Antonio Gamoneda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Antonio Gamoneda
BornMay 30 of 1931
Oviedo, Spain
Notable award(s)Cervantes Prize
Jump to: navigation, search
Antonio Gamoneda
BornMay 30 of 1931
Oviedo, Spain
Notable award(s)Cervantes Prize

Antonio Gamoneda (born May 30, 1931) is a Spanish poet, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 2006.



Antonio Gamoneda was born in Oviedo, Asturias, on May 30, 1931. His father, named Antonio, was a modernist poet who published only one book, Otra más alta vida (Another higher life) in 1919. In 1934, already an orphan, he moved with his mother, Amelia Lobon, to León. The presence of his mother as a refuge from the horror and misery of war is seen in all his poetry. In 1936, with schools closed due to the Spanish Civil War, he became literate by reading, on his own, his father's book.

Antonio Gamoneda in León

The poet lived originally in the main working-class district of León. This place was a privileged post to observe the repression carried out during the war and postwar years.

In 1941, he joined the religious school of the Augustinian Fathers. In 1943 the poet dropped himself out.

The day he turned fourteen he started working as a messenger in the Banco de Comercio. He completed his pre-university studies on his own and remained in the condition of bank employee for twenty-four years until 1969.

While working at the bank he became and was part of the intellectual resistance to the Francisco Franco dictatorship. He published his first book in 1960, Sublevación inmóvil (Motionless revolt), a work that was a runner-up to the Adonais prize. The book was a break from the traditional realistic rules of the time in Spain. In 1969 he started running the cultural services of the Diputación Provincial de León, and from 1970, the León State collection of poetry, trying to promote a progressive culture with the money of the dictatorship. He was deprived of his official status, and subsequently readmitted, by court order. During these years he began working regularly in different cultural magazines.

This first stage was followed by eight years absent from the poetry world, years strongly marked by the death of the dictator Francisco Franco and the beginning of the so-called "transición". The ideological and existential crisis of the poet is felt in his next book Descripción de la mentira (A description of the lie), León 1977, a long poem that marked a shift towards a total maturity. Later publication are Lápidas (Tombstones) (Madrid, 1987) and Edad (Age), a volume collecting all his poetry until 1987, revised by the author, and that won the National Prize for Literature in Spain.

In 1992, Libro del frío (Book of the cold) was published, making him one of the most important poets in Spanish. In the year 2000 it came out the final version of this work, which included Frío de límites (Cold of Limits), a work in collaboration with Antoni Tàpies.

Antonio Gamoneda City Hall of Leon in November 2007

Arden las pérdidas (Losses are burning) was published in 2003, a book that crowns the period started in Descripción de la mentira. After that he published Cecilia (2004), named after his granddaughter, and La luz: Collected Poetry: (1947–2004), (2004).

In 2005, he was award the inaugural European Prize for Literature. In 2006, he was awarded the Reina Sofia Award, and the Cervantes Prize, the highest honor in Spanish literature.

He has also been awarded the Gold Medal of the city of Pau, the Silver Medal of Asturias, the "Lete" Gold Medal of the Province of León and the Gold Medal of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. He is Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of León.

The documentary Antonio Gamoneda: Escritura y alquimia premiered in March 2009. It was directed by Enrique and Cesar Rendueles Corti, with script by Amalia Iglesias and Julia Piera.

Books of poems in Spanish

Books of poems translated


Books with plastic artists

Critical reception

Critical reception to Gamoneda's poetry has always been positive since the poet began to publish:

"Gamoneda's word is tight and solid, as emerging from silence to remain within it, to return to it, a word as if detached from the wasteland, from the contemplation of a desolate landscape, born from the cold expansion to leave its melancholy record of stripping ... The poetry of Antonio Gamoneda has the nakedness of existence. "[1]

"Antonio Gamoneda has become a guide and model for younger poets, who value his linguistic wisdom and his openness to the traditions of modernity, an openness stemmming from the assumption of personal and collective history." [2]

"Antonio Gamoneda meets Trakl's expressionism and Lorca's later period. Regarding Lorca, Gamoneda is undoubtedly the only one who dares to follow suit." [3]

"A voice tested and immersed and submerged in time, in the hallucinogenic unpredictability of the Spanish historical circumstance, turned around the spacious event of a "poetic life" followed by Gamoneda; but a voice that also occupies with authority its own place in the vast field of Spanish literature, and that takes its place, running the conquest of his space and most genuine figure in a quiet strategy whose secret is delay, silence (and some exile), and which is supported by all levels of legitimacy one can think of [...]. "[4]

"There are three pillars, insistently repeated by the poet in [his] writings, on which stands the height of his poetic thought: - The self-reference, intrareference says the poets, nature of the poetic word whose meaning and reality do not cross toward an external reference. - A poetic language filled with music ( 'The poetic thought is a thought that sings'). - The poetic language enters into intelligibility under the condition of sensitive images." "Antonio Gamoneda [5]

"Gamoneda does not develop a story, even when he announces he will do it. Facts are fragmented into sensations, isolated in details from its context, carrying echoes of earlier times. His glace is constrained to an obsessive nucleous, that drives it centripetally towards what the poet calls internalization. Only the events internalized matter - scarce, hurtful - and they offer their stiff-necked recurrence, their metamorphosis, their staying...It is a peculiar sort of autobiographical way, non narrative or directly referential, but woven in the constant images and the center of interest, the elements that became emblematic, the figures and individuals. It is a minimalist and repetitive dynamic ... that is imposed on the complete reading of the work. "[6]

Critical bibliography

Monographs in magazines and journals


  1. ^ Saul Yurkievich. A través de la trama. Editorial Iberoamericana, 2007.
  2. ^ Letras Españolas, 1988. Andrés Amorós and Carlos Galan. Castalia, 1989.
  3. ^ Claridad y oscuridad. Cesar Antonio Molina and Amalia Iglesias Serna. Huerga and Fierro, 2001.
  4. ^ Antonio Gamoneda: Síbalas negras. Amelia Gamoneda and Fernando R. de la Flor. XV Premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana, Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2006.
  5. ^ Antología de poesía. Tomas Sanchez Santiago (editing and introducing "La armonía de las tormentas"), Madrid, Alianza, 2006.
  6. ^ Esta luz. Poesía reunida (1947–2004). Epilogue by Miguel Casado, "El curso de la edad", Barcelona, Galaxia Gutenberg / Círculo de Lectores, 2004.

(cs) about Antonio Gamoneda