Guillén, Nicolás (nēkōläsˈ gēyānˈ) [key], 1904–89, Cuban poet. A leading exponent of poesia negra —an Afro-Antillean genre developed in the Caribbean—Guillén writes poetry charged with intense racial and political feelings. In Motivos de son (1930) and Sóngoro cosongo (1931) he employed native incantations, dances, and street cries. Guillén's later poetry, more traditional in form, is devoted to social and economic problems. It includes Balada (1962), Antología mayor (1964), and El gran zoo (1967, tr. 1972).
See his Man-Making Words (tr. 1972); W. Cartey Three Antillian Poets (1965).