The Life & Works of Luis García Montero

Luis García Montero is a Spanish poet and Spanish literary critic. He was closely linked to the poetry group called 'La otra sentimentalidad' alongside other contemporary Spanish poets like Javier Egea and Álvaro Salvador. Currently, he is the professor of Spanish literature at the University of Granada.

Luis García Montero - Life

Luis García Montero was born in the city of Granada in 1958 in the midst of a local family that were heavily involved with local life. As a child he attended the school run by the Piarists. During his adolescence he became a fan of horse-racing and met Blas de Otero, one of the most famous Spanish poets to write social poetry in the 1950s and 60s.

He then studied Philosophy and Literature at the University of Granada where he was taught by Juan Carlos Rodríguez Gómez in social literature. He got his degree in 1980, followed by a doctorate in 1985 with his thesis about the poet Rafael Alberti entitled La norma y los estilos en la poesía de Rafael Alberti. From then on, Luis García Montero maintained a great friendship with the poet from the Generation of '27, helping to prepare the work 'Poesía Completa' for him.

In 1981, Luis García Montero began working as an associated professor for the University of Granada. In the following years, he received the Adonáis Prize for El jardín extranjero, as well as writing an academic report on medieval theatre entitled El teatro medieval. Polémica de una inexistencia.

During the 1980s Luis García Montero also joined up with the poetry group called 'La Otra Sentimentalidad' - the name was taken from their first joint book that was published in 1983 - in which Javier Egea and Álvaro Salvador participated. From here, his poetry began to develop into what is now known as poesía de la experiencia, characterized by the general tendency to water down the more personal 'I' in collective experience. In turn, this style distanced itself from the stylistic and thematic individuality of the poets from the earlier novísimo movement. Nevertheless, García Montero and the rest of the group did try to link their work with some traditional poetry. For example, they tried to mix the aesthetic of Antonio Macho and the thoughts of the Generation of '50, as well as linking surrealism with the impacting images from Baroque Spanish poetry.

García Montero has spent the rest of his life with the writer Almudena Grandes, with whom he has three children. He continues to work on his poetry as well as other genres including his essays and column works. He also edits other literary pieces, including Rimas by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.

From a young age, Luis García Montero was a member of the Spanish communist party and the United Left. His political involvement has grown in the last few years, including being present in the 2011 general elections where he showed his support for the United Left.

There has also been some controversy surrounding this contemporary Spanish poet. In October 2008, Luis García Montero was sentenced for slander for having written an article in El País calling fellow professor José Antonio Fortes 'perturbed' for having said that Lorca was a fascist among other things. In response, García Montero asked for extended leave from his post as a head of department at the University of Granada.

Luis García Montero - Works

The most noticeable characteristic of the poems by Luis García Montero is the historic-biographical narrative of his poems, which possess an almost theatrical and novel like structure, and whose characters recount or live their story through memories and desire. Furthermore, his poetry is also characterized by the reflection on everyday situations or events, as well as the use of colloquial language - meaning that his poetry is a great means by which to study Spanish abroad, especially the style that you would hear out and about if you were to visit Spain.

Among the poetry prizes that García Montero has won, one can find the Frederico García Lorca Prize, the Loewe Prize, the Adonáis Prize for poetry, the National Prize for Poetry, and the National Critics Prize. Some of his most famous poem collections include Y ahora ya eres dueño del Puente de Brooklyn (1980), El jardín extranjero (1983), Habitaciones separadas (1994), and La intimidad de la serpiente (2003).

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