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Childhood and maturity

Although she remained at the margins of Cuban literary movements, Dulce María published a number of individual poems and a book, Versos 1920-1938, during this period, and she was known as a poet in Cuban literary circles. Her first marriage to a cousin, from 1938 to 1943, was unhappy, and they divorced.

Marriage to Pablo
Silent Years
A few years later, she married the Spanish society journalist Pablo Alvarez de Caña, the great love of her life, who promoted her work actively, especially in Spain. She lived with him in Havana until shortly after the Revolution, when he left the country. She stayed in Havana, in self-imposed seclusion. Typical of the myths that have grown up around Dulce María’s life, some well-informed people believe that he left within days of the Revolution’s victory in 1959, but the record indicates that he stayed two more years.

The writer Pedro Simón and and his wife, world-famous ballerina Alicia Alonso, were among Dulce María’s oldest friends, and Pedro later became the editor of her archives and several editions of selected poems. In his interview with Judith Kerman in Havana in 1996, Simón talked about Dulce María’s rediscovery and emergence into the literary life of Revolutionary Cuba.

{Audio Link: Simón - rediscovery}

In spite of the record of publications before and during her first marriage, Dulce María later claimed that she might never have published anything if Pablo had not taken such a great interest in her work. In fact, important early works of Dulce María’s, such as the “Love Letter to King Tut-Ankh-Amen” and her lyric novel Jardín, were not published until quite late in her writing career, when Pablo made her work well-known, especially in Spain, and she won numerous awards. Her sister and two brothers, although poets and artists involved in the same literary and artistic circle as young adults, did not publish their works.

{Audio Link: Simón - Loynaz family}

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