If the phrase new normal It was a year ago to complain about the picturesqueness of the adjective, now we have come to the disheartening conclusion that normality was this: take the terraces of bars by storm, see how the days lost in public parks happen and face the working life (or the absence of it) with a mask that transforms any facial expression into a polypropylene grin. We have become accustomed to funeral figures, as well as news reports, which have relegated statistics to the national economy section. While the world population is distributed among vaccinated, invaccinated and anti-vaccines, we are still waiting for the return to the box of a 2019 that seems as elusive as Godot. What does have an expiration date is the state of alarm, which is probably already newspaper library meat when you read these lines. In any case, as those who wait tend to despair, it is advisable to kill time with a book of poetry “before time dies in our arms,” according to the statement. Moral Epistle to Fabius.
Think with the body
Under this motto, the thirteen authors summoned in The sky below (José Manuel Lara Foundation, 2021). Far from the hierarchical will that is attributed to anthological operations, the book edited by María Alcantarilla reveals a singular purpose: to offer an overview of those Spanish-American writers who made corporeity the center of their aesthetic research. Apart from sharing a continent and a certain exocanonical condition, the different voices gathered build a rich polyphony around recurring concerns: violence and exile, the question of identity, existential disruption or experimentation with language. This is observed in some of the itineraries suggested in the pages, from the specular unfolding of the Argentine Olga Orozco to the epiphanic unmasking of the Chilean María Eugenia Brito, passing through the cordial vibration traceable in the prose poems of the Colombian Mery Yolanda Sánchez . For its part, the personal nature of this bet invites us to interpret The sky below not just as a compiled book for Maria Alcantarilla, but also from María Alcantarilla: in effect, the subjective imprint of the author is evident, beyond the selection of names, in the thematic bias of the volume and even in a corpus photographic that illustrates the contradictions of a changing body.
Reflection on what it means to be a woman in Nicaragua constitutes the constant premise of the work of Gioconda Belli, who won the Gil de Biedma Prize with The red fish that swims in the chest (Viewer, 2021). Motherhood, eroticism or the embers of the revolutionary utopia run through verses that oscillate between great tragedies and small pleasures, calling for feminist empowerment and raising the flag of sisterhood: “Treasure your power. / Defend him. / Do it for you. / I ask you in the name of all of us ”.
Those who come
Young poetry awards are always a challenge for the critic, who is forced to leave the sacred area of evidence to move through the quicksand of promises. Promising, and a lot, it is Peachtree City (Visor, 2021), with which Mario Obrero won the Loewe Prize for Young Creation. Before reaching the legal age of majority, the ease with which the poet dissects landscape and peasantry to revisit the American way of life between the casual pop, the imagistic turmoil and a versatile elasticity that has little to envy to Allen Ginsberg’s Dionysian coven. Juan de Beatriz is another who sings such, because not only does he cook the previous readings in his verbal melting pot, but also enriches them with a lyrical foundation: in this way, although the poems of Sing what (Pre-Textos, 2021, Premio Emilio Prados) are often presented under the guise of glosses, variations or samples, the author’s (re) writings encompass metapoetic meditation, the re-semanticization of eternal topics and the realization that singing it only grows in the open. Another kind of weather stars All the violence (Rialp, 2021), which earned Abraham Guerrero Tenorio the Adonáis Award. Faced with the landscape and intrahistoric aspect that is usually associated with the award, the book places us in a harsh urban environment where failure is assumed as a genetic inheritance and where the lack of opportunities becomes a generational slogan. With echoes of the first García Casado, but with his own modulation, Guerrero Tenorio stands out both for the forcefulness of his social denunciation and for the uprooting transmitted by his domestic cartoons.
Geography and history
More than five years ago he obtained the Adonáis Constantino Molina, who in Cingla (Visor, 2020, Hermanos Argensola Award) proposes an investigation of a neorrural crust, but with an existential background, in which it vindicates the importance of the simple and the poorly paved, such as the flight of the swifts or the regional roads. Secretly ironic and resignedly vitalist, Constantino Molina transcends the anecdote “to scare away the voice of the gregarious.” The gate is the border territory of Notes for a dictionary (Renacimiento, 2021), where Gracia Morales transforms the private space (the concrete house and the interior dwelling, the building and the home) into a conflictive space in which children’s games, identity cracks and passions are linked. body to body. Places and times configure the cultural memory of Antonio Lucas, who advances in The nudes (Visor, 2020) through the secret passageways that connect the new house with the old customs, the pre-pandemic trips with the literary pantheon, the traps of age with the collective malaise before a century that gives no truce or respite. Nomadism is also in Egyptian (Visor, 2021), with which Martín López-Vega revalidates his versatility when drawing a trivial scene with the lightness of a watercolorist or self-portraying in successive moments with dense oil brush strokes. Echrastic and intertextual like life itself, Egyptian It is the X-ray of a soul during its journey through the desert.
In Bartleby’s kitchen, two books (now yes) really unclassifiable have coincided, both from 2021: Sacrifice, by Marta Agudo, and Ritual of the labyrinthby Julio Mas Alcaraz. On the path of its previous title (Record), the first signs a disturbing testimony about illness and pain. However, in the antipodes of stark autobiography, the author projects her inquisition on a scene of deep mythical-symbolic resonances: the human offerings given to the voracity of the legendary minotaur and the image of a glacier that condenses “the joyful calligraphy of the sea” . No less complex is the discursive spring of Ritual of the labyrinth, in which two superimposed stories converge through the cinematographic technique of parallel montage. While Lucía tells us about a time of wars and barbed wire, of cold rattles and unfathomable terror, her granddaughter Lorea reconstructs the genealogical tree and the family book to complete a regenerative cycle. Between the repair of the historical memory and the imaginative overflow, Julio Mas settles in a telluric universe of irreducible originality, of a lapidary sententiousness and a captivating metaphorism.