Contemporary Spanish Poetry

Contemporary Spanish poetry can be seen as something separate from Post-war poetry. Contemporary poetry in Spain began to emerge from the middle of the 20th century and continues to be a strong movement today. It was during the 1960s that there was a large surge of young poets and creative writers, whose style differentiated them from their predecessors. The 1980s was a particularly important time for Spanish poetry, and many of the poets from this period are studied at Spanish schools in Spain.

Los Novísimos

As a reaction to the 'social poetry' from previous years, a group of poets appeared at the end of the 1960s whose most distinct characteristic was their great attention to form, an attention to which social poetry had not given such prominence in its concept of the genre, and a marked interest for the phenomena of 'mass culture', i.e. cinema, comics and pop music, among others.

However, the poets of this period also wrote in extremely diverse styles. For example, Luis Alberto de Cuenca began writing in a novísima style before transforming into a realist poet; meanwhile Leopoldo María Panero started writing poems in a style which was later called malditismo.

Some of the main Spanish poets from the Novísimo period include: José María Álvarez, Félix de Azúa, Guillermo Carnero, Pere Gimferrer, Antonio Martínez Sarrión, Leopoldo María Panero and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.


The contemporary Spanish poetry of the 1980s was marked by a rise in figurative, metaphysical and irrational poetry. Poetry that dealt with experience and love was particularly common at the start of the decade in the poetry by the likes of Luis García Montero and Felipe Benítez Reyes.

By the middle of the 1980s, a group of authors got together to form 'La Diferencia', a group which hailed literary freedom and independence, opposed the poetry based on experience, believing that it was too dominating and protected. In a similar fashion to the poets of the 60s, these writers paid a great deal of attention to the stylistic resources in poetry, particularly in the domain of figurative language. Constantly faced with a society that was getting more and more uniform, the objective of these writers was diversity and dissidence. Within this group, some of the most famous writers include Antonio Enrique, José Lupiañez and Fernando de Villena.

During this period, irrational and neo-surrealist poetry became more widespread, further distancing Spanish poetry from poems based on experience. This section of contemporary Spanish poetry was mostly developed by Juan Carlos Mestre and Blanca Andreu. Another movement in the 1980s was metaphysical poetry, a minimalist style of poetry that focused a lot on the space between the words. Members of this movement include Miguel Casado, Andrés Sánchez Robayna, Álvaro Valverde, Vicente Valero and Olvido García Valdés.

With the liberty the 70s and 80s brought, Spain also saw a rise in the number of erotic poems being produced, particularly from the point of view of Spanish women. A number of female poets gained fame during this decade, including Ana Rossetti, Almudena Guzmán, and Aurora Luque.


The 1990s saw a further development in metaphysical poetry, mostly by poets like Jorge Riechmann, Eduardo García and Vicente Gallego. It was also during this decade that Spanish realism began to make a comeback, albeit in a more gritty form than before. This type of realism focused on exploring emotions related to weariness and disappointment.

Conscience poetry also developed with poets such as Antonio Orihuela, Isabel Pérez Montalbán, Jorge Riechmann and Antonio Méndez. This style of poetry was deeply rooted in social and political ideologies, particularly left-wing, anti-capitalist movements. Experimental and ironic Spanish poetry were also developed slightly during the 1990s by poets such as Jorge Gimeno and Javier Codesal.


The first few years of the 3rd millennium has seen a new generation of poets who have once again decided to reject and subvert the aims of experience based poetry. The main characteristics among them include the use of national references and free writing without restriction. These contemporary Spanish poets have pushed into post-modern poetry.

However, this is the only generalization that may be made and the poets of today write in a variety of different styles. There are a number of expressionist and existential poets such as Rafael Espejo, Josep M. Rodríguez and Juan Manuel Romero. Many poets write in a serious tone with hints of irony like Julieta Valero, Mario Cuenca Sandoval and Martín López-Vega. Regional poetry styles have also become more popular and different regions have different styles as you will be able to see if you ever visit Spain.

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