Mireia Calafell (Barcelona, 1980) is a member of the research group Body and Textuality (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and works at the cultural association ArtsMoved. She has studied Humanities at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and she is doing her PHD in Compartaive Literature at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Her research focuses on the relationship between identity, body, space, city, writing and migration.
As a Catalan poet, she has published Poètiques del cos/ Poetics of the body (published by Galerada, 2006) and Costures /Seams (Viena Edicions, 2010). Her work has been recognized with the following prizes: Amadeu Oller Poetry Prize (2006), VIII Memorial Anna Dodas (2008) and Josep M. López Picó de Poesia (2009). Selected poems of hers have been translated into English, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.
Her work has been included in anthologies in Holland (Rebellie, Zirimiri Press, 2012), Ireland (Forked Tongues, Exeter, 2012), Argentina (Doce poetas catalanes contemporáneos, Editorial Espacio Hudson, 2011), Brazil (A luz nadadora. 9 poetas recentes de espressão catalã, Zunái Revista de Poesia & Debates, 2011) and others in Catalonia and Spain.
In 2008, she was invited by the Spanish Embassy in Abu Dhabi to take part of the project “In transit. Spanish Writers in Residence in the United Arab Emirates”. Àlbum, translated into Spanish, English and Arabic, is the result of this experience.
In 2012, she was invited by the Finnish-Spanish Society from Lappeeranta to do several readings of her poetry in different cities of Finland during a week.
She has read her poetry in different cities from Catalonia and Spain, but also in China, Holland, Italy, France, Argentina and Finland.
Currently, she is working in the audiovisual Redding “Textures” (www.artsmoved.cat/textures) with the musician Miguel Marín and the artists Sebastià Puiggrós and Elka Mocker.
In addition, she has published several articles in scientific publications. She is the co-director, together with with Meri Torras, of the collection “Los textos del cuerpo”. Together with Aina Pérez, she is the co-editor of El cuerpo en mente. Versiones del ser desde el pensamiento contemporáneo (UAB and EdiUOC, 2011). Together with Begonya Sáez and Isabel Segura, she has published Off the record. Representacions frontereres de la memòria històrica de les dones (EdiUOC, 2011).
Some poems tranlated by the Irish poet Theo Dorgan:
All that you love, you love equally but in different ways
you used to say,
and now, between me and the coffee we are trying to guess
if we have been punished by this even-handedness,
or if it’s difference that is to blame.
Bitterness, as a hint, brings me to you
there in the kitchen, where you are spooning in
sugar that will not wake me anymore.
There are no answers in your gestures,
only the evidence of loss. Look —
I no longer have wings, my shoulderblades
no more than shoulderblades if you do not look on them.
You have lost the will to fly.
This close to the ground we cannot fall —
and to love, after all, is to fall.
HAND NOT TOUCHING HAND (Mans que no es toquen)
Hand not touching hand; skin not speaking to skin,
and on the palate aftertaste of a secret that melts
among silences clouded with so much melancholy,
trembling because of the cold you are not here to combat,
these nights of blanched sheets, of shut fast windows.
Eyes not kissing eyes, verses that burn
in the marrow of the bone, in the marrow of desire,
a body that presents as a woman in a dress
with unpicked neckline freckles,
lone profile that searches for you on the pillow.
I write that I might read you. And devour you.
To overcome distance that fate has decreed,
to make you into a word, to propose delirium
while we hide from the world under the clocks
reciting the verses
that meld us in a long embrace.
I write that I might hear you, might hold you.
But you are not here, already you have begun to leave.
Let it be a night of storm
thunderbolts flashing across the sky skin
the sky showing its scars
(how they slash, the birds’ wings).
Or let it be less dramatic,
let it pass before eleven o’clock, an ordinary day,
while people are queueing for the bus, say,
while children unwrap their breakfast rolls,
and you are there before your computer screen,
searching your e-mails for me,
in the grip of a mystery falling
from your eyes to your fingertips,
to the keys at last
like famished birds pecking away,
avid with desire. Let it be.
Only awareness of the moment matters,
to know that a day will come
when queues, bus, children and breakfast rolls will be gone
and we, too, will be gone.
Your name in my e-mails
the last trace of this story,
a cry on the horizon, just before flight
(Ah, how they slash, the wings of the present moment).
Textures, the audiovisual poetry reading project presented in China, Argentina and Spain:
Other trasnlations here.