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Fayad Jamis Collection

Identifier: MA.00186

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of materials related chiefly to Fayad Jamis' career as a poet and book artist. It includes unpublished manuscripts, books, handwritten and decorated booklets, as well as photographs that cover the period between 1959 and 1987. There is a heavily annotated copy of Jamis' collected poems, La Pedrada, which was published in Havana in 1985. All of the materials are in Spanish.


  • 1959-1987


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Fayad Jamis Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from Fayad Jamis Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Fayad Jamis, Mexican-born Cuban poet, journalist, diplomat, painter, and book artist, was born in Zacatecas, the son of a Cuban father of Lebanese heritage and a Mexican mother, in 1930. He moved with his family to Cuba in 1936 and lived in various parts of the island until settling in Havana around the 1940s. Jamis first received artistic training at the traditional San Alexandro Academy, but went on a different path to become a well-known abstract painter. In 1953, he joined the Grupo de los Once, or Group of Eleven, which embodied the modernist aesthetic values of a new generation of Cuban painters.

In 1954, Fayad Jamis went to Paris and, two years later, attended the School of High Studies of La Sorbonne. He exhibited together with sculptor Agustín Cárdenas and had his first solo show in France sponsored by the surrealist writer André Breton. Jamis relocated to Cuba in 1959 where he taught painting at the National School of Art of Cubanacán, directed the Literature Section of the UNEAC (Unión de Escritores e Artistas de Cuba), published various books, and wrote articles for publications such as the Ediciones La Tertulia, Lunes de Revolución, La Gaceta de Cuba, Orígenes, Ciclón, and the Sunday supplement Hoy. Fayad Jamis also served as Cultural Counsel at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico for eleven years.

In 1962, Fayad Jamis was the recipient of the Casa de las Américas prize for his book Por Esta Libertad. His paintings can be seen today at the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana, and more of his artistic work integrates several private and institutional collections both in Cuba and abroad. Fayad Jamis often used the pseudonyms Fernando Moro, Onirio Estrada or the initials F.J.N. He died in 1988.


  • Brújula (1949)
  • Los párpados y el polvo (1954)
  • Alumbran. Seco sábado (1954)
  • Vagabundo del alba (1959)
  • Cuatro poemas en China (1961)
  • Los puentes (1962)
  • Por esta libertad (1962)
  • La victoria de Playa Girón (1964)
  • Cuerpos (Antología, 1966)
  • Abrí la verja de hierro (1973)
  • La Pedrada. Selección poética (1951-1973)
  • Historia de un hombre (1995; posthumous)


0.5 Linear feet (1 half archives box)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


Unpublished manuscripts, books, handwritten and decorated booklets, and photographs related chiefly to Fayad Jamis' career as a poet and book artist during the period 1959-1987. Includes a heavily annotated copy of Jamis' collected poems, La Pedrada, which was published in Havana in 1985. All of the materials are in Spanish.


Files are arranged in chronological order.

Related Materials

  1. Antonio Benítez Rojo Papers, 1957-2002
  2. Alicia Borinsky Papers, 1972-2005
  3. Sandra Cisneros Collection, 1984-2001
  4. Manuel Cuéllar Vizcaíno Collection, 1909-2002
  5. Jeffrey Davidow Papers, 1993-2003
  6. Martín Espada Papers, 1957-2003
  7. Ivor L. Miller Papers, 1900-2005 (bulk 1990-2005)
  8. Ilan Stavans, Videotapes of "Conversations with Ilan Stavans," 2001-2006

Processing Information

Processed in 2002 by John Lancaster.

Isadora Moura Mota
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299