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Eliseo Diego, Cuban poet

Eliseo Diego, a leading Cuban poet, has died in Mexico City at 73, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina said.

The agency said Mr. Diego died Wednesday (March 2, 1994) of a heart attack but did not give other details.

Mr. Diego won last year's Mexican Juan Rulfo Literary Prize, one of the leading Latin American awards.

Born in Havana in 1920, he published his first collection of poetry, En las Oscuras Manos del Olvido (In the Dark Hands of Forgetting) when he was 22.

His best known works include a collection published five years ago, Libro de Quizas y de Quien Sabe (Book of Perhaps and Who Knows).

Also known for his essays, he was a former head of children's literature at the National Library, saying children should have access, as he did, to goodbooks.

He taught English and U.S. literature and translated a collection of the works of Danish storyteller Hans Christian Anderson.

Writing was hard work, he told a newspaper interviewer last year, but, "Poetry comes from within and you don't know when or how it will happen."

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