Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

León Felipe [1884–1968]

Date of Birth: 13 Apr 1884 Tábara/ Zamora
Died: 18 Sep 1968 Mexico D. F. (age 84)

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Poet and dramatist voluntarily exiled in Mexico.

Time Table

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1884 Tábara/Zamora
Born in Zamora to a middle-class family and christened León Felipe Camino Galicia de la Rosa.
1886 Sequeros/Salamanca
The family moves to the small town of Sequeros when his father, a notary public, is transferred there.
1893 Santander. Calle San Francisco
The family settles in Santander.
1900–1905 Madrid
Studies Chemistry at the Universities of Valladolid and Madrid.
1907 Santander. Calle San Francisco
Sets up a pharmaceutical business in Santander with financial help from his father.
1910–1915 Valencia
Gives up his business after falling into debt. Works as an actor with an itinerant troupe along the Mediterranean coast and in Portugal.
1915–1918 Madrid
Imprisoned for three years for fraud and bankruptcy.
1918 Barcelona
Meets the Peruvian Irene Arambarri. They have a relationship which lasts a few months.
1918 Madrid
Settles in Madrid, where he lives in bohemian poverty. Enrique Díez-Canedo helps him publishes some poems in the journal España.
1920 Almonacid de Zorita/Guadalajara
Obtains a post in a pharmacy.
May 1920–1922 Bata/Equatorial Guinea
Elobey/Equatorial Guinea
Santa Isabel/Equatorial Guinea
Works as a hospital administrator in the Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea.
1922 Madrid
New York
Returns to Spain for a few weeks, then travels to the US, where he stays in New York for a few months.
1923 Mexico D. F.
Travels to Mexico for the first time with a letter of introduction from Alfonso Reyes.
1924 Brooklyn/New York
Marries Berta Gamboa.
1924–1928 New York
Goes to the USA, where his wife is a lecturer. Lectures at Columbia and Cornell and translates works by Waldo Frank and Walt Whitman. Meets Federico García Lorca.
1928–1931 Veracruz
Returns to Mexico, where he works as a librarian in Veracruz.
1934 Madrid
Briefly returns to Spain.
1934–1936 Panama
In Panama, works as a university lecturer in Literature and is appointed cultural attaché to the Spanish embassy.
Jul 1936 Madrid
Decides to return to Spain on the outbreak of the Civil War.
Aug 1936–Jan 1937 Madrid
Lives in Madrid, and campaigns in favour of the Republic. Lives with Rafael Alberti, María Teresa León and Emilio Prados.
1938–1939 Paris
Leaves Spain for Paris. He will remain in voluntary exile for the rest of his life.
1939 La Habana
Stays briefly in Havana, Cuba.
1939 Mexico D. F.
Co-founder of the journal Cuadernos Americanos.
1939–1968 Mexico D. F. Chapultepec
Settles down in Mexico City, where he teaches Spanish Literature.
1946–1948 Travels around Central America.
1952 Mexico City
Reading of the first version of Felipe's Otelo.
Mar 1953 Mexico City
Performance of Felipe's No es cordero... que es cordera with sponsorship from the Patronato del Teatro Universitario.
1955 Mexico City
Performance of Felipe's Macbeth o el asesino del sueño at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, directed by Gorostiza.
1957 Mexico D. F.
His wife dies.
1968 Mexico City
Felipe dies.
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Works About

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Palabra virtual
Collection of poems by León Felipe, many of which are read by the poet himself.
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