Joan Margarit Passes Away/Harjo To Speak At Notre Dame/Poet’s Portrait – Poetry News Roundup February 17th

Today’s poetry news round-up brings you articles about the sad death of Joan Margarit, the Notre Dame event that Joy Harjo will be taking part in and the Bronzino portrait of a poet that is going on display.

Joan Margarit, Award-Winning Spanish Poet Dies Aged 82

The Spanish poet Joan Margarit, who was the 2019 winner of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, has passed away at the age of 82, having sadly lost his battle against cancer.

It was just a few weeks ago that the writer received what was the crowning award of his career; the highest award in Spanish literature from King Felipe VI during a ceremony that took place in private. Unfortunately, due to the current social distancing regulations in place for the Coronavirus pandemic, the traditional ceremony, which he undoubtedly deserved, was simply not able to take place this year.

A month ago, the poet was interviewed by El Cultural at his home. During the interview, he showed off his personal library and made an announcement about his new book “Forest Animal”.

Margarit, who was not just a poet but was also a retired professor and architect, wrote most of his verse in the Catalan language rather than in Spanish and was very surprised when he was announced as the winner of the Cervantes Prize. The award is considered to be the most important literary award in the Spanish language. However, he was announced as the winner of the award because of the Castilian version of his poetry.

During his lengthy career, he also won several other prestigious awards including in 2013 the Victor Sandoval Latin World Poetry Prize and in 2017 the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Award.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Joy Harjo to Give Speech at Notre Dame

The current US poet laureate is due to speak as part of a virtual event at Notre Dame that will be taking place next Monday. The event is part of the Walk the Walk Week which is an annual event.

Harjo has been poet laureate since 2019 and is currently serving her second term in the role. She is the author of nine collections of poetry, multiple anthologies and plays, children’s books and even two memoirs.

She is also a musician and has six award-winning albums to her name. Her latest album is due for release on 5th March.

During the event which is simply titled “An Evening with Joy Harjo”, the poet will be reading aloud from her own poetry and taking part in a questions and answers session.

Bronzino to go on Display for 700th Anniversary of Dante

Agnolo Bronzino’s allegorical painting of the poet Dante Alighieri went on display to the general public on 12th February and will be available to see until 31st May as part of an exhibition that has been put together to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the poet.

The portrait dates to 1523-33, and was part of a series of three that were commissioned for the home of a Florentine banker. The other two are of Boccaccio and Petrarch.

The exhibition is being hailed as an opportunity to bring the poet back to Florence.

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