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6 April 2022
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Instituto Cervantes Manchester
(Sur)rendering, by Mario Martín Gijón, is a sequence of short passionate lyrics describing a love lost and found. This might sound like nothing new in the history of poetry, but the poet immerses us in his story by a complex process of linguistic recreation: recreation in the sense of re-invention and recreation also as play, or playfulness. Mario Martín Gijón is able to juggle the memory of pleasure with present suffering, joy and pain in a single verse: (pre/es/ab)sence. Ambiguity striving for synchronicity, the language of love becoming as fraught with contradiction as love itself.
My father, by Eduardo Moga, is a reconstruction of a mirror broken into a hundred shards and assembles a portrait of his father, thirty years after his death, from tiny sharp fragments of memory. This is no idealized patriarch but an ordinary man who has lived almost his whole life in the grey, grey hard scrabble years of the Franco dictatorship when it was ‘as if everybody’s feet smelt’. He is seen with forensic clarity through now a child’s, now an adult’s eyes and across the gulf that education, relative prosperity and happier times inevitably create. He is sometimes absurd in his opinions and little vanities, sometimes off-putting in his personal habits, angry, lost, pitiable, but often kind and wanting to pass on his erratic wisdom. Most of all, and this is Moga’s great achievement, he is a real living person.
Mario Martín Gijón (born in 1979 in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain) is a Spanish writer, poet and literary critic. He holds a PhD in Spanish Philology and has taught at the Philipps University of Marburg (Germany) and the Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). He currently teaches at the University of Extremadura (Spain). As a poet he has published Latidos y desplantes (2011), Rendicción (2013; translated by Terence Dooley into English as Sur(rendering), 2020), Tratado de entrañeza (2014) and Des en canto (2019). Some of his poems have been translated into English, French, Italian, German, Polish, Romanian, and Chinese.
Eduardo Moga (Barcelona, 1962). He holds a degree in Law and a PhD in Hispanic Philology from the University of Barcelona. He has published several collections of poems, including La luz oída (Adonáis Prize, 1996), Las horas y los labios (2003), Cuerpo sin mí (2007), Bajo la piel, los días (2010), Insumisión (2013, winner of the Quimera magazine prize for best poetry book of the year), El corazón, la nada (Antología poética 1994-2014) (2014), Muerte y amapolas en Alexandra Avenue (2017), Mi padre (2019) and Tú no morirás (2021). He has translated Ramon Llull, Jaume Roig, Frank O’Hara, Évariste Parny, Charles Bukowski, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Rimbaud, William Faulkner, Walt Whitman and Evan S. Connell, among others. His Selected Poems (2017) and My Father (2021, Poetry Book Society recommended translation), both published by Shearsman, have been translated into English, among other languages. He is a literary critic for Letras Libres, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, Turia and Quimera, and is a regular contributor to La Sombra del Ciprés, the cultural supplement of El Norte de Castilla. He has published the travel books La pasión de escribil (2013), El mundo es ancho y diverso (2018) and Diarios de viaje (2016-2019) (2021); two selections of entries from the blog Corónicas de Ingalaterra (2015 and 2016); the diaries El paraíso difícil. Siete años en Extremadura (2013-2019) (2020) and Expón, que algo queda (2021); several volumes of essays: most recently, El oro de la sintaxis (2020); and the anthology Streets Where to Walk Is to Embark. Spanish Poets in London (1811-2018) (Shearsman, 2019). He has been co-director of the poetry collection of DVD Ediciones and director of the Editora Regional de Extremadura and coordinator of the Plan de Fomento de la Lectura en Extremadura. He maintains the blog Corónicas de Españia.
Terence Dooley has translated 30 or so contemporary Spanish poets for Shearsman Books and for UK magazines including mpt, Long Poem Magazine, Poetry London and The High Window. Three of his translations have been Poetry Book Society choices. His own poems, Tocoloro, will be published later this year, in a bilingual edition with Eduardo Moga’s translations, by Los Papeles de Brighton and available on Amazon.
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