(pen-name of Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga)
Born: 7 April 1889, Vicuña, Chile
Died: 10 January 1957, Hempstead, NY, USA
Residence at the time of the award: Chile
Prize motivation: "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world"
Prize share: 1/1
The daughter of a poet, schoolteacher Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga began to write poetry after a love affair in her youth. Her first collection of poems 'Sonetos de la muerte' ('Sonnets of Death') was written in grief over the loved one's death, and published under the pen name Gabriela Mistral, taken from two of her favorite poets. Central themes in her poems are love, betrayal, a mother's love and nature. Gabriela Mistral was also engaged in social politics and made great efforts for education in Latin America.