NZ poet edits Spanish poetry collection
A kiwi editing a collection of Spanish poetry? Nelson-born artist and poet Charles Olsen has published a collection of poetry by 15 poets from around the Spanish-speaking world. The book titled ‘Palabras Prestadas’, which means ‘Donated Words’, celebrates the first year of an online poetry project of the same name run by Charles. Every two weeks a guest is invited to donate five words and participants send in their poems which must include the five words. A prize is awarded for the best poem of each edition and it is these poems that are brought together in this book.
Charles Olsen moved to Spain in 2003 to study flamenco guitar and further his interest in Spanish painting, picking up the language along the way. He began writing in Spanish and reciting his own poetry in events in Madrid and has published a collection of his poetry in Spanish and English titled Sr. Citizen (Ediciones Amargord, 2011). He was recently invited to recite his poetry in an inaugural recital of the poetry festival ‘PoeMaRío’ in Barranquilla, Colombia, and performed "Agita Flamenco", a poetry recital with Flamenco piano with poet Lilián Pallares and pianist Pablo Rubén Maldonado in the New Zealand pavilion of the Venice Bienal, 2011.
Of this new book he says, “I had in mind from the beginning of this project to publish a book of the poems. The poems are there for anyone to read online but there is something special about taking your time and enjoying the poetry on the printed page. It deserves this more meditative space.
“We have printed a small run of 200 copies for this 1st edition and have taken a lot of care over the design. The poems that result from this project are surprising in their diversity and creativity.” He says there are no plans to translate this book into English for the present.
The presentation takes place in the “Imprenta Municipal – Artes del Libro”, Calle Concepción Jerónima 15, Madrid, Spain, on Thursday 13th June, 2013, at 7pm, with the participation of Charles Olsen, poet Lilián Pallares, poet and journalist Jesús Marchamalo, poet and publisher Miguel Ángel Arcas, and the poets included in the book.