Los poetas de "Orígenes". Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002.

López Lemus, Virgilio. Oro, crítica y Ulises, o, Creer en la poesía: Figuras claves de la poesía cubana del siglo XX. Santiago de Cuba: Editorial Oriente, 2004.

Padrón Barquín, Juan Nicolás. La violenta música de la libertad: Antología poética de la Revolución. Havana: Editorial José Martí, 1999.

Redonet, Salvador. Entre dos origenistas y un eterno disidente: La cuentística de José Lezama Lima, Eliseo Diego y Virgilio Piñera. Cienfuegos: Ediciones Mecenas y Reina del Mar Editores, 2001.

                                        Roberto Valero