Brazilian poet Ledo Ivo, a well-known figure in Brazilian letters, died early Sunday from a heart attack in the Spanish city of Seville, where he had intended to spend Christmas. He was 88.

The poet and journalist, born in the northeastern city of Maceio in 1924, became ill while eating at a restaurant and decided to return to his hotel, where he received medical attention, the G1 news Web site reported, citing Ivo's relatives.

The poet, who was accompanied by his son, sculptor Goncalo Ivo, died before he could be taken to the hospital, however.

"He was on vacation in the Spanish city, where he was going to spend Christmas with some relatives and return next week to Maceio to fulfill his work commitments," the writer's niece, Laudiceia Euridice Ivo, said.

Ivo, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, or ABL, will probably be cremated in Spain and his ashes later repatriated to Brazil, she said.

"With regard to tributes, relatives and friends are mobilizing to celebrate Masses in Rio de Janeiro and in Maceio," the writer's niece said.

A novelist, journalist and essayist, Ivo kicked off his literary career with a book of poems entitled "As Imaginacoes," and his work has been translated into English, Spanish, French and Italian, along with other languages. EFE