Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is one of the most read and influential Spanish writers today. He is an essayist, fiction writer, journalist, professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada, and, principally, a poet. He has received numerous important honors, like the National Poetry Prize (1994) and the National Critic’s Prize (2003), both in Spain, and the Poets of the Latin World Prize (2010), in Mexico. He has published eleven books of poetry, represented in The World So Often, his first anthology in English.
Luis García Montero’s poetry has commonly been considered — even by the author himself — as realist, yet this is a misinterpretation. His poetic subject doesn’t try to trap the reader in an illusory world offered up as natural, but rather to break with the automatic perception of things and facts, and so avoid catharsis. What’s crucial here is the use of a language that does not try to be transparent, a simple instrument of communication, and that risks its neck to be noticed. It’s a language that is both reflection and matter, and thus, has the agency to change things, the capacity to transform. Moreover, this language is not limited to the lyrical tradition, it doesn’t discriminate against words in any way, it becomes democratized. By combining prosaism and tropological density, it searches for a discourse with a greater power of representation and participation. In short, García Montero’s work achieves a balance between sentimental rigor and intellectual outpouring, rejects solipsism, and goes deeper into dialogical poetry.
‘Luis García Montero’s poetry is indicative of one of the most valued trends in contemporary Spanish verse… It explores everyday reality, which, on the one hand, borders the marvelous and, on the other, the quotidian.’ —Octavio Paz
‘The poetry of a realist who expects too much from his dreams, and… of a dreamer who doesn’t know, or at least doesn’t think he knows, how to experience reality very well.’ —Marco Antonio Campos