12/6/2012 (18:00 h)
The son of Barcelona architect Joan Margarit i Serradell and Trinitat Consarnau i Sabaté, a teacher from the coastal village of L’Ametlla de Mar, the Catalan poet Joan Margarit i Consarnau was born on the 11th of May, 1938, in Sanaüja, in the administrative region of the Segarra. This was during the Spanish Civil War, and his birth coincided with the time when the Aragonese Front was drawing near to the area. Margarit’s mother and father had married in July 1936 in Barcelona, but were driven by the war to his father’s family home in Sanaüja, where the poet was born.
Between the end of the War and 1948, Margarit’s family had homes in Barcelona, Rubí, Figueres and Girona. When they finally returned to Barcelona, they settled in the west of the city, overlooking Turó Park, and young Margarit completed his secondary school studies at the Institut Ausiàs March, which was at that time on carrer Muntaner, a main street in the neighbourhood of the Eixample.
In 1954, the family moved to the Canary Islands but from 1956 to 1961, Margarit remained in Barcelona during the academic year to study Architecture, lodging at the University Hall of Residence the Col.legi Major Sant Jordi. In 1962, he met Mariona Ribalta and in 1963, the two were married and settled down in Barcelona in carrer Sardenya, a central street near the square la plaça Sanllehy. Their daughters Mònica, Anna and Joana and their son Carles were all born in Barcelona.
Margarit’s first published poetry was in Spanish, in 1963 and 1965. After a silence of ten years, he then wrote Crónica, which was published by his friend Joaquim Marco, director of the Ocnos series at the publishing house Barral Editores. From 1980 onwards, he began to establish himself as a Catalan poet.
Since 1975, Margarit and his family have lived in Sant Just Desvern, where in 1980 he also set up practise as an architect with friend and associate Carle Buxadé. From 1968 until recently, the poet was also Professor of Structural Calculations at Barcelona’s Technical School of Architecture (l’Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona).
The event will celebrate the English translation of his book New Letters to a Young Poet (Swan Isle Press, Chicago 2011), as well as his life and work as a poet and architect. Please join us for this reading and discussion. Mr. Margarit will read selections of his work.
Instituto Cervantes (Chicago)
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