He was born in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, on August 14, 1935, and his family moved to the capital in 1947, when he was 11 years old. He graduated of Philology from the University of Havana.
Since a very young age, he was interested in literature and theater. His play “El Caso se Investiga,” premiered in 1957, became a milestone, uniting the European avant-garde with the vernacular heritage for the first time on the national stage.
During that period, he published reviews, plays, stories and poems in the Ciclon magazine. In 1962 his first book, “En claro,” where his adolescent poems are collected, was published.
Arrufat worked at the Lunes de Revolución publication. He also founded and directed the prestigious magazine Casa de las Americas for five years. Together with a group of intellectuals, he was the founder of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).
His plays have been translated into Polish, English and French and have been staged in the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Poland. He has published in Europe magazine, L’Arc, Les Lettres, Quimera, Siempre, Ever green, and in almost all Cuban magazines.
For his play “Los Siete contra Tebas” (1968), he was awarded the Theater Award granted by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).