A Spanish poet born in Valladolid on Jan. 18, 1893, Guillén’s life paralleled that of his friend Pedro Salinas, whom he succeeded as a Spanish teaching assistant at the University of Paris’ College de Sorbonne from 1917 to 1923.
Also a professor at the University of Murcia, Oxford University and the University of Seville, Guillén established himself in the United States to continue his university teaching but returned to Europe to retire. Because of his inclination toward pure poetry, some consider him to be the most direct disciple of poet Juan Ramón Jiménez.
Guillén took up a career in literature at a late age; he was 35 years old when his first book, Cántico, was published. That work initially consisted of just 75 poems, but was later expanded considerably in later editions.
He won the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious award for Spanish-language writers, in 1977.
Guillén died in Málaga in 1984. trong>