Born in Vallehermoso, La Gomera, Pedro García Cabrera stayed for some of childhood in his father's home in Seville before returning the Canaries, where he lived until is death in 1981.
After secondary school, García Cabrera began writing for the Gaceta de Tenerife, later joining the staff of the magazine Hespérides. His first book of poetry, Líquenes (Lichens) appeared in 1928. A few years later he helped to found the important magazine of the Canarian indigensit movement, Cartones. And from 1932-1936, he was a founder of the Gaceta de Arte, representative of one of the brilliant cultural movements of the Islands. To Gaceta he contributed poems and essays, and the in 1934 the journal published his Transparencias fugadas (Fled Transparencies), one of the major documents of literary surrealism of the Canary Islands.
When the Spanish Civil War broke out, García Cabrera was arrested for his socialist ideas and deported to Villa Cisneros, where he escaped. But upon the end of the War in 1936, he was again arrested and imprisoned until 1946, whereupon he returned to Tenerife to work as a diplomat. During these many years, he wrote numerous collections of poetry, including Dársena con despertadoes (Dock with Alarm Clocks), La rodilla en el agua (The Knee in the Water), Los senos de tina (The Breasts of Ink), Entre la guerra y tú (Between War and You), Romancero cautivo (Captive Ballad Book), La arena y la intimidad (Sand and Intimacy), Hombros e ausencia (Shoulders of Absence), and Viaje al interior de tu voz (Journey to the Interior of Your Voice)—all of which remained unpublished until his Obras completas (Complete Works) of 1987.
After that collection, he continued to produce many collections of poetry that established his reputation in the Canaries, including Vuelta a la isla (1968, Return to the Island), Entre cuatro paredes (1968, Between Four Walls), Hora punta del hombre (1969, Rush Hour of Man), Las islas en que vivo (1971, The Islands Where I Live), Elegías muertas de hambre (1975, Elegies Dying of Hunger), Ojos que no ven (1977, Eyes That Do Not See), and Haciala libertad (1978, Towards Freedom). Other books, uncompleted at his death, appear in his Obras completas.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Líquenes (Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Editorial Hespérides, 1928); Transparencias fugadas (1934); Dársena con despertadoes (Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Ed. Gaceta de Arte, 1934); La rodilla en el agua (written 1934-1935; Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Ed. Benchomo, 1981); Dársena con despertadores (1936, in Papeles Invertidos (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1980); Día de alondras (Sta. Cruz de Tenerife: Goya Ediciones, 1951); La esperanza me mantiene (Madrid: Artes Gráficas Argés, 1959);Vuelta a la isla (Sta. Cruz de tenerife: Caja de Ahorros de Tenerife, 1968);Entre cuatro paredes (Ed. Gaceta Semanal de las Artes, 1968);Hora punta del hombre (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Ed. Domingo Velázquez, 1970);Las islas en que vivo (Sta. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Ed. Nuestro Art, 1971); Elegías muertas de hambre (Madrid: Ed.Rialp, 1975);Ojos que no ven (Madrid: Taller Eds. JB, 1977);Hacia la libertad (Las Palmas-St. Cruz de Tenerife: Ediciones, 1978); A la mar fuí por naranjas [collected works] (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Edirca, 1979); Obras completas, ed by Sebastián de la Nuez with Rafael Fernández and Nilo Palenzuela (Ed. Consejería de Cultura y Deportes el Gobierno Autónomo de Canarias, 1987).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:
Selections in Contemporary Poetry from the Canary Islands, translated by Louis Bourne, selected and introduced by Sebastián de la Nuez Caballero (London and Boston: Forest Books, 1992).