Innovative Peruvian poet and author known for an avant-garde poetry collection entitled Trilce. His other literary works include Espana, aparta de mi este caliz; Los Heraldos Negros; and Poemas Humanos.
He attended the National University of Trujillo and the National University of San Marcos, taking a break from his studies to earn income as a sugar plantation worker.
He wrote five plays that explored social and political themes; none were published or produced during his lifetime.
He married Georgette Philippart in Paris in 1934, following a series of love affairs.
He was the subject of a poem in What matters most is how well you walk through the fire, a collection by Charles Bukowski.