(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Agosín, Marjorie, ed. Gabriela Mistral: The Audacious Traveler. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2003. Collection of essays focusing on various aspects of Mistral’s life and work, paying special attention to her political activism. Some of the essays discuss the death of the beloved in her poetry, the English translations of her writings, her extensive travels, and her pan-Americanism.

Bejar, Alfredo, ed. Globe Hispanic Biographies. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Globe, 1989. A collection of essay-length biographies, including one of Mistral. Not in depth, but a source for general biographical information on the poet in English, which is rare.

Fiol-Matta, Licia. A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. Although she never had a child, Mistral was a symbol of womanhood to many Latin Americans, who thought of her as the national schoolteacher-mother. Fiol-Matta examines how Mistral came to occupy this position, analyzing the issues of race, gender, and sexual politics in Mistral’s life, image, and poetry.

Mistral, Gabriela. Gabriela Mistral: A Reader. Translated by Maria Giachetti, edited by Marjorie Agosîn. Fredonia, N.Y.: White Pine Press, 1993. Includes a wide selection of poems from Tala in English translation. Twenty-eight prose pieces provide a good view of Mistral’s range.

Neruda, Pablo. Memoirs. Translated by Hardie St. Martin. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977. Chilean poet Neruda discusses his association with Mistral as his earliest mentor. Although brief, this is perhaps one of the best places to find a portrait of Mistral during the early years of her career as a teacher.

Peña, Karen. Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual: The Alternative Destinies of Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos. Leeds, England: Legenda, 2007. Examines the works of three Latin American women writers, describing how they used their poetry to challenge patriarchal society by writing about gender, sexuality, and marginalized people. The chapters on Mistral also discuss her lesbian sexuality.

Rosenbaum, Sidonia Carmen. Modern Women Poets of Spanish America. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978. Offers historical perspectives and academic criticism of four poets, including Mistral. One of the more detailed examinations of Mistral among the few studies available in English.