|Gabriela Mistral (1889 - 1957)
Pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, was born in Vicuña, Chile. The daughter
of a dilettante poet, she began to write poetry as a village schoolteacher after
a passionate romance with a railway employee who committed suicide. She taught
elementary and secondary school for many years until her poetry made her famous.
She played an important role in the educational systems of Mexico and Chile, was
active in cultural committees of the League of Nations, and was Chilean consul
in Naples, Madrid, and Lisbon. She held honorary degrees from the Universities
of Florence and Guatemala and was an honorary member of various cultural
societies in Chile as well as in the United States, Spain, and Cuba. She taught
Spanish literature in the United States at Columbia University, Middlebury
College, Vassar College, and at the University of Puerto Rico.
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