Catalan poets on show in Paris

Today the Poetry Market of Paris has begun with Catalonia as its special focus. Catalan poets have read their poems in the 28th edition of the most important poetry fair in Europe.

Jordi Font Comas d'Argemir / CNA

June 18, 2010 06:50 PM

Paris (CNA).- The Poetry Market of Paris began its 28th edition this Thursday with Catalan as the invited language. The inaugural act ended with the performance of the young Catalan musician and poet Josep Pedrals. The French singer Sapho also participated in it. More than a hundred editorials have started to present new publications at this open air market in the centre of Paris, a market which is considered to be one of the most important in Europe. The Institute Ramon Llull, a public organisation to promote Catalan culture abroad, had its own stand with translations into French, which had a good success in its first day.

“People here do not know Catalan poetry very well, thus it is a good initiative to have a Catalan presence at this market” tells Paul Pierrer to the CNA, a French man who lived in Barcelona and was visiting the Institut Ramon Llull’s (IRL) stand.

Another visitor of the stand was Victoria, a French philologist who has studied the work of one the greatest Catalan writers of the 20th century, Salvador Espriu, who also wrote poetry. “I just found out about the Catalan focus of the fair this morning, and I came right away. I am very happy that Catalan poets are this edition’s guests”, says Victoria, who hopes to be able to find some people with whom to practice her Catalan, learnt in Paris.

The activity programme of the IRL, called ‘Poétarium catalan’, started on Thursday 20th of May and will be going on until the 30th of June. During this period of time, about 30 poets will be reading their creations and will represent Catalan poetry in Paris.

The inaugural show took place in the centric Saint Suplice Square, where the market is set. The Secretary General of the French Book National Centre, Catherine Ruggieri, IRL Director, Josep Bargalló, and the Director the Institute of Balearic Studies, Santiago Juan attended the inauguration, among other personalities. After a speech from the French singer Sapho, it was ‘Pedrals i els Nens Eutròfics’ turn, the pop band lead by the poet Josep Pedrals. They have presented their disc ‘Esquitxos Ultralleugers’ (Ultralight splashes) at the market. It is an album of “burlesque and erotic” poetry combined with “danceable pop music”, told Josep Pedrals to CNA, the singer and author of the lyrics.

A copy in Catalonia

Pedrals represents a new generation of young authors who have revamped Catalan poetry. He was surprised by the Paris market of poetry and hopes that a similar initiative can be created in Catalonia, but “it should not be noticed that we are copying it”.

The fair “looks very small and at the same time very big” said Pedrals. He is happy that Catalan culture is a guest in such an important fair and that it was so present in the inauguration. “It shows that the French have very good taste”, joked Pedrals.

Catalan Cinema
In the first official day of the market, a cycle about Catalan cinema also began in a Paris theatre. The award-winning “The silence before Bach” from Pere Portabella opened the event. There has also been a poetry reading by Miquel Bezares and Antoni Vidal Ferrando at Saint Suplice Square.