Queer Town Icon: Poet Federico Garcia Lorca

Throughout history, the world has been shaped and influenced by the vast contributions of gays and lesbians. Unfortunately, we don't always know or remember these important role models. Welcome to the "Queer Town Icon" series.

Born in Spain in 1898, Federico Garcia Lorca was a renowned poet, dramatist, and theater director. He was also a key member of the "Generation of '27" -- an avant garde group of Spanish poets and artists.

Lorca is widely hailed as Spain's most important poet and playwright of the twentieth century.

Lorca's best known book of poetry is Romancero Gitano, which was published in 1928 and received international attention.

His greatest achievement as a playwright is considered to be the "Rural Trilogy": Bodas de Sangre, Yerma, and La Casa de Bernarda Alba. The three plays rebelled against mainstream Spanish society.

The writer's poetry and plays were often laced with social commentary -- and he was outspoken about his liberal views and contempt for fascism and injustice.

Lorca struggled to accept his sexual orientation, but carried out passionate, gay love affairs. Just this year, a box containing a poem and a letter from Lorca to his last lover were found in Spain.

When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Lorca was arrested and never seen again. He was believed to be executed and buried in a mass grave, but his remains have not been found.

His poetry has influenced songwriters Leonard Cohen and Tim Buckley and poets Pablo Neruda and W.S. Merwin.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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