Mayra Santos-Febres (1966) was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Since 1984 she has had poems published in international newspapers and magazines including Casa de las Américas (Cuba), Página doce (Argentina), Revue Noir (France) and the Latin American Revue of Arts and Literature (New York). Two collections of her poetry were published in 1991: Anamú y manigua – selected as one of the 10 best of the year by the Puerto Rican critics – and El orden escapado – winner of the first prize for poetry awarded by the magazine Tríptico (Puerto Rico). In 2000, Trilce (Mexico) published Tercer Mundo, her third poetry collection.
Apart from poetry, Mayra Santos-Febres also writes essays and prose. In 1994 she won the Letras de Oro Prize (US) with a collection of stories, Pez de Vidrio, and in 1996 she won the Juan Rulfo Prize for short stories (Paris) with Oso Blanco. In 2000, the Spanish publishers Grijalbo Mondadori brought out her first novel, Sirena Selena vestida de pena, which has been translated into English, Italian and French. In 2001 she was among the finalists for the Rómulo Gallegos Prize. In 2002 Grijalbo Mondadori published her second novel, Cualquier miércoles soy tuya. In 2005, Ediciones Callejón published her collection of essays, Sobre piel y papel, and the poetry collection Boat People, both of which had an enthusiastic reception from the critics.
In 2006 she was the first finalist in the Primavera Prize, organised by Editorial Espasa Calpe, for her novel Nuestra Señora de la Noche. 2009 saw the publication of Fe en disfraz (Alfaguara) and she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2010 Tratado de medicina natural para hombres melancólicos was published, and in 2015 the historical novel La amante de Gardel.
She has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard and Cornell Universities. In 2010, El País chose her as one of the 100 most influential Ibero-Americans and she also received an award from UNESCO.
She is currently a professor and Head of the Narration Workshop at the University of Puerto Rico.
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