Guillén, Jorge (1893–1984) By Galindo, Gloria
Spanish poet, literary critic, and scholar, Jorge Guillén belongs to the Generation of ’27, a group of Spanish poets—which included Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, and others—that emerged in the cultural scene of 1927 beginning with the tribute to Luis Góngora that took place that year in the Ateneo of Seville for the third centenary of his death. Guillén, who was born in Valladolid, Spain, is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish poets of the twentieth century.
He attended school in Spain, Switzerland, and Germany, and earned a doctorate from the University of Madrid in 1924. During his career, he lectured at the Sorbonne, Oxford, the universities of Murcia, Seville, Puerto Rico, McGill (Montreal), Harvard, Middlebury College, and Wellesley College. He taught and wrote poetry in the United States for over 20 years, and was a professor at Wellesley until his retirement in 1957. He began writing poetry when he was 16 years old, gaining recognition very early with his first poems, but he left Spain in 1938 after the Generalissimo Francisco Franco took power.