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Muñoz del Valle, Luisa (1906-1987) | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Muñoz del Valle, Luisa (1906-1987)


Historical Note:

Luisa Muñoz del Valle was a teacher, poet, and journalist born in Sancti Spiritus, Las Villas, Cuba, on June 4, 1906.

The daughter of Luis Muñoz Valdés and Francisca del Valle Gonzáles, she was baptized Luisa María Juana Muñoz del Valle. For her early education she attended the Colegio San Francisco Javier in Sancti Spiritus. She began her postsecondary education at the Escuelas Normales de Santa Clara, Las Villas, ultimately earning her degree in education from the Escuelas Normales de la Habana, in 1930.

Muñoz taught in private schools from 1930 to 1938 while studying for her doctorate. She later went on to complete her doctorate in Pedagogy at the University of Havana, receiving her degree on November 18, 1937. During this time she had already started writing her poetry. Her first major award as a poet was at the Juegos Florales in Sancti Spiritus where she was awarded the Flor Natural (First Prize) for her poem, “Civilización Occidental” in 1934. In 1935, encouraged by Cuban poets Andrés de Piedra-Bueno and José Angel Buesa, she published her only book of poetry, Angelus.

In 1936 Muñoz received national recognition when her poem “Romance de la Virgen de la Caridad” won third place at the Eucharistic Congress and Coronation of Our Lady of Charity. From this point on, she published her poems frequently in magazines such as San Antonio, Azul, El Fénix, La Milagrosa, and Semanario Católico, with which she had collaborated since 1928.

Muñoz pursued another professional interest, in journalism, at the Escuela Profesional de Periodismo “Manuel Marquez Sterling.” When she graduated in 1950, she was first in her class—the first time a woman had done so. After spending a year studying in Spain through a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, she started working as a journalist, predominantly for Alerta!, where she edited the daily Catholicism column.

Luisa Muñoz worked less after the Revolution since many newspapers were closed down by the policies of the Castro regime. She chose, however, to remain in Cuba instead of going into exile like the rest of her family. She stayed living in Havana, publishing her poems whenever possible, while her health increasingly weakened. Her family in Miami, particularly her brother, Dr. Luis B. Muñoz del Valle, tried to convince her to leave during the Mariel exodus in 1980 but she refused because she felt she would burden her family too much.  Her health continued to deteriorate until her death on August 2, 1987.







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