This weekend I’ve been enjoying a new addition to my Bookshelf: Toda la luz del mundo – minimal love poems by Spanish poet Ángel Guinda, published in a lovely soft cover edition by Olifante Ediciones de Poesía.
Ángel Guinda is author of more than a dozen books of poetry published in Europe and the Americas. He has also written essays and articles for distinguished publications throughout Spain, taught Spanish Literature in Aragon, and has played a fundamental role in the publication of other poets’ work as editor of Colección Puyal, which he founded in 1977, and the magazine Malvís, which he launched in 1988. A versatile wordsmith, Guinda has admirably translated sonnets of the 13th century Italian poet Cecco Angiolieri into Spanish and even contributed to the text of the official anthem of Aragon.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ángel at the Olifante Ediciones de Poesía stand during the International Book Day festival in Zaragoza this year. Olifante’s 2005 edition of his Toda la luz del mundo caught my eye. The book-length poem was constructed of one line poems that he had sent his wife in text messages by telephone. Originally published in Spanish by Olifante in 2002, the 2005 edition distributes the individual lines of the poem page by page, each line translated into 23 other European languages.
I have to admit that it was not only the translation of the poem into so many languages and the beautiful presswork that made me fall in love with the book. The concept of using a cell phone keypad as an instrument for writing poetry intrigued me as well. Ángel’s choice of text messaging as a creative media is just another example of his unfailing instinct for artfully fusing the intellectual and the conceptual with the gestures and emotions of everyday life.
I recommend having a look at Ángel’s website, which includes a biblio-graphy of his writing, videos as well as news of his upcoming activities. www.angelguinda.com .
To know more about Olifante Ediciones de Poesía, founded in 1979 by Trinidad Ruiz Marcellán, visit http://www.olifante.com . In addition to a catalogue of Olifante Ediciones’ exquisite publications of both poetry and narrative writing in Spanish, the site offers information concerning cultural routes related to the Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, information about the Casa del Poeta (a writers’ retreat for Spanish poets), and news about upcoming literary events in the region.