Joan Margarit, revered Catalan poet who wrote for the lonely, dies aged 82

The writer was the recipient of the prestigious Cervantes Prize in 2019 

Catalan poet Joan Margarit in 2019 (by Pere Francesch)
Catalan poet Joan Margarit in 2019 (by Pere Francesch) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 16, 2021 04:50 PM

The Catalan poet and architect Joan Margarit has died at the age of 82. Margarit described poetry as "a tool to console during life's great moments of loss and sorrow."

Throughout his long career, Margarit received several prestigious awards including the Jaume Fuster Prize from the Catalan Language Writers Association in 2015.

Speaking upon learning that he had been awarded the Cervantes Prize by Spain's Ministry of Culture in 2019, Margarit said: "I work to comfort lonely people, which is 100% of the population."

A family statement said that Margarit passed away in Sant Just Desvern on the outskirts of Barcelona, as a result of a serious illness that was diagnosed just under a year ago.

Margarit was born in Catalonia in 1938, during the Spanish Civil War. His early published works were in Spanish, and from 1980 he began to publish poetry in Catalan.

Several of his works have been translated to other languages including English. Collections of Margarit's poems translated by Anna Crowe - Tugs in the Fog, Strangely Happy and Love is a Place - are available on Margarit's official website

Margarit's work received widespread recognition, earning him more than 20 awards and distinctions. Some the highlights of his career include winning Catalonia's National Literary Prize in 2008, the Serra d'Or Critics Prize for Poetry on three occasions (1983, 1985, 2006), the Carles Riba Poetry Prize in 1985, Spain's National Poetry Prize in 2008, as well as international awards from Chile and Mexico.

An architect by profession, Margarit taught at Barcelona School of Architecture from 1968 until his retirement.