There has been much debate regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of women’s poetry and literature in Spain over the last few years.
Naturally, this debate is also being had in our region, where there are in fact many prominent poetesses.
Responses from critics have been mostly negative, stating that there are no radical differences between men and women’s literature, which they argue have very few defining characteristics.
In terms of poetry, the response has been practically the same. Well, I believe that, at least in the Campo de Gibraltar, you will find that poetry penned by women has a distinct writing style, a very different sensitivity and the employment of different themes.
In my opinion, in the 1990’s, women poets from the Campo de Gibraltar have developed a much more colourful style, whereby landscapes are vividly and wonderfully described:
Venezuelan poems by the magnificent Paqui Galán; the Galician atmospheres of Chus Feteria’s works, so full of mystery and charm; the continuous contrasts between the north and south in the poetry of Julia Guerra; the precious poetry of Paloma Fernández Gomá, pregnant with smells, colours, sensations and nuances that fill our senses, – poems such as Sonata floral or El ocaso del girasol; the quasi-visual poems of the dazzling Inmaculada Jiménez, which are like photographs of a reality that surrounds and limits us.
This lavish display of sensations and catharsis of the senses cannot be found in the poetry of Campogibraltarean male poets, who on the contrary are more guided by the spleen and the brain in their description of the internal landscapes of the soul and physical decomposition.
Having expressed my personal view, I’d like to take you on a quick journey through the rich spectrum of poetesses that we have in our region. Lola Pecha led the way and, the woman who gave a voice to her poems so many times after her death, María Dolores García Gamba, followed with an exciting collection of poetry that became her most prized work. María Vasallo is another great veteran poetess in the region; however, she prefers to deliver her work in the form of recitals and has, to my knowledge, not yet published a book.
We also have a trio of poets who curiously share the same characteristic of being “adopted” Algecireans: Madrid’s Paloma Fernández Gomá, Julia Guerra from Pamplona, and Galician Santiago Chus Feteira, who have starred in three impressive examples of the symbiosis between the landscapes and the themes of their places of origin, through the landscapes and nuances of the countryside.
Next to them emerges the figure of Paqui Galán, who won the Ateneo de Algeciras award after surprising us all with her forcefulness and excellent sensitivity by way of her book, Cuando el Silencio (‘When the Silence’).
Three poets, who are characterized by their intermittency and prolonged silences, also deserve a special mention: Inmaculada Visura, Marilén Cosano and María Ángeles Ramírez – poets who need to explore the states of the mind in order to rediscover poetry. Nieves Buscató, Concha Quintero, Pepa Hoyos, Conchi Rodriguez and Ana María Rodriguez – all members of the Academus group – are magnificent examples of poets who started late who have, nevertheless, burst on to the scene with overwhelming force and inexhaustible energy.
Also noteworthy are the very important figures of the La Línean María Teresa Soler and Inmaculada Jiménez Montero, and the privileged voice of Isabel Bermejo, that top the dazzling array of authors from the Campo de Gibraltar. Younger voices to be highlighted are those of Rosario Pérez and Ana Nuñez from Tarifa, excellent journalists who have joined the literary scene in recent years to great acclaim.
We must not forget the names Soledad Iranzo and Rosa Romojaro, Algecirean poets who live outside our borders and are very important references in national literature. I believe that the magnificent success enjoyed by feminine poetry in the nineties is evident in our region.
Women’s Poetry in the Campo de Gibraltar in the 90’s