Famous Spanish Poets

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Find out more about the greatest Spanish Poets, including Federico García Lorca, George Santayana, Lope de Vega, Alfonso X of Castile and Miguel de Unamuno.
Vote for Your Favourite Spanish Poets
 1 
Miguel de Cervantes
5
Birthdate: September 29, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Died: April 22, 1616

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer best known for his work Don Quixote, which is considered one of the high points of world literature. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of all time and the greatest writer to ever write in the Spanish language. His works have influenced other works of art like music and paintings.

 2 
Federico García Lorca
(Spanish Poet, Playwright, and Theatre Director.)
Federico García Lorca
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
Died: August 19, 1936

Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theater director. He was a prominent member of the Generation of '27, a group of poets who essentially worked with avant-garde forms of art and poetry. He was homosexual and had a love affair with sculptor Emilio Aladrén. He mysteriously disappeared at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

 3 
Jose Marti
(Cuban Nationalist, Poet and Philosopher)
Jose Marti
4
Birthdate: January 28, 1853
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Died: May 19, 1895

Son of Spanish immigrants, Jose Marti spent his childhood in a strife-torn Cuba and attended high school on financial aid. Marti’s poems, essays, and articles were laced with his patriotic vigor to free Cuba from the Spanish rule. He died battling on the field at Dos Ríos.

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 4 
George Santayana
(Regarded as One of the Most Important Thinkers of the First Half of the 20th Century)
George Santayana
7
Birthdate: December 16, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 26, 1952

One of George Santayana’s initial works, The Sense of Beauty, spoke about aesthetics, an oft-repeated topic in his later works. The Spanish-born American philosopher and Harvard professor is remembered for his quote “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” which has often been misattributed to Plato.

 5 
Miguel de Unamuno
5
Birthdate: September 29, 1864
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bilbao
Died: December 31, 1936

Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright, novelist, and philosopher. His most famous novel was Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion, a modern retelling of the Biblical Cain and Abel story. He was a significant figure in the Spanish literary and intellectual circles and served as rector of the University of Salamanca. 

 6 
Lope de Vega
(Writer and One of the Key Figures in the Spanish Golden Age of Baroque Literature)
Lope de Vega
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1562
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 27, 1635

Spanish Baroque dramatist Lope de Vega was one of the most significant figures of the Spanish Golden Age. He had initially aspired to be a priest but abandoned his plans after falling in love with a married woman. He is best remembered for works such as The Dog in the Manger.

 7 
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
(One of the Most Important Figures in Spanish Literature and Most Read Writer After 'Miguel de Cervantes')
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: December 22, 1870

Spanish Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was orphaned at age 11. Inspired by his painter brother Valeriano, he embarked on a literary career, writing for El Contemporáneo in Madrid. His Rimas (Rhymes) and Leyendas (Legends) gained popularity only after his death at 34 due to tuberculosis.

 8 
Camilo José Cela
(Winner of 1989 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Camilo José Cela
3
Birthdate: May 11, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Iria Flavia, Spain
Died: January 17, 2002

Camilo José Cela was a Spanish novelist, essayist, story writer, and poet. One of the most respected Spanish writers of his generation, Camilo José Cela received a number of prestigious awards, including the 1987 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In 1989, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994, he was honored with the Premio Planeta de Novela.

 9 
Solomon ibn Gabirol
(Andalusian Poet and Jewish Philosopher in the Neo-Platonic Tradition)
Solomon ibn Gabirol
3
Birthdate: 1021 AD
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
Died: 1070 AD

A prominent figure of the Hebrew school of poetry and a Neoplatonic philosopher, Solomon ibn Gabirol lived during the Jewish Golden Age of Spain. His works include elegies, religious and secular poems, proverbs, and philosophical treatises. Legends claim that he was either murdered by another poet or by a horseman.

 10 
Joaquín Sabina
(Singer-songwriter, Poet)
Joaquín Sabina
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Úbeda, Spain

Joaquín Sabina had begun writing lyrics at age 14. The legendary Spanish singer and songwriter mostly sings on heartbreak and love. Apart from releasing triple-platinum tracks such as Vinagre y Rosas, he has also penned books on poetry. He once went on a 4-year hiatus after a stroke.

 11 
Francisco de Quevedo
(Spanish Politician and One of the Greatest Poets of the Spanish Golden Age)
Francisco de Quevedo
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1580
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 8, 1645

Spanish nobleman, politician and writer Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, KOS of the Baroque era is counted among the most prominent writers of Spain's Golden Age. Quevedo adhered to the conceptismo style compared to his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora’s culteranismo style. His notable works include the picaresque novel El Buscón and the satirical prose Los Sueños.

 12 
Ramón Sampedro
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Porto do Son, Galicia, Spain
Died: January 12, 1998
 13 
Antonio Machado
(Poet and one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98)
Antonio Machado
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: February 22, 1939

A leading member of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98, Antonio Machado was a legendary poet and playwright. He was educated at the Sorbonne and had also taught French. A proponent of eternal poetry, he penned masterpieces such as Soledades and Campos de Castilla.

 14 
Juan Ramón Jiménez
(Poet, a prolific writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956)
Juan Ramón Jiménez
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moguer, Spain
Died: May 29, 1958

Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez mostly dealt with erotic themes in his works. He was also once hospitalized for depression. A master of lyrical poetry, he later deviated to free verse. He is best known for poetic masterpieces such as Distant Gardens and his prose Platero and I.

 15 
Abraham ibn Ezra
(One of the Most Distinguished Jewish Biblical Commentators and Philosophers of the Middle Ages)
Abraham ibn Ezra
3
Birthdate: 1089 AD
Birthplace: Tudela, Spain
Died: January 23, 1167
A significant figure of the Golden Age of Spanish Judaism, Abraham ibn Ezra was a renowned poet, a Neoplatonic philosopher, a biblical commentator, and an astronomy enthusiast. He traveled throughout Europe, North Africa, and Egypt, and also translated the works of Hispano-Hebrew grammarians. He inspired Robert Browning's poem Rabbi Ben Ezra.
 16 
Judah Halevi
(Spanish Physician, Poet and Philosopher)
Judah Halevi
3
Birthdate: 1075 AD
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: 1141 AD

Spanish Jewish poet, physician, and philosopher Judah Halevi is remembered for his significant contributions to the development of Hebrew poetry. Best known for Sefer ha-Kuzari and his poems in Dīwān, he was greatly influenced by Arabian literature. His travels eventually took him to Egypt, where he died.

 17 
Pedro Calderon de la Barca
(Dramatist, poet, writer and knight of the Order of Santiago)
Pedro Calderon de la Barca
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1600
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: May 25, 1681

One of the most significant Baroque playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, Pedro Calderon de la Barca had penned iconic dramas such as Life Is a Dream and many religious plays and operas, too. Many of his works reflected the issues of a dysfunctional family, probably inspired by his own life.

 18 
Miguel Hernández
(Spanish Poet and Playwright)
Miguel Hernández
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1910
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orihuela, Spain
Died: March 28, 1942

Miguel Hernández was a 20th-century Spanish-language poet and playwright. He was associated with the Generation of '27 and the Generation of '36 movements. He had a difficult childhood and was mostly self-taught. He became a prominent literary figure at a young age. His poems are counted among the finest pieces of Spanish poetry of the 20th century. 

 19 
Ibn Jubayr
(Arab Geographer, Traveller and Poet)
Ibn Jubayr
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1145
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valencia, Spain
Died: November 29, 1217

Ibn Jubayr was an Arab geographer, traveler, and poet from al-Andalus. In the years preceding the Third Crusade, he made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca from 1183 to 1185, which he wrote about in great detail in his chronicles. He was a member of an Arab family of the Kinanah tribe and also traveled to  Damascus, Mosul, Acre, and Baghdad. 

 20 
Tirso de Molina
(Spanish Poet and Roman Catholic Monk Known for Writing 'The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest')
Tirso de Molina
3
Birthdate: March 24, 1583
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 20, 1648

Spanish Baroque dramatist, poet and Roman Catholic monk Tirso de Molina is best known for writing the play The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest which first introduced the legendary fictional character of Don Juan. Other notable works of Molina includes the comedy sitcom Don Gil of the green tights and the trilogy of The Santa Juana.

 21 
Rafael Alberti
3
Birthdate: December 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Municipality of El Puerto de Santa María, Spain
Died: October 28, 1999

Rafael Alberti, part of the Spanish poets’ group called the Generation of 1927, redefined Spanish literature. The Cervantes Prize-winning poet had also been a Communist Party member but was expelled later and launched the politically motivated magazine Octubre. He had also fought in the Spanish Civil War.

 22 
Luis Eduardo Aute
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
Died: April 4, 2020
 23 
Luis de Góngora
(Spanish Poet and Priest)
Luis de Góngora
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1561
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: April 23, 1627

Spanish Baroque poet Luis de Góngora created his own style known as Gongorismo. Born to a judge, he initially used his father’s library to gain knowledge. His works such as Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea and Soledades were criticized by many for their complex style and obscurity.

 24 
Rosalía de Castro
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Died: July 15, 1885

Legendary Galician poet Rosalía de Castro was a significant figure of the Galician Romantic movement and mostly wrote on themes such as nostalgia and melancholy. She had also written quite a few novels but remains best known for her poetry collections such as Cantares Gallegos and Follas novas.

 25 
Fernando Arrabal
(Playwright, Screenwriter, Film Director, Novelist, and Poet)
Fernando Arrabal
3
Birthdate: August 11, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melilla, Spain

Spanish-born French author and playwright Fernando Arrabal is best known for his absurdist plays. While he initially studied law, he later switched to drama. He has written and directed films such as Viva la Muerte, and his characters are often murderers or prostitutes amid cruel and pornographic themes.

 26 
Samuel ibn Naghrillah
(Poet Known for His Homoerotic Poetry)
Samuel ibn Naghrillah
3
Birthdate: 0993 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1056 AD

Considered the most politically influential Jew in Muslim Spain, Samuel ibn Naghrillah was also an eminent Talmudic scholar, poet, grammarian, philologist and soldier. Beginning his life as a merchant in Córdoba, he later moved to Granada, where his linguistic and calligraphic skills caught the attention of the vizier; he was appointed first as assistant vizier and on latter on as the vizier.

 27 
Vicente Aleixandre
(Former surrealist writer)
Vicente Aleixandre
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: December 14, 1984

Vicente Aleixandre was a Spanish poet. He was part of the Generation of '27 and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1977. His early poetry was marked by surrealism and many of his poems have melancholic undertones. He is considered one of the greatest poets of Spanish literature. He was bisexual but never admitted to it publicly. 

 28 
Juan Goytisolo
(Spanish Poet & Novelist Who was Considered Spain's Greatest Living Writer at the Beginning of the 21st Century)
Juan Goytisolo
2
Birthdate: January 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: June 4, 2017

Spanish poet, short-story writer, essayist, and novelist Juan Goytisolo was regarded as the greatest living writer of Spain at the beginning of the 21st century. A critique of Francoist Spain, works of Goytisolo, which includes the novels Marks of Identity, Count Julian, and Juan the Landless, were banned in Spain until after Francisco Franco’s death.

José de Espronceda y Delgado
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1808
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Almendralejo, Spain
Died: May 23, 1842

Remembered as the "Spanish Lord Byron," Romantic poet José de Espronceda y Delgado became famous for his affair with Teresa Mancha. Initially imprisoned in a monastery for his revolutionary activities, he fled Spain and later lived in England and France. El estudiante de Salamanca remains one of his notable works.

 30 
Luis Cernuda
(Spanish Poet and Critic, a Member of the Generation of 1927)
Luis Cernuda
2
Birthdate: September 21, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: November 5, 1963

Spanish poet and critic Luis Cernuda was a qualified lawyer and later became a significant member of the Generation of '27. After gaining prominence with poem collections such as Los placeres prohibidos, he also taught at universities in Britain and the U.S., and eventually settled in Mexico. He was openly homosexual.

 31 
Jorge Manrique
(Spanish Poet)
Jorge Manrique
2
Birthdate: 1440 AD
Birthplace: Paredes de Nava, Spain
Died: April 24, 1479

Distinguished Castilian poet and soldier Jorge Manrique, noted for his lyric poetry, is best known for his work the Coplas a la muerte de mi padre (Verses on the death of Don Rodrigo Manrique, his Father). He joined Castilian military service at an early age and eventually reached the rank of captain. Manrique was a supporter of Queen of Castile Isabel I.

 32 
José Zorrilla
(Spanish Poet and Dramatist Known for His Play 'Don Juan Tenorio')
José Zorrilla
2
Birthdate: February 21, 1817
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: January 23, 1893

A nationalist poet and playwright, José Zorrilla was a major figure of the Spanish Romantic movement. Though he initially studied law, he later switched to literature. He is remembered for his verse legend collection Cantos del trovador and his iconic play Don Juan Tenorio.

 33 
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
(Novelist and Creator of Spain’s Most Famous Fictional Detective, ‘José “Pepe” Carvalho')
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
2
Birthdate: June 14, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: October 18, 2003

Renowned Spanish author and poet Manuel Vázquez Montalbán was a regular columnist for El Pais. A gastronome, he displayed his knowledge of cooking in the Detective Pepe Carvalho series and in Contra los Gourmets. He was a football lover, too, and often wrote essays on topics such as sports and music.

 34 
Joseph de la Vega
(Financial expert, Poet)
Joseph de la Vega
2
Birthdate: 1650 AD
Birthplace: Espejo, Spain
Died: November 13, 1692

A respected diamond merchant, moral philosopher and poet, Joseph de la Vega spent most of his life in Amsterdam, occupying important positions in several literary academies.  Author of seven published works, most significant of which is Confusion of Confusions, a book based on Amsterdam Stock Exchange, he is also credited with writing more than 200 letters to different European statesman.

 35 
Gloria Fuertes
2
Birthdate: July 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: November 27, 1998
 36 
Juan del Encina
(Spanish Composer, Poet, and Playwright)
Juan del Encina
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1468
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fermoselle, Spain
Died: 1529 AD

Juan del Encina is largely regarded as one of the pioneers of Spanish drama. He had been the court poet/dramatist for the Duke of Alba. Some of his best-known works were compiled in Cancionero. His églogas often dealt with mythological themes that were previously found in the Italian works.

 37 
Mariano José de Larra
(Romantic Writer and Journalist Best Known for His Numerous Essays and His Infamous Suicide)
Mariano José de Larra
2
Birthdate: March 24, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 13, 1837

Spanish journalist, playwright, and satirical author Mariano José de Larra had his own newspapers and also worked as a drama critic for La revista Española as Figaro. Part of the costumbrismo movement, he penned the play Macías. He later took his own life after being rejected by a woman he loved.

 38 
Juan Ruiz
(Poet)
Juan Ruiz
2
Birthdate: 1283 AD
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: 1350 AD

Fourteenth-century Castilian poet Juan Ruiz was also known as the Archpriest of Hita. He is remembered for crafting what later became the most significant long poem in Spanish literature, The Book of Good Love, written mostly in the cuaderna vía form. He is also termed by many as the Castilian Chaucer.

 39 
Alonso de Ercilla
(Spanish Nobleman, Soldier and Epic Poet)
Alonso de Ercilla
2
Birthdate: August 7, 1533
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: November 29, 1594

Alonso de Ercilla had penned the most popular Castilian Renaissance epic poem ever, La Araucana. He claimed to have fought as a soldier in Chile, against the Araucanians, where he is said to have begun writing his epic. The poem also showed his skills in the complex octava real stanza.

 40 
Pedro Salinas
(Spanish Poet, Scholar, Dramatist, and Essayist)
Pedro Salinas
2
Birthdate: November 27, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: December 4, 1951

Part of the Generation of '27, renowned Spanish poet Pedro Salinas y Serrano had also been a professor at the Johns Hopkins University. Educated at the Sorbonne, he also taught Spanish at Seville and later joined Cambridge, too. He is also known for his research on Rubén Darío and Jorge Manrique.

 41 
José Celestino Mutis
(Spanish botanist)
José Celestino Mutis
2
Birthdate: April 6, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cádiz, Spain
Died: September 11, 1808

Spanish botanist José Celestino Mutis had initially studied medicine and served as the royal physician of Ferdinand VI. While working in South America later, he studied the medicinal properties of plants. He also built a massive botanical garden and penned a treatise that contained over 6,000 illustrations of plants.

 42 
Theodulf of Orléans
2
Birthdate: 0750 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: December 8, 0821

Theodulf of Orléans had been the bishop of Orléans during the reign of Charlemagne and had later become his chief theological advisor. His iconic works, such as Ad Carolum regem, were inspired by Charlemagne. A prominent figure of the Carolingian Renaissance, he also built many churches.

 43 
José de Anchieta
(First playwright, the first grammarian and the first poet born in the Canary Islands, and the father of Brazilian literature)
José de Anchieta
2
Birthdate: March 19, 1534
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain
Died: June 9, 1597

An influential Jesuit missionary in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, José de Anchieta worked with the indigenous population, converting many of them into Catholic faith. He also wrote Arte de grammtica da lingoa mais usada na costa do Brasil, providing orthography to the local Tupi language and is known to co-found the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

 44 
Moses ibn Ezra
2
Birthplace: Granada, Spain
Died: 1138 AD

Moses ibn Ezra, or Abū Hārūn Mūsā, was one of the best Spanish Jewish poets and a pioneer of secular verse. He had fallen in love with his niece, but she had been married off to someone else, inspiring him to write poetry which spoke of love and old age.

 45 
Leandro Fernández de Moratín
(Spanish Dramatist, Translator and Neoclassical Poet)
Leandro Fernández de Moratín
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1760
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: June 21, 1828

Neoclassical poet and dramatist Leandro Fernández de Moratín, the son of poet and playwright Nicolás Fernández de Moratín, was one of the most significant figures of the Spanish Enlightenment. He was best known for his works such as The New Comedy and The Maiden’s Consent and mostly lived in France.

 46 
Concepción Arenal
2
Birthdate: January 31, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain
Died: February 4, 1893
 47 
Celedonio Romero
(Spanish Guitarist and Composer Best Known as the Founder of 'The Romeros' Guitar Quartet)
Celedonio Romero
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Died: May 8, 1996

Known as the man behind the formation of the Romeros guitar quartet, Celedonio Romero had begun playing the guitar at age 5. Apart from being a guitarist, he was a composer and poet, too. He later settled in the US with his family. He eventually lost his battle with lung cancer.

 48 
Gonzalo de Berceo
2
Birthdate: 1190 AD
Birthplace: La Rioja, Spain
Died: 1264 AD
 49 
Ausiàs March
2
Birthdate: 1400 AD
Birthplace: Beniarjó, Spain
Died: March 3, 1459
 50 
Yehuda Alharizi
1
Birthdate: 1165 AD
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: 1225 AD

Spanish Jewish rabbi, translator, and poet Yehuda Alharizi was one of the greatest scholars of 13th-century Spain. Fluent in multiple languages, such as French, Greek, and Latin, he also traveled widely across the world. His works include Tahkemoni and translations of Arabic works such as Guide to the Perplexed into Hebrew.