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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

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.