23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Antonio Gamoneda

Antonio Gamoneda was born in Oviedo, Spain, in 1931.  Two years after the death of his father he moved, together with his mother, to Léon at the age of three, where he still lives now.  At the age of ten, he started his education at a religious school from which he was expelled two years later.  Despite the difficult conditions, he managed to do his A-levels and then worked as a bank employee.

Finally, however, his love of literature prevailed, a love which he inherited from his father, a known modernist writer in literary circles.  With the collection of poems ‘Sublevación inmóvil’ Gamoneda started, in 1960, to have his works published.  Although with this, at least regarding the period, he belongs to the ‘generación poética’ of the fifties, his own style expands the social realism style which was typical of the time.

The poetry volumes ‘Descripción de la mentira’ and ‘León de la mirada’ appeared in 1977 and 1979.  ‘Blues Castellano’ was published in 1982 and has been translated into many languages. His biggest success up to now was in 1987, where his volume ‘Edad’ appeared in the prestigious series ‘Cátedra’, for which a year later he was awarded with the highest Spanish poetry prize, the ‘Premio Nacional de Poesía’.  ‘Edad’ is in fact a later work in which Gamoneda once again examines his previous works and strongly re-works parts of them. Poems from 1947 to 1986 are presented here, partly put together anew and expanded with up until now unpublished material. Some of the poems “I had to extract, like a sculptor with a rock out of other poems, the inner of which had been hidden from me up until then”.   ‘Libro del frío’ came out in 1992 and was nominated for the ‘Europa Prize’ in 1993. Two years later the author produced ‘Libro de los venenos’, a convincing poetic new version of ‘Materia Médica’ by Discórides.

Gamoneda has also made a name for himself as a translator of other authors.  He has translated, amongst others, works by Nazim Hikmet and Mallarmé into Castilian.  Since 1980, Antonio Gamoneda is one director of the Sierra-Pambley Foundation, founded in 1877, which works for the education of workers and farmers. He recently published the collection of poetry “Cecilia” (2004) and the novel “Descripción del frio” (2002). In 2006, he was awarded the Premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana of the University of Salamanca and the Premio Miguel de Cervantes.

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