The sixteenth edition of the Hay Festival Segovia will be held from September 17 to 19, 2021. For the first time, to celebrate the heritage of Castilla y León there will be a series of previous events in various venues in the region. All events will be in-person — some will be streamed too — respecting the security protocols. More information here.
In 1988 the Loewe Foundation created the international poetry prize that carries its name in order to promote the quality of poetic writing. Today, 33 prizes later, and with the support of an exceptional jury, it has become the most important non-governmental prize for Spanish-language poetry. The list of winners includes the most prominent contemporary poets who write in Spanish, all published by Visor.
On this occasion, the prize has been awarded to the Extremadura writer Diego Doncel for his work La fragilidad. The prize is confirmation of the career of this outstanding, acclaimed poet, who also writes fiction, travel writing and literary criticism. According to Doncel, poetry has a healing quality, and this is expressed in a work that reflects on pain, death and hope.
Mario Obrero, aged just 17, is the youngest ever winner of the Loewe award in the New Writers category, with the poetry book Peachtree City. His book won over the jury with the range of its surprising poetic images.
The two poets will talk to the journalist and writer Antonio Lucas, winner of the 2013 Loewe Prize.
Mererid Hopwood and Antonio Colinas are two poets whose work involves a strong commitment to time. Both are involved in bringing new words to restore a wounded Earth. Hopwood is one of Wales’ most acclaimed poets, and has been appointed Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow 2020-2021, giving her a presence at the festival’s different events around the world. Her publications include Singing in Chains, O Ran and Nes Draw.
Antonio Colinas has been a major figure in Spanish poetry since the second half of the 20th century, when the Novísimos Generation came to prominence. He is also a well-known essayist, and has written around a hundred publications in the two genres. Titles such as Sepulcro en Tarquinia, Tiempo y abismo and El río de sombra have won prestigious awards, including the National Poetry Award, and the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.
Hopwood and Colinas will talk to another outstanding poet, Carlos Aganzo, author of books such as Las flautas de los bárbaros, En la región de Nod and Jardín con biblioteca
“The biggest change in 50 million years.” This is how the environmental writer and activist Andri Snaer Magnason replied when asked about the future effects of climate change. It is something of such massive dimensions that we lack words to express it, although for many the climate conversation has been nothing more than hot air. But this is changing, and books such as On Time and Water are looking at the crisis through science, poetry, history and mythology. Magnason is an environmental activist who looks at the dangers of not caring for our planet and nature from his different facets as an artist: he is a writer, actor and director, both of feature and documentary film. As a writer, he has published novels, short stories, narrative essay and plays. His titles include Dreamland, The Story of the Blue Planet for which he won the Iceland Literary Prize, and Eternal Happiness. In 2016 he ran for the presidency of his country, Iceland.
Magnason will talk to Irene Hernández Velasco, journalist at El Mundo, with which she was a correspondent in Rome.
The poet Ana Blandiana and the artist Luis Moro will build a bridge between the literary and artistic cultures of Spain and Romania at this event, on the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Blandiana is currently one of Romania’s most important writers. This essayist and poet writes works of great humanistic commitment, unafraid to criticise political power. She was persecuted during the Ceausescu dictatorship. Her poetry books Cosecha de ángeles, Mi patria A4 and El sol del más allá y el reflujo de los sentidos have been published in Spain, as have her short story collections Las cuatro estaciones and Proyectos del pasado.
Moro, a Spanish artist who is based in Mexico, has exhibited work at major art centres in Spain and Latin America, and has taken part in the main European art fairs. He has worked with poets such as Antonio Gamoneda and Elena Poniatowska and is currently working on the Yo Creo en Las Nubes project, based on the work of the Romanian poet.
The two will talk to the poet, novelist and Philosophy lecturer Marifé Santiago, author of books such as Teoría de los matices and Las constelaciones del Capitán.