January 22, 2021

A key of fog in Chamberí (in the death of Guadalupe Grande)

Guadalupe Grande has died, suddenly, this January 2, 2021 at the Hospital Clínico de Madrid. This terrible and unexpected news spread, between disbelief and desolation, through social networks on Saturday afternoon. There remained, before the irreparable, an immense emptiness and a pain incapable of being filled with words. We lost a friend, generous, great poet, creator of images, fighter, whom we already miss from the heart.

Guadalupe Grande Aguirre was born in 1965 and lived all her life in the Chamberí neighborhood, on Alenza Street, in a modest apartment where her family lived since before the war. His father was the poet Félix Grande, who died in 2014, and his mother, Francisca Aguirre, also a poet, died in 2019. Félix was awarded the National Poetry Prize in 1978 and the National Prize for Letters in 2004. Paca was also the National Poetry Prize in 2011 and the National Prize for Letters in 2018. In this house, which was that of poetry and friendship, for the one that the most important voices of the letters of Spain and Latin America passed, Guadalupe grew. His gaze and his memory were also educated among the paintings of his grandfather, the painter Lorenzo Aguirre, executed in the Porlier prison in the terrible Madrid of 1942.

Guadalupe leaves us an essential work in contemporary Spanish poetry, from The Book of Lilith in 1995 until The fog key, Hotel for hedgehogs, It happened tomorrow. She is also a creator of dreams: visual poetry, collages, montages … of extraordinary beauty and capacity for evocation.

Words and images to tell the wounds of history, the luminous beauty of the world. And speak, from the darkness, from the territory of uncertainties that poetry is always, of hope and the dignity of the dispossessed. A dignity that she embodied in her life, always alien to any servitude.

In November 2017, from the Culture table of the Local Forum, with the support of the Municipal Board, we paid tribute to Francisca Aguirre. In the Galileo theater, framed in the project Chamberí with its creators, the show got up Behind time before a crowded theater. In it, Guadalupe participated with a beautiful audiovisual montage and reading one of her poems.

In the House of Culture and Citizen Participation of Chamberí he inaugurated, together with the poet María Ángeles Maeso, the cycle Poetry on the Boulevard. Later, in the same cycle, he collaborated in the presentation of a poetic anthology and was a regular attendee to his sessions.

His commitment to the culture of the neighborhood was constant, supporting social and protest actions and participating in as many activities as requested.

His absence leaves us an irreparable hole. His memory and his word accompany us. This neighborhood of Chamberí, which was his, does not forget it. We will still see you walking through the streets, through the Santander park, signing a solidarity text in the Plaza de Quevedo, attending a cultural event or reading your poems.

May the earth be light for you, it will be very difficult for us to live with your absence.


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