A Chilean poet who was born in the small north-central town of Vicuña in 1889, Mistral is best known as Latin America’s first Nobel Literature laureate.
Although her real name was Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, she used the name Gabriel Mistral for almost all of her writings, forming it from the name of her two favorite poets – Gabriele D'Annunzio y Fréderic Mistral.
Mistral’s writing was recognized for the first time in 1914 when she won first prize in a national literary contest for Sonetas de la Muerte, while she gained international acclaim eight years later with the work Desolación.
In addition to her poetry, Mistral also dedicated much of her life to promoting culture and fighting for social justice and human rights.
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945, Mistral’s other important works include Lectura para mujeres and Lagar.
She died of cancer at her home in New York in 1957.