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The UOC celebrates Sant Jordi with an anthology of poetry by women

  Photo: Unsplash/Freddie Marriage

Photo: Unsplash/Freddie Marriage

Anna Torres Garrote
"Massa mare" is the title of a multimedia publication that will bring together some twenty authors, coordinated by Maria Cabrera and Raquel Toms

Un sol s’apaga a la finestra del seu quarto (A sun goes out at the bedroom window) is the title of an unpublished poem by Catalan philologist Maria Cabrera. It is also the first poem in “Massa Mare”, a multimedia anthology of poetry by women, work in progress coordinated by this young Catalan poet and by playwright and stage director Raquel Toms. Also collaborating is LletrA, the UOC webpage on Catalan literature. This is how the UOC has chosen to celebrate the Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint Jordi's Day).


“Massa mare” will bring together 20 authors and 20 creative capsules about the author and her work, with one being published each month. The contents of each capsule – which will be available on the LletrA website and its Twitter (@lletra) and Facebook accounts – will include poems, photographs, recordings and items selected by the poets.

For Maria Cabrera, this work stems from the same concept which is at the root of the whole anthology: massa mare, literally, “sourdough”. “The concepts of fermentation, latency and work over time that run through the anthology are very similar to the images evoked by traditional still lifes, but with a contemporary twist”, said the poet.

For Teresa Frriz, director of LletrA, this anthology offers a “unique perspective on today’s youngest poets, who not only write poems, but also use all the languages at their disposal to express their creativity”.

According to Frriz, this generation does not have it easy when it comes to making a name for themselves “due to the limitations of our Catalan cultural system, which often makes them invisible to new audiences, whether it's at school, the library or the bookstore”. For this reason, she explained that the University has opted for “a living anthology, in progress, that puts a unique and surprising new voice on digital showcase month after month”, adding that “this generation of women poets will question us, they will make us fall in love, but they will also make us feel uncomfortable”. Her recommendation is that we “listen to them carefully”.

Maria Cabrera (Girona, 1983) is a Catalan Language and Literature graduate of the University of Barcelona (UB). She won the 58th Carles Riba Prize for poetry in 2016, considered one of the most prestigious Catalan literary awards. The award was given for La ciutat cansada (The Tired City), her third book, which discusses the depletion of emotions, but this award was not her first. In 2004, at just 21 years old, she won the Amadeu Olle Prize, for her first collection of poems, Jons. Although writing is not her main activity, Cabrera's poetry maintains a special connection with music and many artists such as Manel, Bikimel and Slvia Prez Cruz have put several of her poems to music.

Raquel Toms (Barcelona, 1979) is a playwright and stage director. Previously artistic co-director of Areatangent, she now holds the same position at Dramangular, the drama platform.  Since studying at the University of Barcelona, the Institut de Teatre and the Nouvelle Sorbonne, she has focused her career on writing and stage directing, mainly her own texts and creation projects. Her latest text is L’Home Estampa, un espectacle bodeg (Beasts of Burden. A Modern-Day Fable of an Ass and Woman, Festival Grec '10, Magalia '09 and Beca Iberescena '09), and she is the creator of La Peixera (The Fish Tank), a playwriting residence with public participation (Festival Temporada Alta '08, Olot's PNRM '09 and Esparreguera's Festival LOLA '09). She is also the author of We (PNRM Incubator Grant), Apocalipsi life (sound theatre project for COMRdio – Temporada Alta '07 and LOLA) and Requiem for Comaneci, a stage-sound project (Teatre Estudi, Obrador Sala Beckett – F. Festus and Fira Mediterrnia Manresa).


About LletrA

LletrA is a project that was launched in 2001 by the UOC. Created as a web page, originally it offered information and specialist documentation regarding Catalan literature. New multilingual spaces in Spanish and English were added to the initial page thanks to an agreement signed in 2005 with the Ramon Llull Institute. Throughout the years new resources have been added, such as Poetry As Drawing Msica de poetes, Viquilletra, TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile, the monthly publication Argus, virtual exhibitions dedicated to authors and Catalan works and more than a dozen digital projects and web resources on the literature, history and culture of Catalonia. The site has social media accounts on Twitter (@lletra) and Facebook (@deLletrA), which together currently have over 15,000 followers.

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