Helios Gómez, born in Seville, southern Spain in 1905, was the first Romani poet to write in Spanish. Today, however, the Communist activist who fought against Fascism is known mainly as a political artist, while his literary work is almost unknown (see Tjaden, 1996, 1998). Gómez died in 1956 in Barcelona.
Though a writer whose poems are widely seen as belonging to the contemporary avant-garde movements in Spain, he preferred strict forms – such as that of the sonnet and the ‘romance’. Helios Gómez began writing at an early age, but it was not until 1942 and especially during the periods he spent in prison (1945–46, 1948–54), that he focused mainly on literature. In addition to two essays, two historical novels that remained fragments only and the autobiographical epic poem Erika, he wrote more than 100 poems, which were published posthumously in 2006 as Poemas de lucha y sueño [Poems of strife and dreams]. As he developed as a writer, the confrontation with his identity as a Rom became his central theme. In accordance with his political commitment, the majority of his poems reveal a combative and appellative thrust and thus can be classified as committed literature in the aesthetic struggle against persecution and discrimination.
Gómez, Helios. 2006. Poemas de lucha y sueño. Barcelona: Associació Cultural Helios.
Carballés, Jesus Alonso (2009): »Helios Gómez et la révolution: de la peinture à la littérature«, in: Études tsiganes 36: 38–59.
Sources detailing Gómez’s life and work
Tjaden, Ursula (1996): Helios Gómez Artista de Corbata Roja. Txalaparta, Tafalla.
Tjaden, Ursula (ed.) (1998): Helios Gómez. Valencia: Ivam Centre Julio González.
Homepage der Associació Cultural Helios Gómez: http://www.heliosgomez.org/index.htm [accessed 10 July 2018].