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Man of words



Instituto Cervantes de Manila mounts “Miguel Hernández, a plena luz,” an exhibition on the life and works of the Spanish poet, at its Intramuros center at Casa Azul, Plaza San Luis Complex, from 25 July to 16 September.

The project, which is organized by the Diputación de Jaén or Provincial Government of Jaén, takes visitors through a journey to Hernández’s universe in commemoration of his 75th death anniversary. It focuses on the young man who made poetry his creed and provides essential information about the Spanish literary icon.

Containing original pieces, such as manuscripts, letters, book editions, photographs and other personal objects which were acquired by the provincial government through Hernández’s heirs, the exhibit aims to create an awareness of his literary legacy. The collection is treasured and safeguarded by the Diputación through the Instituto de Estudios Giennenses.

PUBLISHED in 1937.

The exhibition, which is curated by director Juan José Téllez of the Centro Andaluz de las Letras, kicked off in Jaén in December 2017, and it went on an international tour the following year.

The exhibit can still be viewed at Instituto Cervantes in London, Manchester, New York, Chicago and Dublin. It will head to Toulouse and Paris after Manila, the only Asian city in its tour.

Instituto Cervantes de Manila had already been marked as one of the required destinations for its tour, since the center’s library is named after Hernández. For more than a decade, the Manila center had been programing cultural events to remember the poet from Orihuela, Alicante.

Considered as one of the most authentic figures in 20th century Spanish literature, Hernandez’s beginnings were marked by religiosity, which was predominant during that time, and a self-taught literary education based on the classics of the Spanish Golden Age.

HERNANDEZ’S poetry thrived even under dire circumstances. Most of these works were published during the Spanish Civil War.

His book El Rayo Que No Cesa, which was published in 1936, made him famous in the poetry circles of Madrid, where he had decided to move in order to try his luck as a poet.

The Spanish Civil War did not disrupt his literary career and in fact, during this time, he published Viento del Pueblo (1937) and El Hombre Acecha (1938). After the war, he was arrested and imprisoned, where he had died in subhuman conditions in 1942.

The project is organized by the Diputación de Jaén in collaboration with the Junta de Andalucía, together with the Centro de Estudios Andaluces, the Centro Andaluz de las Letras, the Generalitat Valenciana and Instituto Cervantes.

Entrance to the exhibit is for free. For more information, visit the website of Instituto Cervantes at or its Facebook page at