On Thursday the Institut Ramon Llull will be hosting a recital by Basque and Catalan poets as part of an exchange with the Basque Institut Etxepare. Rikardo Arregi, Iñigo Astiz and Itxaro Borda will be reading their poems alongside Mireia Calafell, Jordi Julià and Jordi Llavina. In the autumn these last three will travel to the Basque Country for the return of this Poetes itinerants project. This will establish a literary exchange between the two cultures and strengthen the ties between the two language and culture institutes. The poetry recital is the fruit of the cooperation agreement which the two institutions signed in 2011. The event in Barcelona will take place on Thursday 28 May at 18.00 at the Institut Ramon Llull headquarters.
Poetes itinerants is a project organised jointly by the Institut Ramon Llull and the Etxepare Euskal Institutua. It is a bilateral encounter in which three Catalan and three Basque poets will be reading texts in the two languages. Also taking part will be the director of the Institut Ramon Llull, Àlex Susanna; the director of Etxepare, Aizpea Goenaga, and the coordinator of the Etxepare literature section, Mari Jose Olaziregi.
Itxaro Borda (Bayonne, 1959) has a degree in Contemporary History. She published her first poem in the magazine Herria in 1974 and since then she has never ceased to write. And so she has a long career and is regarded as one of the most important figures of Basque literature of the last few decades. Over the last twenty years she has published novels, poetry, articles and essays. In 2002 Susa published her work 100% Basque, which won her the Euskadi literature prize. Her poetry is notable for the poetic I as starting point, a commitment to day-to-day reality, an anti-system attitude and a concern for language. She has translated Maria Mercè Marçal into Basque.
Rikardo Arregi (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1958) studied Psychology, Education and Basque Philology and has worked in non-university teaching and the trade unions. His collections of poems Hari hauskorrak (Los hilos frágiles; Erein, 1993) and Kartografia (Alberdania, 1998; Cartografía; Bassarai, 2000) won the Critics Prize in 1994 and 1999 respectively. His poems appear in anthologies of Basque poetry published in Spanish, Galician, Portuguese, Slovenian, English and German and have appeared in magazines all over Europe. In his latest book of poetry, Bitan esan beharra, which appeared in December 2012 published by Alberdania, he won the Critics Prize and the Lizadi Prize awarded by Vizcaya Provincial Council.
Iñigo Astiz (Pamplona, 1985) is a poet and a journalist, the youngest of the authors invited. He published his first work in 2012: Baita hondakinak ere (Susa). His poetry stands out for its playful, existentialist and experimental character, charged with sociopolitical reflections. There are poetic referents such as Fernando Pessoa, Sylvia Plath, Nicanor Parra, Walt Whitman or Cioran. He has translated Silvia Plath’s poems into Basque.
Mireia Calafell (Barcelona, 1980) is a cultural manager and works for the ArtsMoved association. She has a degree in Humanities and a PhD in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. She has published Poètiques del cos (Galerada, 2006), Costures (Viena Edicions, 2010), and Tantes mudes (Perifèric Edicions, 2014) works for which she has received prizes: the Amadeu Oller (2006), the VIII Memorial Anna Dodas (2008), the Josep M. López Picó (2009) and the Benvingut Oliver (2014). Her poetry has been translated into English, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. She is a member of the Cos i Textualitat research group at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Jordi Llavina (Gelida, 1968) is a poet and a writer, literary critic and radio and television presenter. His literary heritage draws on English and American writers such as Hope Mirrlees, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost or W. H. Auden, and Catalans such as Agustí Bartra, Ramon Bech, Gabriel Ferrater, Pere Gimferrer and Francesc Parcerisas. In 2006 he won the Ciutat de Mallorca prize with the collection La corda del gronxador. He was awarded the Josep Pla narrative prize in 2001; the Alfons el Magnànim for poetry in 2007; the Premi Crítica Serra d’Or for poetry in 2008; the Premis Octubre - Vicent Andrés Estellés in 2011; and the Premi de la Crítica for Catalan poetry in 2013. He was curator of Vinyoli Year.
Jordi Julià (Granollers, 1972) is poet, literary critic, essayist and lecturer. He has a PhD in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. His work has been translated into Spanish and Slovenian. In 1997 he won the Premi Màrius Torres for poetry; in 2006 the Premis Octubre - Vicent Andrés Estellés; and in 2012 the Premi Ciutat de Palma - Joan Alcover, among other awards. He also holds the 2002 Dámaso Alonso prize for philological research at Santiago de Compostela for La perspectiva contemporánea and the 2003 Siglo XXI International Essay Prize from Mexico for La mirada de Paris. He has edited the Spanish translation of Conseils aux jeunes écrivains by Charles Baudelaire. He has published several studies about Gabriel Ferrater.
Part of an exchange that will have its return in autumn
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