Her family was a noted family of poets and politicians. Her grandfather and father were well known local poets. Her father’s uncle, Álvaro de Albornoz y Liminiana, was the minister of the Department of Justice of the Republican government of Spain until the Civil War. Eventually, he became the president of the Republican government of Spain in exile in Paris and Mexico that was superseded by Franco's dictatorship. Concha de Albornoz, Albornoz y Liminiana's daughter, was a scholar and teacher considered as at the forefront of the modern Spanish feminist literary movement. In 1959, her uncle, Severo Ochoa de Albornoz (who had fled Spain on a Republican passport) while living and working in the United States, was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Arthur Kornberg for deciphering RNA.
Her family had been involved in business in Puerto Rico since the 1890s. In 1944, 18 years old de Albornoz moved with the de Albornoz household to San Juan. There she began her formal academic education which led to an MA from the University of Puerto Rico. At that time, she was studying under the tutelage of the Andalucian Nobel Laureate, Juan Ramón Jiménez.
In August 1950, de Albornoz married Jorge Enjuto Bernal, from Andalusia, in Puerto Rico. Like de Albornoz, Enjuto Bernal was from a Republican family living outside Spain. His father, Federico Enjuto Ferrán, was the Republican magistrate of justice who was involved in the trial of General José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the Falange, the fascist party in Spain. After living together in Puerto Rico and for a short time in Kansas and Paris, the marriage was dissolved in 1967.
Also at this time she began teaching. In 1955, she was awarded a scholarship to study comparative literature at the Sorbonne in Paris.
From 1955 to 1957, de Albornoz returned to Europe to continue her studies in Paris with José Bergamín, a celebrated Spanish poet and critic living in exile. She then proceeded to Spain, to complete her doctorate at the University of Salamanca. De Albornoz’s scholarly work was committed almost exclusively to the escritores exiliados of Spain.
Among other publications, in 1961, de Albornoz published, in Puerto Rico, Poesías de Guerra de Antonio Machado a compilation of Antonio Machado’s war poems which was a banned work not allowed to be published in Franco’s Spain. (Machado himself had died in exile in 1939 in Collioure, France).
Upon receiving her degree in 1966, she returned to Puerto Rico to become a professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
Around 1968, de Albornoz returned to Madrid where she taught at the Universidad Autónoma (Department of Humanities) and at the University of New York in Spain. Besides being a professor and poet, Albornoz was by now a celebrated scholar. She had become a critical authority on the works of Miguel de Unamuno, Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Rosalía de Castro, Federico García Lorca and particularly Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and José Hierro. As already stated, her interest naturally extended into the work of exiled Spanish poets such as José Bergamín in Paris, Rafael Alberti in Argentina, and León Felipe and Juan Rejano in Mexico.
She was a permanent member on the board of judges for the International Antonio Machado Prize awarded every year in Collioure, France.
Throughout Spain—and in America, as well—de Albornoz taught many courses, participated in many congresses, colloquiums, and writers’ meetings; she collaborated toward cultural activities that dealt with scholarship and writing—such as the founding of journals, magazines, newspapers, radio programs, awards, and literary groups.
De Albornoz was called upon to introduce, preside, or read with emerging Spanish voices such as Claudio Rodríguez, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, José Ramón Ripoll, Fanny Rubio, Álvaro Salvador, the Cuban scholar José Olivio Jiménez, the American scholar Shirley Mangini, Juan Macías, and Luis García Montero.
On June 6, 1990, Aurora de Albornoz, at 64 years old, died in her apartment in Madrid. She was struck down by a cerebral hemorrhage while speaking on the phone with José Fernández de Albornoz, her American nephew. He along with Scott Hightower, the U.S. (Texas) poet living in Manhattan), had just visited with her.
Besides a vast amount of critical work in books, anthologies, and newspapers, de Albornoz had published eleven books of poetry. She was an innovative poet who incorporated prose poems, collage, and other modernistic techniques into her work. Her style has connections to the general movement of Spanish writing toward "fantastic realism." Her work is of particular interest as she spans through the Civil War, the Generation of ‘50, and the following generations giving voice to the experience of the exiliados––the exiles.