José Francisco Agüera Oliver  [ Germany ]

Biography

Guest 2009.

José Francisco Agüera Oliver, writer and poet, was born as a child of Andalusian guest workers in Hausach im Kinzigtal in 1961. He studied Romance studies, German studies and philosophy at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg. In 1987 he published his first collection of poetry, »Auf-Bruch« (tr: Break Up / Departure). In the same period he returned to Hausach, where he has remained to this day, apart from periods of time living abroad. The convergence of his Spanish heritage with his Black Forest home has had a significant influence on Oliver's style, who sees himself as a »Black Forest Andalusian« rather than a »Spanish Hausacher«. His rare command of the musicality of his mother tongue combined with the Alemannic dialect of Kinzigtal is present in the author's innovative and unconventional approach to the German language. Clearly evident in his work is the need to investigate semantic and spatial boundaries, to wrench  words from their typical usages, to assign them fresh affective and instinctive meanings, a need that is apparent in his   word-coingaes »w:orte« (»worte« tr: words, »orte« tr; places). This personal search for an intimate, innovative and yet ancient language which characterizes Oliver's style seems to arise from the desire for identity. This very  often accompanies dual cultural backgrounds. He has already been hailed as an »interpreter of two worlds« (El Mercurio) and as »a poet adrift between Germany and Spain« (La Jornada). Oliver likes to accompany reading with guitar and singing, and masters the art of the »cante jondo«. »Here where meaning, music and image meet in one form, which is anchored in the voice, in the voice's body, the poem promises to overcome and to last« was Joachim Sartorious' opinion (»Welt«). Oliver set up a literary festival in Hausach, »Hausacher LeseLenz«, which took place for the twelfth time this year. In 1996 he was awarded the Adelbert-von-Chamisso Prize, in 2007 the Culture Prize of the state of Baden Württemberg, and in 2009 the Thaddäus-Troll Prize. In 2006 his most recent collection of poems, »unterschlupf« (tr: sanctuary) was published and in 2007 his essay collection »Mein andalusisches Schwarzwalddorf« (tr: My Andalusian Black Forest Village).

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