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Gloria Fuertes García (Madrid, July 28, 1917 – ibid., November 27, 1998) was a Spanish poetess, linked to the literary movement of the first generation of postwar that critics have united to the Generation of 50 and to the poetic movement called postismo. Media writer, became especially known in Spain from the 1970s for his collaborations in children’s and youth programs of Spanish Television as a balloon, two balloons, three balloons, a fame that eclipsed his recognition as a poet of the Spanish postwar period. In his poetry he defended the equality between women and men, pacifism and the defense of the environment. In 2017, on the occasion of the celebration of the centenary of his birth, his role in twentieth-century Spanish poetry has been vindicated.
Gloria Fuertes was born in a humble family in the Madrid district of Lavapiés, on July 28, 1917, on Calle de la Espada. His father was a janitor and his mother was a seamstress and servant. She attended the Institute of Professional Education for Women obtaining the diplomas of Shorthand, Typing, Hygiene and Childcare.His interest in letters began at the young age of five, when he was already writing and drawing his own stories. And this interest is still maintained despite the null stimulation of his family, as reflected by the words of the writer herself ː
When my mother saw me with a book, she hit me. No one in my family ever told me “write, daughter, write, you do it well …”. No one. I have nothing to thank my family. But when you want a thing, even if your family does not help you, it is achieved. If you really are worth and want something with all your will, go ahead surely.
In 1932, at the age of fourteen, his first poem was published: Niñez, Juventud, Vejez.When his mother died in 1934, he began to work in Metallurgical Workshops where he combined his accounting tasks with the writing of poems. A year later, in 1935 he published his first verses in a children’s magazine and gave his first recitals of poetry in Radio Madrid. It is the moment, at age 17, that he writes his first book of poems: Isla Ignorada published in 1950.
From 1938 to 1958 she was an office secretary, a job that from 1939 to 1953 she combined with that of editor of the children’s magazine Maravillas, where she published weekly stories, cartoons and poetry for children. In his work as a writer he met the poet Carlos Edmundo de Ory in 1942 – one of the founders of ‘postismo’ – when he sent a sonnet to the magazine that Fuertes decided to publish, based on this contact they established a relationship of friendship and exchange intellectual, that later and for a time will be a couple.
Between 1940 and 1945 several of his children’s plays and poems staged in several theaters in Madrid were premiered.
Also between 1940 and 1953 he began collaborating in children’s magazines, Pelayos, Chicos, Chicas: the magazine of the 17 years, Chiquitito, and the infant supplements of Flechas and Pelayos (Maravillas) and of the newspaper Arriba, for which he published the comics of Coletas and Pelines, a girl of nine years and a boy of six respectively, who achieved a great popularity among the children’s audience.
In 1949 he published the book Canciones para niños and in 1950 Pirulí (Versos para infantiles), also organizing the first Children’s Library traveling by small towns.
Parallel to his dedication to children’s literature in magazines, theater plays and staged poems, he founded in 1951, together with María Dolores de Pablos and Adelaida Las Santas, the women’s group «Verses with skirts» that for two years were devoted to especially active way to offer readings and recitals in Madrid’s cafes and bars, as well as in magazines for adults such as Rumbos, Poesía Española and El Pájaro de Paja. In 1950 he founded with Antonio Gala, Julio Mariscal and Rafael Mir the poetic magazine Arquero that he directed until 1954.
In 1952 he premiered his first verse play in the Teatro del Instituto de Cultura Hispánica: Prometheus, which received the Valle-Inclán Prize.
From 1955 to 1960 he studied librarianship and English at the International Institute of Madrid, where he met the American scholar Phyllis Turnbull, with whom he had a fifteen-year relationship, where he worked in 1958 as a librarian until 1961 when he obtained the scholarship. Fulbright in the United States to teach Spanish Literature at Bucknell University was, she said, the first time she ever set foot in a university, and later taught at Mary Baldwin College and at Bryn Mawr College until 1963, when she returned to Spain. Upon his return from the United States, he taught Spanish for Americans at the International Institute. In 1972 he obtained a new scholarship from the Juan March Foundation for Children’s Literature.
From the mid-70s his collaborations in various TVE children’s programs, such as A Balloon, Two Balloons, Three Balloons, The Plaff Mansion and The White Kite earned him great popularity as a child poet eclipsing his career poetic.For her work in television was awarded several times with the Silver Ring. From this period his activity was unstoppable with readings, recitals and tributes, publishing continuously, both children’s poetry and for adults. In 1986 the comedians of Tuesday and Thirteen made him a tribute-parody for the «New Year’s Eve Special».
She died of lung cancer on November 27, 1998 and was buried in the South Cemetery of Madrid, leaving her fortune (100 million pesetas) to the orphanage known as Ciudad de los muchachos de Padre Jesús Silva. In 2001 his mortal remains were transferred to the Cemetery of La Paz de Alcobendas (Madrid).
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