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Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Everybody knows

José Pozo Madrid, a poet from the town of Tomelloso in Castilla la Mancha, won this year's  "Maxi Banegas" poetry competition organised by Pinoso Town Hall. We were at the local theatre last night to see him get his prize.

The format of the evening was a recital of some arias from various operas and zarzuelas (a sort of Spanish light opera) performed by a tenor and soprano with piano accompaniment. The programme was six or seven songs, the prizegiving and then a few more songs. I'm pretty sure that at least one, if not both, of the performers were the same people we saw at an event called Lírica a couple of years ago. It was an enjoyable evening.

I wondered who Maxi Banegas was. I know that the local library is named in his or her honour (Maxi isn't a name I know so it doesn't necessarily suggest either male or female to me) but I had this vague notion that she was a teacher at the local school who gained some local fame as a poet. So I went in search of the information on Google. I found the rules for the competition and lots of references to the event but, about the person, hardly a word. The best I got was that the event began in 1997 to honour one of the most loved and important poets of Pinoso, Doña Maxi Banegas (proof that she was a woman at least.) Neither Fnac nor Casa del Libro have any of her work for sale. Absolutely zilch.

Just another example of something that "everybody knows." Just to check that I wasn't being a bit jingoistic about this I Googled a couple of British poets I know the names of and there was plenty of info. But maybe that's unfair (I only know famous names) so I tried William Cowper an 18th Century poet who lived in Huntingdon, you know, the bloke who wrote the hymn "There is a fountain, filled with blood." Plenty of info.

The event finished in time for us to see the Barça - Man. U game.

El Certamen Nacional de poesía de “Maxi Banegas” se creó en el año 1997 para homenajear a una de las poetisas más querida e importante de Pinoso, Dña. Maxi Banegas.

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