Gloria Nistal Rosique
Secretary General of the Spanish PEN Club
A few days ago I participated in the presentation of the poet Magda Bello at Casa América. It was an immense pleasure and an honour to be part of that table representing the Spanish PEN Club and to coincide, among others, with the ambassador of Nicaragua, Carlos Midence, an intellectual who works, among other things, for culture and the defense of the values of his people.
That is why I will insist here on my first words of that act. “Rubén Darío is uniting us today, thanks to him we are here,” I said. And so it is.
Many diplomats have been world famous writers since the Spanish Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo who as early as 1403-1406 traveled to Samarkand and with his testimony from the Embassy to Tamorlan left us one of the most important travel chronicles of his time. Other illustrious ambassadors: the Italian Maquiavelo to reach Jorge Edwards, Pablo Neruda or Gabriela Mistral, Amado Nervo or Carlos Fuentes, Sir Roger Casement. And as many others as the Spaniards Juan Valera, Agustín de Foxá or the current Helena Cosano, companion in the Spanish PEN club, or the own ambassador of Nicaragua, Carlos Midence, who continues the line of the intellectual diplomats as the own Rubén Darío, who also was ambassador in Spain.
But our true protagonist is Magda Bello, who won the Rubén Darío International Poetry Prize in 2018, and it should be noted that this prize was won by one woman, at last, sixty years after it was won by another. María Teresa Sánchez was the only predecessor in the prize and won it four times, more than any other intellectual. And now we have another woman hoisting this award. This is news to celebrate, sixty years later, another woman, another poetess, stands up with the prize and I myself celebrate it as a poet, as a narrator, as a woman and as a person who fights for equality and diversity.
I have had the opportunity to enjoy your book dedicated to the American poet Emily Dickinson, eccentric, passionate and not understood in her time, but considered one of the best American poets of all time. Emily is an accurate, deep, penetrating book, with remembrances of Dickinsonian poetry because Magda Bello herself writes as if she were a modernized Emily, updated, but mimicking with the American author. An exquisite book.
According to the jury that awarded the prize ‘No hay pasada a Catarina, Poesía en tiempo real’ is a unitary, clean and purified work that gives the aesthetic sense to each word and unfolds a highly emotional and modern voice. In addition, it renews the chronicle and the testimony in poetry.
I have not yet read ‘No hay pasada a Catarina, Poesía en tiempo real’, a book with a complex and undoubtedly suggestive title, which could mean something like (impossible to get to the other side). The book seems to have a direct bearing on the time when it was written: from April to July 2018, when Nicaragua experienced a wave of violence that originated in an attempted coup d’état. According to the author: “These poems reveal not only fear, discouragement and anguish, but also comfort, hope and goodwill. Written in short verses, psalms, epigrams, with a tone of elegy, from my heart”.
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