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Federico Garcia Lorca one of Spains greatest modern poet and playwright was born June 5 1898 at Fuente Vaqueros in the Spanish province of Granada He began writing poems in his late teens reciting many of them in the local cafes In 1919 he left to study law at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid There he met film director Luis Bunuel and painter Salvador Dali Lorca came to national prominence in 1927 when his play Mariana Pineda was first performed His initial book of poems Gypsy Ballads was published one year later During a trip abroad which also took him to England and Cuba Lorca spent nine months in New York City beginning in June of 1929 His poems of that period were later collected in the volume entitled Poet in New York When Spain became a republic in 1931 many people including Lorca had high hopes They hoped that Spains standard of living would be improved its illiteracy reduced and its culture more widely disseminated Lorca became director of a student theater company which toured small villages and in the face of harassment by Fascist partisans presented the Spanish classics to the peasants His first great play the rural tragedy Blood Wedding was staged in 1933 It was very popular in Spain and in Argentina In 1935 he presented his second village tragedy Yerma and completed his third La Casa de Bernardo Alba Lorca spent much of early 1936 preparing Divan Del Tamarit a cycle of poems written in tribute to Granadas old Arab poets whom he had read in translation In July shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he went to vacation in Granada which had fallen to the fascists on the first day of the conflict Although he had no political affiliations Lorca was known to be a friend of left-wing intellectuals and an advocate of liberty Apparently this was enough of an indictment
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