Tallet, José Zacarías (1893–1985)

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Tallet, José Zacarías (1893–1985)

José Zacarías Tallet (b. 18 October 1893; d. 1985), Cuban journalist. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Tallet moved to the United States with his family in 1912. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting from the Heffly Institute of Commerce in New York City. Upon his return to Cuba in 1923, he participated in the Protesta de los Trece and the Grupo Minorista, both consisting of disenchanted intellectuals who called for change in Cuban letters and politics in the 1920s. He was instrumental in the formation of several leftist organizations, including the Falange de Acción Cubana, the Movimiento de Veteranos y Patriotas, and the Universidad Popular José Martí, of which he was first president. An ardent Marxist, Tallet expressed his ideas in such journals and newspapers as Social, Alma Mater, Carteles, and Revista de La Habana. In 1927–1928, he was editor of the journal Revista de avance, director of the magazine El Mundo from 1928 to 1933, and subdirector of the daily newspaper Ahora from 1933 to 1935.

For seventeen years Tallet taught world and Cuban history at the Escuela Profesional de Periodismo "Manuel Márquez Sterling," of which he was director (1959–1960). He is best known for his poetry, in which he treated both the social relevance and the aesthetic contribution of all sectors to Cuban culture. He received the Bonifacio Byrne Prize in Poetry (1944). His first book of poetry was La semilla estéril (1951) and his best-known poem is "La rumba."

After 1959 he became an enthusiastic supporter of the Castro revolution. He was a frequent contributor to Bohemia, one of Cuba's major journals, until his death.

See alsoCuba: The Republic (1898–1959); Cuba: Cuba Since 1959; Journalism; Literature: Spanish America.


Luis E. Aguilar, Cuba 1933: Prologue to Revolution (1972).

Harry Swan, "The Nineteen Twenties: A Decade of Intellectual Change in Cuba," in Revista interamericana 8, no. 2 (1978).

Instituto De Literatura y Lingüística De La Academia De Ciencias De Cuba, Diccionario de la literatura cubana, vol. 2 (1984), pp. 997-998, with extensive bibliography.

Leslie Wilson, "Tallet," in Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Cuban Literature, edited by Julio A. Martínez (1990).

Additional Bibliography

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

Whitney, Robert. State and Revolution in Cuba: Mass Mobilization and Political Change, 1920–1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

                                        DariÉn Davis

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Tallet, José Zacarías (1893–1985)

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