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The Fundación Jesús Serra announces the 13th edition of its Poetry Prize

"As part of its firm commitment to promoting poetry, the Fundación Jesús Serra is creating a new category, the Fundación Jesús Serra Special Poetry Prize, an award that honours the career of a renowned writer with a prize of €5,000."

Writer Carlos Zanón joins the project of the Fundación Jesús Serra as a member of the jury in an effort to help promote creativity in poetry. Joining Zanón will be writers Elena Medel and Josefa Martijoch i Pratdesaba, as well as the writer and journalist David Castillo, Professor Ricardo Fernández Aguilà, the writer and literary critic Alejandro Krawietz, and Pía Serra Calderón, the granddaughter of the founder, Jesús Serra.

The contest covers three age groups: 10 to 13, 14 to 17 and 18 and older. The jury's decision will be announced in June.

The Fundación Jesús Serra, part of the Catalana Occidente Group, announces its 13th Poetry Contest, unique in its genre in that it recognises one poem per category and spans all ages in three age groups: 10 to 13; 14 to 17 and 18 and older.  This initiative continues the philosophy of the Group's founder, Jesús Serra Santamans, whose aim is to promote the creation of poetry and to offer opportunities to people of all ages. The contest is accepting original works written in Spanish or Catalan.

In addition to this contest is the creation of the Fundación Jesús Serra's Special Poetry Prize, a new category that recognises the career of a renowned poetry writer.

The contest jury features outstanding writers and professionals from the world of culture, such as the writer Elena Medel (2016 Princess of Girona Prize for Arts and Letters); Josefa Martijoch (1981 Miquel Martí i Pol Poetry Prize, and 1994 Salvador Espriu Poetry Prize); David Castillo (1999 Crexells Prize, 2001 Sant Jordi Prize); Professor Ricardo Fernández Aguilá and Alejandro Krawietz. Joining the jury this year is the prestigious writer Carlos Zanón (Brigada 21 Prize for best first novel of the year, and a finalist in the Memorial Silverio Cañada, Giallo e dell Noir (Italy) and Violeta Negra (France) awards).

Since its creation in 2007, 78 people have been presented the Fundación Jesús Serra's poetry prize, including such renowned figures as Mario García Obrero, winner in the children's category in 2015 and 2017, and in the young adult category in 2019 and who, at the age of 17, won the Félix Grande National Youth Poetry Prize.

Over these thirteen years, in addition to presenting this prize, the Foundation has promoted various initiatives to popularise the art of poetry through different cultural activities aimed at schoolchildren and at lovers of culture in general. An example is the agreement signed between the Fundación Jesús Serra and ACEC (Association of Writers of Catalonia), which launched the "Be poetic. Poetry in school" programmee, in which students from more than thirty schools are treated to poetry recitals in their classrooms by Josep Pedrals and David Castillo, thus encouraging poetic creation.

All individuals of any nationality with unpublished and original works, in Spanish or Catalan, with a maximum of 60 verses, are eligible for the award.  The prize amount is €2,500 for category A, over 18 years old; €1,500 for category B, 14 to 18; and €800 for category C, 10 to 13.

The period for submitting entries is from February 4 to April 30, 2020, or until 1,000 poems are submitted.  The names of the winners in the three categories for each of the two languages, in addition to the Special Lifetime Award, will be announced in June in Barcelona. You can follow all the news related to the prize on the social media pages of the Fundación Jesús Serra with the hashtag #ConcursoPoesíaFJS.

The jury of the Fundación Jesús Serra's 2020 Poetry Contest

Carlos Zanón has written several poetry books - the novels Nadie ama a un hombre bueno and Tarde, mal y nunca, which received the Brigada 21 Prize for best first novel of the year - and he has been a finalist in the Memorial Silverio Cañada, Giallo e dell Noir (Italy) and Violeta Negra (France) awards. He also wrote No llames a casa, the Valencia Negro prize for the Best Dark Novel of the Year, and Yo fui Johnny Thunders, Salamanca Negro, Novelpol and Dashiell Hammett prizes, as well as the story book Marley estaba muerto. With Taxi, he established himself as one of the most important authors on the Spanish literary scene. In 2019 he published Problemas de identidad, a continuation of the Carvalho series by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. His narrative works have been translated in the United States, Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy. He works as a columnist and music/literary critic for newspapers, magazines and cultural supplements.

Elena Medel is a writer from Cordoba who is particularly devoted to the field of poetry. She has written the poetry books Mi primer bikini (2002), which received the 2001 Andalusian Youth prize, presented by the Andalusian Youth Institute, Tara (2006) and Chatterton (2014), which won the Loewe prize in the Young Writer category. She is also the author of the Vacaciones (2004) and Un soplo en el corazón (2007) collections. Her poems have been translated into German, Arabic, Armenian, Slovenian, Basque, French, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish and Swahili. Her work appears in numerous accounts of recent poetry. As a narrator, her stories have also been published in various anthologies. In 2016, she received the Princesa of Girona Foundation Award in Arts and Letters.

David Castillo is a Catalan poet. In 1989, he created the cultural supplement of the El Punt-Avui newspaper after collaborating in the leading state newspapers and magazines in the 1980s. He was the director of the Lletra de canvi magazine for eight years and taught as a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona for five years.  He has organised various poetry lecture series and was founder and director of the Barcelona Poetry Week in 1997.  In September 2017, he became president of the ACEC (Association of Writers of Catalonia).  He has received the highest honours in Catalan literature, such as the Sant Jordi Novel Prize, the Carles Riba Poetry Prize, the Crexells Prize for the best novel of the year and different Atlantis awards as a literary columnist. His most notable works include Game over, El cielo del infierno, Espalda desnuda, Sin mirar atrás, Downtown, Poesía, Contracultura, Barcelona and El túnel del tiempo.

Josefa Martijoch is a Catalan writer, the daughter of a family of printers and booksellers. She studied Philology at the Universitat de Barcelona. Her works of poetry include Quadrin de vacances, a reading of El segon sexe (1983; Miquel Martí i Pol Prize for Poetry), Ales intactes (1996; 1994 Salvador Espriu Poetry Award), Les llenos il · lusions (2001; 2000 Màrius Torres Award) and Congesta (2007). As for her narrative work, she is the author of Potala (1986), La dona liquida (1990), Els dies infinits (2001), and Sense alè (2012; 2012 Ciutat de Barcelona Award, 2013 Serra d'Or Critics Award and 2013 Joan Crexells Award). She has also written children's literature and translated works from French. In 2016, she was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, presented by the regional government of Catalonia, in recognition of her life's work.

Ricardo Fernández Aguilà has been a teacher and writer. He was born in Barcelona. He has a degree in Hispanic Philology and has written Un Fernandes entre banderas (2014), Un profesor se despide (2017) and, online, stories for the blog Un entender no entendiendo (2012-2013).
He has also done introductory studies and translations of the books El diálogo con el inconsciente: Antonio Machado, by Antoni Pascual Piqué (2009) and 32 poemas, by Màrius Torres. His Awakening consciousness through poetry project has toured cities such as Barcelona and Madrid in search of inspiration for poetry for the different stages of life. For over forty years he was a primary and secondary school teacher, as well as a translator, especially of children's literature.

Alejandro Krawietz Rodríguez holds a degree in Hispanic Philology from the University of La Laguna (Tenerife). He was a professor of literature (UBO, France) and has worked continuously as a literary and art critic. He is the author of the poetry books La mirada y las támaras, Memoria de la luz, En la orilla del aire and Para un dios diurno. He edited the anthologies La otra joven poesía española, La realidad entera by Ángel Crespo and the catalogue for the Syntaxis exhibit: A creative adventure, which he curated (in Tenerife Espacio de las Artes). He was the director during the first stage of the Piedra y Cielo magazine, and its coordinator during its second, digital, phase. He is currently the director of the MiradasDoc International Documentary Film Festival.

Pía Serra Calderón is the jury's secretary and spokesperson. She is the granddaughter of Jesús Serra. She has been a member of the jury for the Fundación Jesús Serra's Poetry Contest since its third edition, in 2010.

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