Jaime Sabines

Jaime Sabines bigraphy, stories - Mexican poet

Jaime Sabines : biography

March 25, 1926 – March 19, 1999

Jaime Sabines Gutiérrez (March 25, 1926 – March 19, 1999) was a Mexican contemporary poet. Known as “the sniper of Literature” as he formed part of a group that transformed literature into reality, he wrote ten volumes of poetry, and his work has been translated into more than twelve languages. His writings chronicle the experience of everyday people in places such as the street, hospital, and playground. Sabines was also a politician.

Published poetry

  • Horal (1950)
  • La señal (1951)
  • Adán y Eva (1952)
  • Tarumba (1956)
  • Diario semanario y poemas en prosa (1961)
  • Poemas sueltos (1951–1961)
  • Yuria (1967)
  • Tlatelolco (1968)
  • Maltiempo (1972)
  • Algo sobre la muerte del Mayor Sabines (1973)
  • Otros poemas sueltos (1973–1994)
  • Nuevo recuento de poemas (1977)
  • Los amorosos: Cartas a Chepita (2009)
  • Love Poems Translated by Colin Carberry (2011, Biblioasis)


  • 1959 Chiapas, El Ateneo de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas Prize.
  • 1964 Scholarship granted by Centro Mexicano de Escritores (Mexican Center of Writers)
  • 1973 Xavier Villaurrutia Award for Maltiempo.
  • 1982 Elías Sourasky Award
  • 1983 National Prize for Language and Literature.
  • 1986 Juchimán de Plata Award
  • 1991 Mexico City Medal
  • 1994 Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor
  • 1996 Premio Mazatlán de Literatura, for Pieces of shadow


Sabines was born on March 25, 1926 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

Before he devoted himself to the study of literature, he spent three years studying medicine before moving on to his real vocation:literature, studying at UNAM Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Sabines was an outstanding member of the Mexican Writers Centre from 1964 to 1965 and part of the jury for the Casa de las Americas prize. In addition to his literary activity, he participated in politics and became a federal deputy for the First District of Chiapas from 1976 to 1979, and for the Federal District in 1988. Sabines was awarded the Chiapas Award (1979), the Xavier Villaurrutia Award (1972), the Elias Sourasky Award (1982) and the National Literature Award (1983).

A collection of his work, Nuevo recuento de poemas, was issued by the publisher Joaquín Mortiz in 1977, and the Secretariat of Public Education in 1986. In 1994 he received from the Senate of Mexico the Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor; in 1995, his selected poems, Pieces of Shadow (trans. W.S. Merwin), was brought out in a bilingual edition by Papeles Privados; and in 2004 Exile Editions (Toronto, Canada) published a bilingual volume of two early Sabines books, Adam and Eve & Weekly Diary and Poems in Prose (trans. Colin Carberry.) Octavio Paz considered him “one of the greatest contemporary poets of our [Spanish] language.”

Sabines died on March 19, 1999.