Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico on February 17, 1914, the eldest of thirteen children, six of whom died of malnutrition and other poverty-related diseases. Died in Spanish Harlem in 1953 from pneumonia after collapsing on the street during an extended struggle with depression and liver cirrhosis. After receiving a teaching certificate from the University of Puerto Rico at age 19, Julia became active in the nationalist community that would be called treintistas and married reporter Rubén Rodríguez Beauchamp, whom she divorced at age 23. She spent the next two years touring Puerto Rico in support of her two books Poema en Veinte Surcosand Canción de la Verdad Sencilla, before moving to New York in 1940 with the love of her life, Dominican political exile, Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullón. In New York, she wrote many articles in Spanish language papers, eventually becoming Arts & Culture editor of Pueblos Hispanos, the final book of the poetry that became her legacy.
Read about her legacy at the NY Times
and check out her poetry at AllPoetry.com