Cervantes Week is moving this year to Mexico, where Luis García Montero has travelled until 24 April to receive the legacy of the last living poet of the Republican exile, Carmen Castellote, and to take part in various cultural activities organised by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on the occasion of International Book Day. García Montero will also hold several meetings with representatives of the Mexican government.
The Cervantes Director's programme will begin on Friday 22 April, when García Montero will meet with the Under-Secretary for Cultural Development of the Mexican Ministry of Culture, the publisher and cultural manager Marina Nuñez Bespalova; and with the Director General for Cultural Promotion and Festivals of the aforementioned Ministry, the storyteller and diplomat Pablo Raphael de la Madrid.
After both institutional meetings, the director of the Cervantes will give the conference 'Saving poetry, saving the world' in the framework of the 'Chapultepec Conferences, towards Mondiacult 2022' (World Conference on Cultural Policies), an activity prior to the celebration of this international forum organised with UNESCO that analyses the relevance of the cultural and creative industries on a global level. This is the second time that Mexico hosts this important meeting, after the one held in 1982.
Organised by the UNAM to promote reading and the publishing industry, García Montero will also take part in the 'Fiesta del Libro y la Rosa' in activities on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 April. On Friday (6pm), he will take part in the poetry reading and conversation 'Invitación al regreso' together with the poet and writer Benito Taibo; and on Saturday (4pm), in the 'Homenaje a Almudena Grandes', again accompanied by Taibo and together with the writer and professor of the Mexican Academy, Rosa Beltrán.
Coinciding with International Book Day, on Saturday 23 April, the Spanish-born poet Carmen Castellote, the last survivor of Republican exile, will hand over her legacy to García Montero at her home in Mexico City. Later, in Madrid, she will deposit it in the Caja de las Letras of the Cervantes Institute.
Exiled at the age of five, Carmen Castellote was a "child of war", a trait that is evident in her verses, which speak of cold, war, loneliness and hunger, but also of the warmth of those who took her in.
Unknown and little published in Spain, last year 'Kilómetros de tiempo' was published, a compilation of Castellote's poetic work: 'Con suavidad de frío' (1976), 'Vuelo de nieve a sol' (1979), 'Diálogo con la esfinge' (1983), 'Acta de renacimiento' (1985) and 'Gavilla de horas' (2018). In March, the Cervantes Institute organised a month-long round table that analysed his poetic work and the influence of his biography on it.
Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.