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Francisco Méndez (1907-1962) grew up in the town of Joyabaj in K'iche, Guatemala and worked for several years as a schoolteacher there. He published his first poem at the age of eighteen, and moved to the city of Quetzaltenango shortly after. A self-taught poet and writer, he went on to publish numerous volumes of poetry, including the celebrated Nocturnos, and wrote for the newspaper El Imparcial from 1935 until his death. His book of memoirs and short stories, Stories of Joyabaj, was published posthumously.