Follows Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation Tugs in the Fog (Bloodaxe, 2006).
Joan Margarit is one of Spain’s major modern writers. For the past 30 years he has become known for his mastery of the Catalan language.
In the much praised Tugs in the Fog: Selected Poems (2006), Joan Margarit evoked the Spanish Civil War, the harshness of life in Barcelona under Franco, and grief at the death of a beloved daughter. In Strangely Happy, he builds an architecture of the human spirit out of the unpromising materials of self-doubt, despair and death. Joan Margarit confronts old age in poems that go on moving us with their harsh, poignant music. His poetry confronts the worst that life can throw at us, yet what lingers in the mind is its warmth and humanity.
“Wow!… Erotic closeness, distance, passion, jealousy, indifference, night, death, imagination, apocalypse, and more all in a few lines and a few simple words… His themes [are] delivered with such fire and candour they inspirit.”
Herbert Lomas, Ambit
Joan Margarit was born in 1938 in Sanaüja, Catalonia. He is an architect, and from 1968 until his retirement was also Professor of Structural Calculations at Barcelona’s Technical School of Architecture. In 2008 he received the Premio Nacional de Poesía del Estado Español, Spain’s highest literary award for non-Castilian writers, for his collection, Casa de Misericòrdia. His Bloodaxe edition Tugs in the Fog: Selected Poems (2006) was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. The translations included in Strangely Happy are from Casa de Misericòrdia (2007) and Misteriosament feliç (2008), both from Proa. Both his Bloodaxe titles are translated by Anna Crowe.
Translated by Anna Crowe.