Guillaume Apollinaire was born on August 26, 1880 as Guglielmus Apollinaris Albertus de Kostrowitsky in Rome, Italy. Apollinaire spent his childhood in Rome. Later, he went to school in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. Using different pseudonyms, Apollinaire wrote his first poems and essays. Apollinaire went to Paris. There, he worked as a clerk in a bank, writing poems in his free time. In addition, he published several small magazines. In Paris, he made the inspiring acquaintance of great artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In 1910 Apollinaire published 23 collected writings under the title L'Hérésiarque & Cie. Those stories were mainly short and written in quite a dark and morbid style. The book was nominated for the Prix Goncourt, but wasn't awarded in the end. Also, Apollinaire's collected essays "Les peintres cubistes" ("The cubist painters") from 1913 is considered to be an extraordinary book that helped cubism to attract more public attention.
Apollinaire wrote a lot of other novels, poems as well as some erotic or pornographic literature. Some of his most well-known works are "Le poète assassiné" from 1916 and the novel "La femme assise" from 1917. Guillaume Apollinaire died on November 9, 1918 in Paris from the wave of influenca that killed thousands of people all over Europe.