The Life & Works of Fernando Beltrán

Fernando Beltrán is a contemporary Spanish poet who is famous for writing in a variety of styles of poetry, and not just limiting himself to one. He is also famous for being an entrepreneur, having created his own business that is dedicated to creating names for new companies.

Fernando Beltrán - Life

Fernando Beltrán was born in the city of Oviedo in the Spanish region of Asturias in 1956, however his family moved to Madrid in 1964, which is where the poet now lives. In 1980, Beltrán became one of the founding authors of Sensismo, a poetry movement that signified a generational rejection of the cultural aesthetic tendencies of the Novísimos in the 1970s.

In 1982, Fernando Beltrán's literary fame kicked off as he won the runner-up prize in the Premio Adonáis competition with Aquelarre en Madrid; the first prize was won by Luis García Montero with El jardín extranjero. Aquelarre en Madrid has since been re-edited twice in the following years.

The poetry of this Spanish author became clear in two manifestos. In 1987, he published the first manifesto, Perdimos la palabra, in the daily newspaper, 'El País', meanwhile the second manifesto, Hacia una poesía entrometida' appeared in the magazine 'Leer' later, in 1989. The second article is much more important for understanding this poet as the interfering poet that he defines himself as.

Over the course of the years, Fernando Beltrán has published over 10 poetry collections. Some of his works have been translated into 15 different languages; while his entire repertoire has been translated into French by the publishing house 'L'Harmattan' in a book entitled L'Homme de la Rue. While this means you don't have to visit Spain to read his works, it is still best to take some Spanish classes in Spain to be able to read his works in their original form.

Beltrán also founded the Aula de las Metáforas, a poetry library to which the contemporary Spanish poet has donated 1500 works. The library can be found in the Casa de Cultura in Grado in the region of Asturias. At this present moment, he is the director of the poetry magazine, El hombre de la calle. As well as being a poet, he is also a professor at the European Institute of Design and the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura.

Aside from his work in literature, he also founded the business 'El Nombre de las Cosas', a studio which helps come up with names for new companies. Although at first many people thought he was mad, Beltrán has actually had a great deal of success with this company. Among some of the brands the company has created, one can find Amena, Faunia, OpenCor and Equo.

Fernando Beltrán - Works

Although the poetry of Fernando Beltrán occupies just a single place within the domain of contemporary Spanish poetry, it has so far been hard to align him with one concrete poetry movement, and as such, he is often included by critics in a variety of them. This apparent contradiction in his writing can be explained by the rich amount of poetry elements that he uses, each with their own characteristics.

Poetry from experience: Fernando Beltrán has indicated on many occasions, and it has been reflected in the written introduction by Leopoldo Sánchez Torre of the poetry anthology El hombre de la calle, that his poetry begins with his own experiences. However, experience is not the aim of the poem, only the beginning, or the starting point, of the poem. As such, Beltrán writes his poetry without knowing the final direction, but his writing always originates from the experiences he has had.

Social poetry or interfering poetry: In Beltrán's poetry, man is not just an individual, but part of a collection as well. This is what Fernando Beltrán has deemed 'el hombre de la calle', with all of the experiences that surround him, and in particular, in his urban environment. The poetic subject knows that his has lost the match but he doesn't surrender or feel shame, but instead rebels in a continuous non-conformity.

Irrational and surrealist elements: The poet starts with daily experience, but this experience can not only come from daily experience, but also from the rationality of the human being and its environment, as well as surrealists images which at times are closer to those of irrationalism. The poetic 'I' can be seen to transform through the levels of the subconscious that emerge in the consciousness of the individual as well as the collective.

Love and romanticism: Love emerges as one of the great constants in Beltrán's poetry, such as the true 'interference' and the 'endless journey' in each woman, unattainable in its most Becquerian sense, an unbeatable love as some of his titles preach, but touched by the experiences of the author himself. The poet transforms residence on earth into residence in the body, a true catalyst of a living spirit. As Beltrán says, love is usually the finishing point of his poems.

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