The Federico García Lorca Collection is comprised of letters from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) to Cuban diplomat and writer José María Chacón y Calvo (1892-1969) and photographs of García Lorca’s visit to Cuba in 1930 and in Spain. It has been entirely digitized.
While serving as a diplomat with the Cuban Foreign Relations Ministry on an assignment to Spain, Chacón y Calvo met the young García Lorca in Sevilla during the summer of 1922. Chacón y Calvo developed a friendship with the fledgling poet and in 1930 invited García Lorca to Cuba through the Institución Hispanocubana de Cultura (Hispano-Cuban Cultural Institute), an initiative established in 1926 by Cuban intellectual and anthropologist Fernando Ortíz. During Lorca’s time in Cuba, Chacón y Calvo and other Cuban intellectuals promoted Lorca’s work as a poet.
Upon his return to Spain, Lorca in turn shared his enthusiasm for Cuban literature by promoting the literary accomplishments of Cuban poets he had met and read along his journey. García Lorca’s trip to Cuba lasted only three months, but as evidenced through the correspondence presented here, the two men forged a deep friendship, and García Lorca’s letters demonstrate the impact that his experiences and impressions of Cuba had on him even after returning to Spain. Unfortunately, the friendship was cut short by García Lorca’s untimely death in 1936 during the first days of the Spanish Civil War.
Transcriptions of the letters and other materials in this collection were created by University of Miami students in Susanna Allés Torrent’s 2017 course, “Doing DH: García Lorca y Cuba.”