“Loewe dares to honor what is neither trendy nor out of style”. Recognition, gratitude and respect for literature at its finest, distilled the words of Chilean poet Óscar Hahn (Iquique, 1938) as he received his Award.
The XXVII Loewe Foundation International Poetry Award announced the verdict of the Jury last November; months later, having the poems published by Editorial Visor, the winners met with the Jury and a selective group of guests related to literature, fashion, design and all the artistic areas that build the cultural activity of the Loewe Foundation. The Westin Palace Hotel, as every year, hosts the great festival of poetry.
Hahn’s intervention was a hymn to the courage and perseverance of the Loewe Foundation in supporting poetic creation. He defined poetry as “a higher form of luxury, not meaning sumptuousness, but a unique and intense experience” although it is considered as “the poorest variant of literature; poor in sales but rich in attributes of the human condition”.
Chilean writer Jorge Edwards presented Los espejos comunicantes by Óscar Hahn in a brilliant speech comparing poetry as a chain bringing distant times and names together; he explained that “prestigious poetry always has some prophetic condition.”
Colombian María Gómez Lara (Bogotá, 1989) received, grateful, the Young Creation Award for her book Contratono, which was presented by Antonio Lucas, previous winner of the Loewe Award. Using lucid words and emphasizing “the powerful voice” found in the verses of the young poet, he said that her work is full of “maturity but also full of surprise”. Moreover, her book shows that “she knows the best tradition of poetry”.
Sheila Loewe -Director of Foundation- and her father Enrique Loewe -President of Honor- embraced the attendees from the podium with the complicity of those who know they are surrounded by friends. They were openly pleased with their completed task.
Enrique Loewe honestly appreciated the involvement of poet Pablo García Baena, who has decided that this will be his last participation as Jury of the Loewe Award, due to personal reasons.
Mr. Loewe also publicly showed his support and satisfaction with the new course taken by the Loewe Foundation, now led by her daughter. “Sheila and her team,” he said, “bring me serenity”.
This is the first time that the two Loewe Poetry Awards go to Latin American poets. The Loewe Foundation, satisfied by the strong ties that our common language provided, celebrates the arrival of two beautiful books of poems from across the Atlantic.
Poetry, once again, has demonstrated its ability to build bridges when genuine, calm and unprejudiced voice is risen.
Photographs: María Gómez Lara and Óscar Hahn; Ó. Hahn recives his Award with Jorge Edwards; M. Gómez Lara and Antonio Lucas; Sheila Loewe, J. Edwards, Ó. Hahn, M. Gómez Lara, A. Lucas and Enrique Loewe; E. Loewe with Modesto Lomba © Fundación Loewe, 2015.