Category Archives: Poetry

The sincere poetry of Luciana Reif

“In my mind’s eye, this prize was something so unattainable that I had subconsciously eliminated it from my memory”, explains Luciana Reif (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1990), winner of the 30th LOEWE Foundation Young Poets Award. When she received the call from Spain, for a few minutes she naively thought ” it must be some kind of joke”. Fortunately for everyone, it wasn’t; and her book of poems Un hogar fuera de mí is now included in the list of winners and has been published by Editorial Visor.

“I had a special kind of faith in this book, an intuition of sorts, that made me wish that something special cross its path; I pondered the decision over and over again… until I finally submitted it. The book had something, and I didn’t want that something getting lost among a multitude of voices. ” A collection of poems where, Reif recognizes, she poured a lot of herself; “I don’t know if that’s good or bad, because it’s very autobiographical, it’s a reflection of my life’s journey, the transition from adolescence to adulthood, what it means to be a woman … issues that, in my day-to-day, I find problematic. “Reif has turned those conflicts into poems in which sometimes” fears become bigger than what they really are. The poetic self is quite deep, dark, and complex. I found that if I wrote two or three poems in a row, the level of anxiety I felt was such that I had to stop”. So, with this book, Luciana Reif has allowed herself to “play a little more than in real life, because one has to live, go to work, have relationships with one’s partner and one’s friends; in real life one has to be more level-headed”.

Reif wishes to preserve a creative authenticity that has her thinking that “it is inspiration that pushes a poem out, in that the verses emerge from things that may have been doing a dance in my head; and then suddenly they shoot out and then it’s like a domino effect.” She hopes “the prize helps me work better or helps me manage that authenticity. Otherwise, when the poem becomes something very rational, it appears when it so wishes, and one doesn’t see it before. I would like to keep that freshness, to feed it. I don’t want to see the poem before it exists”.

Among the poets Reif looks up to are Paula Jiménez España -who helped her edit the book-, Susana Thénon, Alejandra Pizarnik, Idea Vilariño, Marosa de Giorgio… “I read more women than men,” declares the Argentine poet, whose training in Sociology has given her a particular vision of the world. “Women are always portrayed from a more intimate perspective… their thought processes are portrayed to incite poetic discourse and there is an almost immediate need to transform that which is so deep and profound, such as motherhood or the bond with one’s partner. That is something that really speaks to me and that inspires me to write as well.” Thinking on the current moment, she adds: “I hope this prize doesn’t change my understanding of what poetry is, because if there is something that I recognize in Un hogar fuera de mí, is that it came out of something that was very sincere”.

La tarde que me acosté sobre mi mamá,
la tarde que apoyé mi cabeza
sobre su pecho y sentí
sus senos flacos y sus muslos
cansados debajo de las sábanas,
pensé en su torso tendiéndose con desgano
sobre el de mi papá; ella, la mejor gimnasta,
balanceándose una y otra vez
sobre la misma barra, el miembro viril
entre sus raspadas manos.
Mi madre, la gran equilibrista,
capaz de caminar sobre la cuerda floja
y mantenerse en pie.
Yo tenía ocho años ese mediodía
que volví a casa llorando, un chico
del colegio me arrinconó en el pasillo
me agarró fuerte de las muñecas
y besó mis labios.
Cualquier ser es un demonio
si no es una la que decide abrir
Las puertas de su cuerpo.

Luciana Reif
Un hogar fuera de mí, XXX Loewe Foundation Young Poet’s International Award.

Photo Captions: Luciana Reif at the presentation of the XXX LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Award © Álvaro Tomé for Fundación Loewe, 2018.

Ida Vitale, FIL Prize in Romance Languages

Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale has recently been named as the winner of the 28th FIL Prize in Romance Languages awarded by the Guadalajara (Mexico) International Book Fair. “Her clear poetic voice, closely tied to the natural world, artistic expression, and the passage of time, is able to bring new life to tradition and affirm her presence in the modern world”, stated the judging panel in its decision. With poems such as The Light of this Memory, Procurement of the Impossible, Dictionary of Affinities, Constancy’s Dreams and Each in His Own Night, Vitale has become a point of reference in today’s poetic creation and is an integral part of the group of writers known as the Generation of 45.

Ida Vitale was a member of the 27th Loewe Foundation International Poetry Prize jury and was asked to introduce the book Contratono by Colombian poet María Gómez Lara, winner of the Young Poet’s Award. In 2014, Vitale participated in a Loewe Talk together with writer Soledad Puértolas, who is also a member of the Loewe Poetry Prize jury.

Born in Montevideo in 1923 – as the fourth generation of Italian emigrants – Vitale grew up in an intellectual environment that inspired her to study Humanities; a disciple of José Bergamín and a faithful follower of Juan Ramón Jiménez, Vitale crystallized as a poet, essayist, professor and literary critic; no less important are her translations of works by such authors as Luigi Pirandello or Simone de Beauvoir, amongst others. In 1974, fleeing the dictatorship that hit Uruguay, Vitale sought exile in Mexico, where she remained for ten years. She currently lives in the US. A collaborator of numerous newspapers and magazines, her link to Mexico had her serve on the advisory board of Vuelta magazine and be a member of the group that founded newspaper Unomásuno. She has an honorary PhD from the University of Uruguay and some of the many awards she has received throughout her career include the Octavio Paz International Poetry and Essay Prize (2009), Spain’s Queen Sophia of Ibero-American Poetry Award (2015), the Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize (2016), and the Max Jacob Poetry Prize (2017).

Ida Vitale will accept the FIL Award in Romance Languages next November in Mexico, a few weeks after celebrating her 95th birthday.

Photo Captions: Ida Vitale at the presentation of Contratono, by María Gómez Lara, winner of the 27thLoewe Foundation Young Poet’s Award. Ida Vitale with Sheila Loewe and Soledad Puértolas at the Loewe Gran Vía store © Uxío da Vila, 2014.

Ben Clark: the transcendence of the poem

“I am a bit overwhelmed to see that something as small and personal as a book of poems, can transcend as a result of how far reaching the Prize is”, explains Ben Clark (Ibiza, Spain 1984), winner of the 30th LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Prize for his book of poems La poesía celeste. “I entered the Prize because, although I thought winning was an unlikely outcome, I knew that I would gain readers. It is a book that is very dear to my heart, that took a lot of work and that I wrote with a lot of honesty”, he admits.

Clark explained that he finished La poesía celeste at the beginning of 2017 thanks to a “Valparaíso Foundation grant. I am very grateful to the Mojacar City Hall because this allowed me a brief but intense residency where I was able to wrap up ideas”. He hopes this book of poems “reaches a large number of people. I think it’s a book that can help people who are living experiences that are similar to the ones described in some of the poems; the experience of being a father, whether or not to have children… these are things that I worry about and I know for a fact that my friends and other people who are close to me also worry about them”. It would be truly wonderful, he tells us, “if, in addition to the Prize´s prestige, the book were to have a practical use”.

With regards to the award, Clark believes that “almost everyone would agree that the LOEWE Prize is the pinnacle of a writer’s career; there are awards that are given in recognition of a career path or a lifetime of achievement, but this one is for a specific work”. The LOEWE, he argues “is a summit claim. What’s important now is to recover and to reinvent myself”. That’s where he’s at right now, thinking about writing a book that would converse with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. “I’d really like to recuperate the idea of the classic adventure book and to reinterpret certain elements through a poetic prism in an attempt to create some sort of dialogue with our society”.

Although his first book –Secrets d’una sargantana– was written in Catalan and his parents are British, Ben Clark now rights mostly in Spanish. “For someone, such as myself, who more or less uses classical metres, there are many advantages to writing poetry in Catalan and English, but ever since I moved to Salamanca as a student, I began exploring those literary circles and Spanish is the language that I now use to express myself as a poet; I feel very close to the traditions of that region of Spain, I admire many Latin-American poets, and I think Spanish is a language that has yet to be explored”, he reflects. As to the Prize’s 30 years of existence, he admits that “the poetry and the poets are all very different, something that Luis Antonio de Villena explains in the lengthy prologue of the Mareas del mar anthology”, and a consequence of having “a Jury that is so extraordinary and yet so hard to label, due to the number of members, and the strengths and perspectives they each have. I imagine it must be incredibly difficult for all of them to come to an agreement”, he says laughing. “Nothing would scare me more than to think that the Prize’s winner had been chosen unanimously. The LOEWE prizes should be discussed and defended, and if one is lucky enough to be chosen, it should be a given that some of the Jury members would have voted in favour and some not. And that is a good thing indeed”.

POKER FACE

oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh
Lady Gaga

Habla con niños que no existirán.
Pasea por la orilla de los ríos cantando
canciones pegadizas de adolescentes yanquis
y luego vuelve a casa, donde escribe poemas
de amor con versos clásicos y nunca
menciona las canciones ni a los niños
intangibles. Escribe sobre cosas amables
y se pregunta, a veces, si acaso lo peor
que te puede pasar
es morir solo.

Ben Clark
La policía celeste, winner of the 30th LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Prize.

Photo Caption: Ben Clark © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE Foundation, 2018.

POESÍA eres tú

The 30th Loewe Foundation International Poetry Prize celebrations continue on with the literary arts as the main protagonist. On the occasion of the three decades since the creation of the Prize, this past 21st March, on International Poetry Day, the documentary Poesía eres tú – a Dadá Films & Entertainment production that was directed by Charlie Arnaiz and Alberto Ortega, and that can streamed on LOEWE’s website– was presented. The previous evening, Madrid’s historic Cine Doré hosted a first viewing of the documentary, followed by a short poetry reading by Ben Clark and Luciana Reif, winners of Prize’s latest edition.

In just over a half hour, POESÍA eres tú features the members of the jury and the outstanding list of historic LOEWE Prize winners, with their individual and distinct literary and aesthetic sensibilities. We also see poets from both sides of the Atlantic as well as young talents who represent today’s most contemporary poetry and who are taking off from new literary platforms, thus offering a diverse and contemporary perspective of Spanish poetry, shown here as a literary genre in constant evolution.

The voices of Enrique Loewe Lynch –Honorary President of the Foundation–, Sheila Loewe –President of the Foundation–, publisher Chus Visor, and of other literary figures who had enormous influence over Spanish Poetry in general and over the LOEWE Prize in particular –Víctor García de la Concha, Piedad Bonnett, José Manuel Caballero Bonald or Jaime Siles, among others– build an eloquent multitalented crucible around a literary genre –poetry- that the LOEWE Foundation took an interest in over three decades ago, and which is still one of the most celebrated within the fields of culture and literary arts.

Also, to mark the LOEWE Prize anniversary, poet and Jury member Luis Antonio de Villena has curated an anthology of poems from the Prize’s thirty winning books, published by Visor under the title of Mareas del mar. In the book’s prologue, “XXX años del Premio LOEWE: Modernidad, tradición y avance”, Villena has also included a number of anecdotes and memories from the Prize’s three decades as well as interesting details of each of the winners. The volume’s front cover shows The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai: a metaphor for the diversity of the sea’s waves that, like the LOEWE Prize, reach the shore periodically.

Click here to see the documentary POESÍA eres tú.

Photo Captions: Viewing of Poesía eres tú at Cine Doré © Alvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2018. Front cover of Mareas del mar © Editorial Visor, 2018. Image: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai.

LOEWE celebrate three decades of poetry

The 30th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prizes were just presented at the traditional meal held in Madrid’s Westin Palace Hotel, with numerous well-known representatives from the fields of culture, literature and design in attendance. In her welcome, the Foundation’s Director Sheila Loewe made special mention of Chus Visor for accompanying the Foundation during this three-decade journey by publishing the winning books of poems and including them in her poetry collection.

On such a special day, Sheila Loewe made a point of thanking all LOEWE employees as well as “the small, but incredible LOEWE FOUNDATION team responsible for making this and many other beautiful things possible”. This year, in commemoration of the Prize’s 30th edition, the Foundation has commissioned Luis Antonio de Villena to curate a new poetry anthology of the winning books and, as the Director explained, on 21st March –which is International Poetry Day – the documentary titled Poesía eres tú will be presented “featuring some of the most important moments in the history of the Prize, as well as some of the most important voices in Spanish poetry discussing how they see the future of poetry”. Enrique Loewe, Honorary President of the LOEWE FOUNDATION –who was “visibly moved and satisfied” with the evolution of the Prize– admitted that he “had always dreamt of a day like today”. He also explained that poetry “has changed and benefited me, but it has also changed my company; it has given it a certain sensibility, perspective, vision, rigour, refinement, special search”. He was also deeply grateful for the fact that out of his 55 years at LOEWE “30 of them were spent enjoying and working on this project”. Enrique Loewe also remembered poets Pablo García Baena and Antonio Cabrera.

Author and translator Elvira Sastre, when presenting the book that won the Loewe Young Poet’s Award –Un hogar fuera de mí by Luciana Leif– defined it as a book of poems “that one doesn’t find by chance, but rather, a book that is strategically placed on a table for you to discover”. Sastre, who did not know the Argentinian poet, feels “that she has discovered a necessary author” and recalled how she read the book shortly after the mass march that took place this past 8th of March on International Women’s Day, a demonstration she ventured is “crucial for the development of our world”. When talking about the author, Elvira Sastre explained that “she is a sociologist, a feminist who believes in the power of poetry as a means of social denunciation. Her writing is strong and she demands to be heard”. Luciana Reif, upon collecting her Award, declared that “one never writes alone, and a book shows and hides, as all objects do, the fetish of the conditions that make its own existence possible”. She thanked her family for educating her to be “free and rebellious”, her studies in Sociology for teaching her that “the world is much more complicated than it seems”, the “feminist movement and the women fighting for their rights”, her partner for teaching her “that we must love more than ourselves”, and poetry because, “more than anything else, it teaches us a lot about all this”.

Journalist and author Ignacio Elguero, when presenting La poesía celeste –the winner of the 30th Loewe Prize– pointed out that its author, poet Ben Clark, is barely three years older than the Prize: “If thirty years give a prize maturity, then poetic maturity is what stands out in this book”. He also underscored the book’s originality and revealed that the inspiration for the title came from a meeting of astronomers looking for a lost planet at the beginning of the 19th century in northern Germany, a meeting around which some of the book’s poems were written. “The process of poetic creation and the process of human creation both beat throughout” the work, added Elguero. As such, “a poetic body emerges with various themes, out of which two stand out: father and son relationships, with poems of great emotional intensity, and existential reflection, which explores the human concerns we all share”. The poet uses “large spaces and astronomy in particular; hence the title”. The result, as Elguero points out, are poems “of great expressive power, with very suggestive images” that are sometimes inspired by “anecdotal occurrences or everyday events”, which the poet then uses to “reveal emotions”. For Elguero, that is the book’s greatest achievement: its ability to stir up the reader’s emotions. When picking up his Prize, Ben Clark quoted scientist Stephen Hawking –who had died that same day– saying that we should “look up at the stars and not down at our feet”. “In an increasingly impatient world”, Clark said, “I have tried, with this book, to momentarily divert our attention away from screens, from everyday life… so that we may once again rise towards the stars and the eternal themes of poetry: time, death, and the only cure that exists: love”.

On Tuesday, 20th March at 7:30 p.m., the authors will read excerpts from their prize-winning books in Madrid’s Casa de América. Luis Antonio de Villena will host.

Photo Captions: The winners of the 30th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize, Luciana Leif and Ben Clark with Enrique Loewe and Sheila Loewe © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2018.

Ben Clark and Luciana Reif, winners of the 30th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize

La policía celeste, by Ben Clark (Ibiza, Spain, 1984), has been awarded the 30th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The jury, presided by Víctor García de la Concha and made up of members Piedad Bonnett, Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Soledad Puértolas, José Ramón Ripoll, Jaime Siles and Luis Antonio de Villena, highlighted the simplicity and transparency of the book; a book of poems that the jury considered to be “full of anecdotes; and not black and white anecdotes, but rather, ones that the author transcends and enriches”. On the other hand, Un hogar fuera de mí by Luciana Reif (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1990) won the Young Poets Prize for authors under 30 years of age; the Jury has underscored the book’s feminine view of reality, which broaches a wide range of themes including “militant feminism and the criticism of social sexism.” Moreover, it has underlined the “enquiring and fresh Argentinian colloquialism” it incorporates.

During the press conference that took place on 31st October in Madrid’s Gran Vía LOEWE store, Sheila Loewe, President of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, offered all attendees a warm welcome and remembered the path the Prize has travelled. Víctor García de la Concha read the minutes of the Jury’s decision after, after evoking the three decades of history that the Prize now has, and highlighting the importance and relevance of each of the 30 winning books.

Luis Antonio de Villena, who presented Un hogar fuera de mí, described it as a “simple yet complex” book of poems and praised the voice of the Argentinian who defends “her condition as a free woman without making it a war cry”. Using a “colloquial but polished language”, Un hogar fuera de mí has what Villena calls a “measured style” featuring a very structured colloquial approach that is not based on the simple repetition of current forms, but rather achieves “the language of art”.

HOMBRES COMO MI PADRE

Hombres como mi padre,
mi abuelo,
mis novios,
mis hermanos,
vi sus cabezas llenas de grandes ideas
como un plato de comida que rebalsa,
lustré desde chica esos cráneos,
soy el placebo de tranquilidad
con el que después brillan fuera de casa.

¿Para eso caí en este mundo?

Luciana Reif
LOEWE Young Poets Prize 2017
Un hogar fuera de mí

When it came time for poet Jaime Siles to present the winning book –La policía celeste– he did so rather shyly because “it’s a very intimate book. It’s a book about love, about a love that is fundamentally filial”. Siles praised the hidden allusions to Virgil’s Aeneid, to existentialism, to Vallejo, and to astronomers, as well as the musical references and the books avoidance of historicity despite the fact that is clearly set within a specific timeframe. He pointed out that Clark’s book is “very well constructed from a rhythmic-syntactic point of view and manages enjambments beautifully”. A book written “from within” and, in sum, “guided by its love for poetry”. Siles explained that La policía celeste “is rhythmically perfect because the rhythm that brings it together and articulates it is not metric rhythm, but rather the rhythm of emotions, of consciousness, of the heart”.

CAFÉ MACHADO

En cada error existe una verdad.
El corazón enfermo de mi padre
no debe estimularse con café.
Pero no se resigna.
Su vida nunca fue descafeinada
ni sin alcohol. Un poco es algo,
dice, y por eso pide
siempre café Machado. Es manchado,
corrijo. Un café manchado, dice.
Y de pronto me siento un asesino.

Ben Clark
LOEWE Prize 2017
La policía celeste

The LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize, which is awarded annually, aims to promote poetic creativity and creation in Spanish. The main prize is awarded to a previously unpublished book of poems of at least 300 verses and the Young Poets Prize to an author under the age of 30 if the winner of the main prize is older than that. The winning books are also published by Colección Visor de Poesía. This year’s edition had 29 finalists chosen among the 706 manuscripts that were sent from more than 32 countries. A total of 19% of entries from Latin-American countries, with the largest number hailing from Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, while Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, and Seville were at the top of the list of provinces for Spanish entries.

The presentation of the books and the award ceremony will take place in March of 2018.

Photos: Luis Antonio de Villena, Víctor García de la Concha, Jaime Siles and Sheila Loewe © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE Foundation, 2017. Luciana Reif. Ben Clark © Vicent Marí. Antonio Colinas, Jaime Siles, Chus Visor, Sheila Loewe, Enrique Loewe, Soledad Puértolas, José Ramón Ripoll, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Luis Antonio de Villena, Piedad Bonnett, Víctor García de la Concha and Francisco Brines © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE Foundation, 2017

Sergio García Zamora, condemned to be talented

“I was in my home town, a place called Esperanza, which in English means Hope. I was at my mom’s and I had just finished reading her a poem; a poem I had dedicated to her, or rather to her solitude; a poem that is included in El frío de vivir. And then they called. I laughed and she cried. Then we had coffee. My mom forgot to add sugar, but I found it sweet. Everything became alarmingly sweet.”

That is how poet Sergio García Zamora remembers the moment he found out that his book of poems El frío de vivir had won the 29th edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Young Poets Award.

Born in Cuba in 1986, García Zamora has a B.A. in Spanish language, has published over a dozen books, and has received numerous prizes, including the Rubén Darío International Poetry Prize and the Gaceta de Cuba Prize. “I submitted my application because the LOEWE Poetry Prize has everything: a prestige that its organisers have never betrayed; a very generous prize disbursement (even the Cid Campeador needed money); beautiful books; an unquestionable jury that has allowed us to believe in literary justice once again. An honourable prize, even if not everyone remembers the value of that adjective.” He explains that his relationship with the jury is distant. “The truth is, I only know them because I’ve read their books, which are magnificent. It’s like having siblings you haven’t met. I have lived without ever hearing them speak; but every day I rehearse possible conversations because I trust that one day we will sit at the same table.”

A Jury that highlighted, among other qualities, the expressive resources of a book that even its own author describes using a competitive metaphor: “If I were a chess player (what author isn’t one), I would declare El frío de vivir the first move of the middle game, when one cannot afford to make the mistakes of the opening rounds, call them my previous books, if we are to beat eternity at its game.”

García Zamora says this prize has changed his life “in an enchantingly horrible way: it has condemned me to be talented. I had hoped to live out my days as a poet, as a simple shepherd; however, the time to kill giants has arrived.”

Photo captions: Sergio García Zamora at the award ceremony of the LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize in its 29th edition ©Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2016.

José Ramón Ripoll: poetry and memory

“During these days of literary hustle and bustle, I have asked myself if people are really still interested in poetry and its true substance,” wonders José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, 1952), who recently won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The poet went on to explain that his book, La lengua de los otros, “is an attempt at hearing in a vacuum, at listening to the echo of those words which emerge outside of the realms of space and time, a music that shapes us before we are born, before the possibility of existing is even possible.”

This trip has led him, as he himself explains, to “use different syntactic resources and a music that is not part of my usual discourse. The result is a stylistic consequence of everything I write, although, in this book, I believe I use a more naked language, perhaps because I delve deeper into that vacuum I was referring to before and I try to listen the echo of a primitive word which, paradoxically, emerges out of nowhere.”

Ripoll, who is a writer, a musicologist and a journalist, also directs, from the time it was founded, the poetry magazine RevistAtlántica. The experience he has gained has taught him that “each poem is different and shines in its own right, regardless of theme or style, generation or origin. And, from the outset, the LOEWE prize, inits two categories, has been showcasing just that,
allowing us to discover young and previously unknown poets, and recognising books of poems written by established Spanish or Latin-American authors.” Among the jury members, he identifies most with Caballero Bonald and has even said that his own voice depends upon Bonald’s. “As I read his latest pieces, each increasingly surprising, I am more convinced of this fact,” he declares.

Ripoll, who’s in love with language, sound and memory, reflects upon the present and says that “there is a tendency towards wanting to make language more uniform, towards stripping it of its natural beauty, its depth, its evocative and metaphoric capacity. This leads to a growing vulgarisation and ultimately results in the manipulation of thoughts, and therefore, of the individual. For this reason, when people show up at a poetry reading or show interest in a recently published book, hope shines through, and I begin to think that this prize is worth it and goes beyond satisfying the winner’s personal interests and aspirations.”

PIctures: José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017.

Wisdom and Beauty at the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize Award Ceremony

The LOEWE FOUNDATION has, once again, been responsible for the gathering of a large number of representatives from the world of culture at the LOEWE Poetry Prize award ceremony and the presentation of the winning books, held in Madrid’s Palace Hotel. A party and a celebration where the excitement felt by the winners and the joy of celebrating yet another of the Prize’s editions were both palpable.

Sheila&ganadoresXXIXLoewe

“As our 30-year anniversary draws near,” said the Foundation’s Honorary President, Enrique Loewe, during the presentations, “I am reminded of the excitement and fear we felt when we first set upon this path. We believed we had a mission, that being in close contact with beauty was worthwhile and would benefit us all, but mostly LOEWE, because it would make us better and more important, although those we really wanted to make more important were the poets.” Joined by his daughter Sheila Loewe, the LOEWE FOUNDATION’S Director, who was in charge of delivering the welcome speech, Enrique Loewe remembered that his biggest hope and source of excitement came from thinking that “this Prize will have another 30 years of life”.

Sergio&CaballeroBonaldEl frío de vivir by Sergio García Zamora, winner of the LOEWE Young Poet’s Award, was presented by last year’s Poetry Prize winner –who is also Cuban- the Poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, who praised the young poet’s “particular view of the world” and “his command over poetry, in both prose and verse formats.” A poetry that the previous year’s winner described as “muscular, sometimes osseous”, a reflection of what is known as “generation 0”, precisely the one this young poet belongs to. A poet whom Rodríguez Núñez visited “in his humble home in Santa Clara” where he lives “with no internet access and with travel restrictions”, a testament to “his incredible drive and need for self-expression, which brings to the forefront the extraordinary resilience of the Cuban family.”

José Manuel Caballero Bonald presented the winner of the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize: La lengua de los otros by José Ramón Ripoll. “An interiorised book of thoughts and reflections that revolve around being and existing,” said Caballero Bonald, and show Ripoll’s “luminous lucidity” as well as how “he gets to know himself better as he delves into his life experiences.” Caballero Bonald also highlighted the extraordinary “aesthetic significance of the silence” that Ripoll affords his poems. The Prize winner thanked his teacher’s “wise words”, which are like “the roots of poetry because they touch one’s substance.”

RipollXXIXLoewe

A reading of the winning books of poems, which are now a part of the Colección Visor de Poesía, will take place this upcoming Monday, 27th March at Madrid’s Casa de América.

Pictures: Sergio García Zamora, Sheila Loewe and José Ramón Ripoll, Sergio García Zamora with José Manuel Caballero Bonald, and José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017.

José Ramón Ripoll and Sergio García Zamora, Winners of the 29th Edition of the LOEWE Poetry Prize

La lengua de los otros, written by author, musicologist and reporter José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, Spain, 1952) has won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The jury, presided by Víctor García de la Concha and made up of members Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Soledad Puértolas, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Ana Rossetti, Jaime Siles and Luis Antonio de Villena, highlighted the enigmatic relationship between the different sections of the book and its magnificent formal structure, as well as the excellence of its poems. Sergio García Zamora, born in 1986 in Santa Clara (Cuba), won the LOEWE Young Poets Prize for El frío de vivir, a book that shows the author’s knowledge of prose and verse poetry, by means of his most singular perception of the world.

loewe_premio-poesia_2016_-jose-ramon-ripoll

The LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize is awarded annually to a book of poems of at least 300 verses and the Young Poets Prize to an author under the age of 30. In addition to the cash prize, the winning books are published by Colección Visor de Poesía. Out of the 779 manuscripts sent from more than 31 countries, 27 finalists were chosen. A total of 23% of entries coming from America were mainly from Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, while Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville were at the top of the list of cities for Spanish entries.

On Tuesday 8th November, the Jury announced the winners. Following the welcome speech delivered by LOEWE FOUNDATION Director Sheila Loewe and the reading of the verdict by Víctor García de la Concha, the winner of last year’s prize, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, presented El frío de vivir. A book where, he argued, “themes are interwoven, appearing and disappearing, just like in our thoughts, just like in life itself.” He also highlighted the mastery García Zamora shows through the use of expressive resources and a poetry that is “autonomous but not uninvolved; participative but not political.”

Poet Jaime Siles referred to the book of poems La lengua de los otros as “an intense and profound book that is rather intimate for us readers of a certain age”. Ripoll himself, who was present when the verdict was announced, said his book “is painful but incredibly enjoyable,” and explained that “in part, it refers to the imposed language I must use in order to communicate with others. I play with that double meaning, which is then revealed at the end.” He also thanked the LOEWE FOUNDATION for supporting and sponsoring poetry because, in his words, “although people might not give it the importance it deserves, it is in fact of vital importance; it’s crucial in order to keep words alive because that’s how we fight against forgetting, against amnesia.”

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The award ceremony and official presentation of the books will take place in March 2017.

Photographs: José Ramón Ripoll and the Jury of the LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION.