Gloria Fuertes

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Gloria Fuertes García
Born (1917-07-28)28 July 1917
Madrid, Spain
Died 27 November 1998(1998-11-27) (aged 81)
Madrid, Spain
Occupation Poet, short story writer, playwright, children book writer
Nationality Spanish
Period 1934 — 1998
Literary movement Postism
Notable works Un globo, dos globos, tres globos
Las tres reinas magas
El hada acaramelada
Website
www.gloriafuertes.org

Gloria Fuertes García (28 July 1917 – 27 November 1998) was a Spanish poet and author of children's literature, linked to the first Spanish literary movement after the Civil War, 50’s Generation or postism. She became particularly well-known in Spain in the 70’s, after her collaborations on children’s television shows. In her work, she defended equality between men and women, pacifism and the fight for the environment. With the centenary of her birth in 2017, the recognition of her role in Spanish poetry as a whole during the 20th century has increased greatly. She was born and died in Madrid, Spain.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Gloria Fuertes was born in a modest family in Madrid in 1917. Her mother was a seamstress and maid; her father, a beadle. She attended the Institute of Vocational Education of Women, where she studied Shorthand, Typing and Childcare. Her interest in writing started at the early age of five, when she started writing and illustrating stories. However, she also declared that her family did not support her in the slightest and that her mother would reprimand her if she saw her with a book.[3] Nevertheless she published her first poem at age fourteen: Childhood, Youth, Old Age (Niñez, Juventud, Vejez) and at seventeen shaped her first book of poems, Isla Ignorada, to be published in 1950. In 1934 she started working as an accountant and secretary, jobs that for a long time she combined with writing stories for children, theatre plays and, increasingly, poetry.

Although she always defined herself as "self-taught and poetically deschooling" her name has been linked to two literary movements: The Generation of 50 and Postismo, a literary group of postwar who joined late 40s and were part Carlos Edmundo de Ory, Eduardo Chicharro and Silvano Sernesi, and which also collaborated Angel Crespo and Francisco Nieva.

Postismo remained forever in Gloria Fuertes demystifying poetic attitude by way of humor; humor in Gloria Fuertes is a critical way of constructing reality and discovering the truth of things. The Civil War left a deep impression on her. The anti-war and protest against the absurdity of civilization are present in her poetry categorically. As she said, "without the tragedy of war I might never had written poetry."

In the aftermath of her war experience, Gloria Fuertes's work is characterized by irony dealing with universal issues such as love, pain, death and loneliness. All of it seasoned with strange metaphors and linguistic games full of charm, freshness and simplicity, which give her poems a great musicality and cadence near the oral language. There has been speculation about her homosexuality, which subtly appear declared in poems like "What Irritates Me", "I am open to all," "Jenny," etc.

Between 1940 and 1953 she began working in children's magazines, Pelayos, Chicos, Chicas, Chiquitito, y children's books "Flechas y Pelayos" (Maravillas) and the newspaper Arriba, which published the comic strip "Pigtails and Pelines" (a nine-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy respectively). They achieved great popularity among young readers.

Alongside her dedication to children's literature in magazines, plays and poems, she, along with Maria Dolores and Adelaida Lasantas, founded in 1947 the group "Verses with Skirts" that organized concerts and poetry readings by bars and locals cafes, collaborated in adult magazines such as Directions, Spanish Poetry and Straw Bird, and created and directed the poetry magazine between 1950-1954 Archer, along with Antonio Gala, Julio Mariscal and Rafael Mir.

From 1955 to 1960 she studied library science and English at the International Institute. In 1961 she won the Fulbright scholarship in the United States to teach Spanish literature at the University of Bucknell; then she taught at Mary Baldwin College and Bryn Mawr College and taught Spanish to Americans at the International Institute until 1963; then she received Scholarship in 1972 from the Juan March Foundation for Children's Literature.

In the mid-1970s she became actively involved in various children's programs TVE, Siendo Un Globo, Dos Globos, Tres Globos y La Cometa Blanca, which definitively became the poetry of children. Receiving five times the Aro de Plata for this information medium. From these years the activity of Gloria Fuertes is unstoppable: readings, concerts, tributes ... always near children; continuously publishing poetry for children and adults. She became very popular after the parody Martes y Trece made it into "Especial Nochevieja" (A Special New Year's Eve).

Indefatigable heavy smoker, she died of lung cancer on November 27, 1998 and was buried in the South Cemetery Madrid. In 2001 her remains were transferred to the Cemetery of La Paz of Alcobendas (Madrid). She left her fortune to a Catholic orphanage.

Gender equality[edit]

The friendly and fresh orality in her work, set her far from the accepted poetic pattern, according to Sharon Keefe Ugalde, from the University of Texas. Some experts affirm that another circumstance against the triumph of Fuertes’ work was the fact that she was a woman, lesbian and poor.[4] Reyes Vila-Belda from the University of Indiana emphasizes that she opened up the world of poetry to the worries of the voiceless people: women, workers and poor people.

Fuertes reclaimed the right of women, starting with the right to read, write, work or being a poet in a historical moment when they were confined to the domestic sphere. She also called into question traditional female roles during the Spanish dictatorship under General Franco, and presented instead a new model of woman.

One of her most known works to this regard is Three Wise Queens: Melchora, Gaspara y Baltasara, published in 1978 and by now a children's literature classic in Spain. In the story, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar are unable to go to Bethlehem, so their wives undertake the journey instead, and they play a protagonist role, as a contrast to the post-war society that had relegated women to their homes. Here, the mothers who are also wise queens as the fathers went to fight in the war, must follow the star and bring the gifts to the newborn Jesus.[5]

Apart from fighting for gender equality, Fuertes was also an activist for environmental causes and a pacifist that publicly opposed the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, as she opposed the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

Work[edit]

Children's books[edit]

Poetry[edit]

  • Canciones para niños (1956)
  • Villancicos (1956)
  • Cangura para todo (1968). Mención de honor en el Premio Hans Christian Andersen de literatura infantil.
  • Don Pato y Don Pito (1970)
  • Aurora, Brígida y Carlos (1970)
  • La pájara pinta (1972)
  • "La Oca Loca" (1977)
  • El camello cojito (1978)
  • El hada acaramelada (1973)
  • La gata chundarata y otros cuentos (1974)
  • El dragón tragón (1978)
  • La momia tiene catarro (1978)
  • El libro loco. De todo un poco (1981)
  • El perro que no sabía ladrar (1982)
  • El abecedario de don Hilario (1983)
  • El burro y la escuela (1987)
  • Trabalenguas para que se trabe tu lengua (1988)
  • El cocinero distraído (1994)

Theatre[edit]

  • La princesa que quería ser pobre (1942)
  • El chinito Chin-cha-té (1955)
  • Petra, un señor pregunta por ti (1970)
  • Las tres reinas magas (1978)

Television[edit]

Adult literature[edit]

  • Isla ignorada (1950)
  • Antología y poemas del suburbio (1954)
  • Aconsejo beber hilo (1954)
  • Todo asusta Caracas (1958). Primera mención del Concurso Internacional de Poesía Lírica Hispana
  • Que estás en la tierra (1962)
  • Ni tiro, ni veneno, ni navaja (1965). Premio Guipúzcoa
  • Poeta de guardia (1968)
  • Cómo atar los bigotes del tigre (1969). Accésit premio Vizcaya
  • Antología poética (1950-1969)
  • Sola en la sala (1973)
  • Cuando amas aprendes geografía (1973)
  • Obras incompletas (1980)
  • Historia de Gloria: (amor, humor y desamor) (1983)
  • Mujer de verso en pecho (1983)
  • Pecábamos como ángeles (1997)
  • Glorierías (1999)
  • Es difícil ser feliz una tarde (2005)
  • El Rastro (2006) Relatos
  • Se beben la luz (2008)
  • Los brazos desiertos (2009)
  • El caserón de la loca (2010) (theatre)
  • Poemas prácticos más que teóricos (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gloria Fuertes dies". El Mundo. 28 November 1998. (in Spanish)
  2. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-gloria-fuertes-1188423.html
  3. ^ De Cascante, Jorge (2017). El libro de Gloria Fuertes. Antología de poemas y vida. Blackie Books. p. 17. 
  4. ^ Fuentes, Verónica (10 January 2017). "Gloria Fuertes la poeta de Lavapiés: mujer, lesbiana y pobre". Tribuna Feminista. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Las reinas magas, un invento de hace 36 años". El Español. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 

External links[edit]