The poetry book Manual de hipocondría by Colombian Octavio Escobar has won the disputed City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Poetry Prize, a call by the Culture area of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council that, on a biennial basis, presents in the framework of the Foundational Festivities and that this year has exceeded all expectations by receiving 740 works that aspired to the award and to be published by Ediciones La Palma.
As highlighted in the minutes signed by David Cabrera, Blanca Hernández, Leandro Pito, Carmen Márquez and Rubén Benítez, all of recognized prestige in the field of poetic creation or literary criticism, Escobar’s collection of poems has “unanimously” deserved the award endowed at 5,000 euros for being “a coherent collection of poems, brilliantly structured and with great conceptual depth.”
Likewise, the jury has pointed out that “the point of view of the poetic voice stands out as one of its main virtues.” On the same has pointed out: “affects an attitude, both ironic and tragic of the disease, and uses it as a vehicle of poetic language.”
When opening escrow 703, a number that identified the collection of poems selected from among the rest of the participants, the jury and the organization discovered that it was a work from Colombia, specifically Manizales, a creation of a doctor and writer with a broad literary curriculum made up of short stories, novels and works of poetry that, on occasion, have been translated into Italian, German and French.
His work has earned him numerous awards and scholarships. According to his CV, the winner of the 24th City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Award has been an advisor to the Colombian Ministry of Culture in the area of Literature and is one of the writers associated with its National Network of Creative Writing Workshops. of being a professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Caldas.
Octavio Escobar has not been able to attend the appointment, although he has written to the organization thanking the award. “You can’t imagine how emotional I have received your message,” he said, then added: “I’ve been partying all day.” The writer offered to overcome any distance to make himself available to the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at any other time of the year. Whoever was present at the reading of the minutes was the winner of the 2019 contest: Juan Jesús Hernández López, who shared the reading of some verses from his collection of poems Like the one who sets up a hardware store in the center of the Sahara, a work that he has been able to see the light thanks to the agreement that the Culture area has with Ediciones La Palma within the Ministerio del Aire collection, directed by Elsa López. The publishing house, which also published the 2017 award, One Million Carpenters Who Make Coffins Without a Cross, by José Manuel Jaén Bernuz, contributes an important national distribution. Doctor and writer, Escobar has published the short story books El color del agua (1993), The most difficult plates of the album (1995, Atlantic Confamily Award for young people’s literature) and Admiral Benhbow’s inn (1997).