Federico García Lorca is one of the most important Spanish poets and dramatists of the twentieth century. He was born June 5, 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town a few miles from Granada. His father, Federico García Rodríguez, was a landowner, and his mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero, was a teacher.
Lorca published his first book, Impresiones y Viajes, in 1919. That same year, he traveled to Madrid, where he remained for the next decade. His first full-length play, El Maleficio de la mariposa, was produced there in 1920. The next year, he published Libro de poemas, a compilation of poems based on Spanish folklore.
In 1922, Lorca and the composer Manuel de Falla organized the first cante jondo, or “deep song,” festival in Granada; the deep song form permeated his poems of the early 1920s. During this period, Lorca also became part of a group of artists known as Generación del 27, which included Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, who exposed the young poet to surrealism. In 1928, his poetry collection Romancero Gitano brought Lorca far-reaching fame; it was reprinted seven times during his lifetime.
In 1929 and 1930, Lorca traveled to New York City and Cuba. He returned to Spain in 1930 and, beginning in 1931, toured the country with the theater group La Barraca. He was arrested in Granada on August 16, 1936, near the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. He is believed to have been murdered by Fascist forces on August 18 or 19, 1936.