Pablo Neruda was born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalï¿½ Reyes Basoalto in Ferral, Chile on July 12, 1904. In 1923 he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, Crepusculario (Twilight), which he published under the pseudonym Pablo Neruda. Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair), which was published the following year, made him a celebrity and allowed him to stop his studies to devote himself to poetry. His other works include Espaï¿½a en el Corazï¿½n, Canto General, Las Uvas y el Viento, and Para Nacer He Nacido. He received numerous awards including the World Peace Prize with Paul Robeson and Pablo Picasso in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetry in 1971. He died of leukemia on September 23, 1973.
Cristina Garc#237;a is the author of six novels, including the National Book Award finalist Dreaming in Cuban; children's books; anthologies; and poetry. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers' Award, among other honors, and is currently University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos. Visit her website at CristinaGarciaNovelist.com.nbsp;nbsp;
Poet W. S. Merwin (William Stanley Merwin) was born on September 30, 1927 in New York City. He attended Princeton University. He has authored over fifteen books of poetry and some of those titles include "The River Sound" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), which was named a New York Times notable book of the year; "The Vixen" (1996), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; "The Carrier of Ladders" (1970), which won the Pulitzer Prize; and "A Mask for Janus" (1952), which was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Merwin won a second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Shadow of Sirius (published in 2008). He has also published books of translation, which include Dante's Purgatorio, numerous plays and books of prose. Some of Merwin's honors include the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Bollingen Prize, the Governor's Award for Literature of the State of Hawaii, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the first Tanning Prize and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. He also received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and a Ford Foundation Grant. He is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and received a five-year term as judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish painter, graphic artist, and sculptor, is generally considered the most revolutionary, influential, and versatile artist of the twentieth century. He was born in Malaga, son of a painter, and studied in Barcelona. His extraordinary talent showed at an early age. Before he was 14, he had already produced a masterwork in the classic tradition. His early paintings (1901-04) of the so-called Blue Period (in which blues dominate the color scheme) deal with outcasts, beggars, sick children, and circus people. The Old Guitarist is the most famous of his Blue Period paintings. In Paris, Picasso developed a lighter palette, the so-called Rose Period, which is exemplified in The Boy with Horse. In his so-called Negro Period (1907-09), he concerned himself with basic forms, revealing the influence of African art. During those same years, he turned to the incipient cubist movement. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, in its semiabstract geometric forms, was a revolutionary step toward twentieth-century modernism, which he, together with Braque and Matisse, really set in motion. Picasso went through the entire vocabulary of cubism, its analytical as well as its synthetic phase. After 1918 he was also hailed as an initiator of surrealism. The horrors of the Spanish civil war affected Picasso deeply. With almost mythological power, his major work Guernica was inspired by the terror-bombing of the ancient capital of the Basques in northern Spain. Although the painting does not represent the event itself, it does evoke the agony and terror of war in general. The saturation bombing depicted in Guernica was the first demonstration of a technique later employed during World War II. Night Fishing at Antibes is another masterwork of that period. In his later years, Picasso experimented with ceramics and did highly original sculptures---including the famous Goat, as well as collages. He also produced a flood of drawings, lithographs, engravings, and stage designs. He remained creative to the last day of his life.