San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murgia and approximately 50 people gathered at the Mission branch of the San Francisco Public Library Saturday to pay tribute to the life of Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes.

“I think he was one of the great voices of our time,” Murgia told the crowd.

Fuentes, who passed away in May of this year, was an award-winning novelist and essayist best known for his novel “The Death of Artemio Cruz.” He was an important voice in the Latin American literary movement of the 1960s.

Karina Hodoyan, director of the Chicano/Latino studies program at the University of San Francisco, found the Día de los Muertos celebration appropriate because much of Fuentes’ work has to do with death, and death as a reflection on life, she said. She read an essay Fuentes wrote about his ancestors and literary inspirations.

Gustavo Calderon, who knew Fuentes, said he wrote about Latin American identity and the volatile history of the Americas.

“Carlos Fuentes perceives the novel of the Americas as a major force for us to find individually and plurally our name, our voice, our memory and last but not least, our desires,” Calderon said.

The crowd also watched a video about Fuentes’ life and listened to a recording of him reading from his work.