March 7, 2021

The poet and architect Joan Margarit, Cervantes Prize winner, dies at 82


Barcelona, ​​Feb 16. (EFE) .- The poet and architect Joan Margarit, 2019 Cervantes Prize winner, died this Tuesday at the age of 82 in Sant Just Desvern (Barcelona) due to cancer.

The writer, who was diagnosed with the disease a little less than a year ago, as reported by the family, received the highest award in Spanish literature on December 21 of last year from the hands of the kings, who traveled to Barcelona in a manner private to make the delivery in an act of an “intimate and family” nature, after the ceremony could not be held on April 23, 2020 due to the pandemic.

Born in Sanaüja (Lleida) on May 11, 1938, he was the son of the Barcelona architect Joan Margarit i Serradell and the teacher Trinitat Consarnau i Sabaté, whom the war forced to retire to the house of their paternal grandmother in the town where he was born. .

After the war, and until 1948, the family lived in Barcelona, ​​Rubí, Figueres, Girona and, again, Barcelona, ​​where he studied high school at the Ausiàs March Institute, then in Muntaner Street, and in 1954 the family moved to live to the Canary Islands, although Margarit returned to Barcelona, ​​between 1956 and 1961, to study architecture.

Defined as “the architect of words” due to his training, he was professor of Structures Calculation at the Barcelona School of Architecture and among his works in this field, the Olympic Stadium and Ring of Montjuïc (1989), or his collaborations stand out. with the management team of the works of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

With some thirty books published, he is one of the most widely read poets in the Catalan language, with thematic references related to the civil war and the postwar period, feelings such as love, desire and pain, family traces, music and jazz in particular, architecture, language, the passage of time or Barcelona.

Poet of realistic and testimonial aesthetics, master of lyricism with reflections of tenderness and harshness, he wrote most of his works simultaneously in Catalan and Spanish, with which he forged an extensive and highly personal poetic corpus.

The editor of Proa, Josep Lluch, with whom he worked for many years, has told Efe that over time it has evolved, with poetry “increasingly concise, condensed, with more sententious poems and, therefore, more shocking “.

In addition to the Cervantes, Margarit was distinguished with the most important poetry awards in the field of Castilian literature, such as the Critics Prize (1981 and 2007), the National Poetry Prize and the Rosalía de Castro Prize, both in 2008. the Iberoamerican Poetry Pablo Neruda 2017 or the Reina Sofía Iberoamerican Poetry 2019.

His work includes titles in Catalan such as: “L’ombra de l’altre mar” (1980), “Vell malentès” (1981, Critics Award), “Raquel / La fosca melangia de Robinson Crusoe” (1982), “El passat i la joia” (1983), “Cants d’Hekatònim de Tifundis” (1982, Serra d’Or award), “L’Illa del tresor” (1985, Natural Flower at Barcelona Floral Games), “Mar d’hivern “(1986, Carles Riba award),” L’ordre del temps “(1985),” Llum de pluja “(1986),” La dona del navegant “(1987, Serra d’Or award),” Poem per a fris “(1987).

These were followed by “Edat roja” (1991), “Els motius del llop” (1993), “Aiguaforts” (1995), “Estació de França” (1999) and “Joana” (2002), a reflection of the poet from of his daughter’s death.

In Castilian he published “Crónica” (1975) and the bilingual editions, written by the author himself, of “Light of rain” (1986), “Red Age” (1995), “Aguafuertes” (1998), “Estació de França” (1999), “The wolf’s motives” (2002), “Joana” (2002), “The first cold, poetry 1975-1995” (2004) and “Calculation of structures” (2005).

In recent years he published a kind of memoir, “To have a house you have to win the war”, and in 2018 the entire poetic work was compiled in a single volume, “Tots els poemes (1975-2015)”, which was expanded two years later with the incorporation of “Un hivern fascinant” to give rise to “Tots els poemes (1975-2017)”, published in both Catalan and Spanish.

As soon as his death is known, numerous personalities have shown their pain like the kings, who have said that “it leaves a great void in poetry in Catalan and Spanish”.

Don Felipe and Mrs. Letizia have conveyed their condolences in a message on the Casa del Rey Twitter account that they have accompanied with a photograph of the delivery of the award for Spanish letters that they made during their private visit to Barcelona in December.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has deeply regretted the death of whom he remembered as “the architect of words”, while the Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has been one of the first to react and in his account of Twitter has indicated: “What a great shame! Rest in peace, dear Joan,” he said minutes before extending his condolences through a statement

The mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau, for her part, has written in a tweet: “Rest in peace Joan Margarit, dear poet” and has accompanied her condolences with the verse: “Segur, doncs, que es’ha d’acabar that narrated. Ho fa amb l’alegria que a vegades anomenem bellesa. Or poetry “.

Through social networks, culture and politics have lamented his death, from the writers Fernando Aramburu, Elvira Sastre, Manuel Vilas, Laura Ferrero or Benjamín Prado to political leaders of different parties, as well as entities and institutions throughout the State.

The Visor publishing house will publish within three weeks, in a bilingual version, the last book it left for the press, “Forest Animal”, some eighty poems in which “it reflects on old age, death and love”, as explained to Efe the editor Nicole Brezin.

The poet will be fired in “strict family privacy”, according to his relatives.

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