created by

Federico García Lorca

* 5th June 1898 in Fuente Vaqueros, today Spain

† 19th August 1936 in Víznar, today Spain

Federico García Lorca is Spain’s most well-known poet of the twentieth century. His “Romancero gitano” (“Gypsy Ballads”, 1928) are among his most famous poems, and plays of his such as “Bodas de Sangre” (“Blood Wedding”, 1933), “Yerma” (1934), and “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” (“The House of Bernarda Alba”, 1936) are still performed in theatres across the world today. By returning to the poetic tradition of his native Andalusia, he combined traditional elements with the avant-garde and became an innovator in the world of Spanish verse and drama. Lorca was also a member of the “Generation of ‘27”, a group of young Spanish poets who introduced symbolism, futurism, and surrealism to Spanish literature. He is also considered to be a feminist, staunch democrat, and activist for education and social minorities.

Lorca grew up in the small village of Fuente Vaqueros, near Granada. He moved to Madrid in 1919 to complete his studies. There he lived in the liberal “Residencia de Estudiantes”, where he befriended Salvador Dalí. This was followed by the first performances of his plays in Madrid as well as the publication of his collection of poetry, “Romancero gitano”, which discussed the problems faced by those on the edge of society and addressed sexual topics openly.

Following the end of his intense friendship with Dalí, Lorca found himself in a severe crisis and travelled to Cuba and New York in 1929-30.

Back in Granada, he founded the travelling theater group “La Barraca” in 1931. The group performed classical theatre pieces and Lorca’s own dramas in villages across Spain. It was in this time that Lorca’s most famous pieces were written, which revolted against the norms of bourgeois Spanish society. He also undertook a journey to Argentina, during which he held lectures about poetry and directed the premiere of “Blood Wedding”. 1935 marked the high point of Lorca’s career, with “Yerma” premiering in Madrid and Barcleona and the release of the sixth edition of “Romancero gitano”.

In 1936, the political situation came to a head and conflict between the left and right intensified following the murder of José Calvo Sotelo by the republican Assault Guard, ending in the outbreak of the Spanish civil war. As a known socialist, Lorca knew that he was certain to be in the firing line of the right-wing, which was gaining strength. Lorca was arrested in his friends’ home on 16th August 1936. The charges against him were those of socialism, Freemasonry, and homosexual relations. After a number of days in prison, he was brought to Alfacar at dawn with three other republicans and shot. Lorca lies in an anonymous mass grave and to this day has still not received a proper burial, unlike Franco.

Federico Lorca kept his homosexuality hidden; letters documenting his friendships and affairs with men were destroyed by his family. The topic remains taboo even in editions of his work from as late as 2006. Beginning in his school days, Lorca was taunted and called “Federica” and throughout his lifetime feared being seen as “effeminate”.  In addition to Lorca’s unrequited love for Salvador Dalí, towards the end of his life he was involved in a relationship with his secretary. Federico Lorca was gay.

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