How an American poet discovered a Catalan poet and how she was translated and edited in English.

It’s Late

It’s been a while already since the last pair of animals
climbed into the ark.

An admirable job.

The solitary ones have remained on earth,
the unpaired, the ones marked
with a red felt pen
by God.

The chill of the first
drops disperses them
onto the avenues
from the port and docks

already without the strength to look up,

where thousands of hands and handkerchiefs
happily wave toward the promised land—
farewell, farewell, farewell—

always in pairs.

Published by Poetry Daily 95, winter 2017

                       @Mireia Estrada G.

Gemma Gorga’s Llibre dels minuts (2006) will be published in a bilingual Catalan/English edition by the Field Translation Series (Oberlin University Press) in 2019. In December, 2013, the award-winning American poet Sharon Dolin came for a residency at Jiwar. In the Jiwar library, she encountered a handful of Gemma Gorga’s prose poems translated by Anna Crowe in the anthology Six Catalan Poets, edited by Pere Ballart (Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK, 2013. This book was offered to Jiwar by Institut Ramon Llull). She was so captivated by them, that she immediately went in search of the volume Llibre dels minuts (2006) winner of the Premi Miquel de Palol, that contained the entire sequence of 60 prose poems. She wanted to read them all, which meant translating them into English, and then she wanted to share the Book of Minutes with other American readers. Individual prose poems have been featured in American literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, New England Review, and Poetry International. In 2016, PEN America awarded Sharon Dolin the prestigious PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for her work on these prose poems. Jiwar is proud to be a part of this story, in which an American poet encountered the work of one of our finest contemporary Catalan poets.

If you want to join Sharon Dolin in her Poetry Workshop in Barcelona, applications are welcome until the 16th of March: