Today marks the birth of José Lezama Lima (December 19, 1910-August 9, 1976), Cuban poet, essayist, and novelist, considered, with Alejo Carpentier, one of the foremost literary figures of Cuba and among the top influential writers in Latin America. He founded several important journals, such as Verbum, Nadie parecía, Espuela de Plata, and Orígenes (with J. Rodríguez Feo).
Considered a baroque writer, Lezama published poetry, beginning with his book length poem Muerte de Narciso (1937) and followed by collections Enemigo rumor (1941), Aventuras sigilosas (1945), La fijeza (1949), and Dador (1960). He is better known worldwide for his groundbreaking novel Paradiso (1966), the semiautobiographical story of a young man and his struggles with a mysterious illness, the death of his father, his developing homosexuality, and his aesthetic sensibilities. Other works include the novel Oppiano Licario (1972) and essay books such as Analecta del Reloj (1953) and La expresión americana (1969).
For full biography, see http://www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/l/lezama.htm
Photo of Lezama Lima from http://www.ellugareno.com/2009/08/en-memoria-de-lezama.html