Biography: Gabriela Mistral, a pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, became the first Latin American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for her poetry in 1945.
Born into a humble background in rural Chile, she first rose to prominence in 1914 with her collection “Sonetos de la muerte” (“Sonnets of Death”) for which won she a literary prize. Desolación (“Desolation”), a collection of her early works was published in 1922. Other major volumes include Ternura (“Tenderness”) 1924, and Tala (“Destruction”) in 1938.
In her early working life Mistral worked as a teacher and educator in Chile and Mexico, including meeting a young Pablo Neruda, whose literary development she encouraged. Later in life Mistral worked for the UN, taught at American universities as a professor and served Chile as its consul in Madrid.
Her poetry is passionate and spiritual often championing the underdog, with themes of childhood and maternity running throughout.
- 1945-11-15 Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral becomes the first Latin American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature