Angel Guinda sad news – dedication to him for Versopolis screening on February 4th
Unfortunately, I bring some very sad news – Aragonese poet Ángel Guinda passed away this weekend (Zaragoza 1948 – Madrid 29 January 2022). Charles Olsen, who worked with him, describes him as ‘a poet, friend and inspiration, both in his poetry and his way of being’. He says that ‘Ángel always had a lovely twinkle in his eye and was quite mischievous. At a birthday lunch he arranged in El Alambique, rather than ask everyone to move so he could get up, like a child he crawled under the table and a minute later reappeared as if from the ground, one finger raised to the heavens, announcing that he was resurrected!’
I feel very sorry to have missed meeting someone who obviously brought such joy and imagination to life – a rare commodity these days. Well-regarded in Spain, there is a wonderful tribute to Guinda in El País for those who can read Spanish.
Charles and I have dual video presentations on The Poetics of Poetry Film at Brave New Literatures festival run by VERSOPOLIS review on Friday 4th February. They were originally made for the 25th VideoBardo Video Poetry Festival @videobardo_ (Argentina) where they were first presented with festival director Javier Robledo in December.
We are now dedicating this event to Ángel. Charles Olsen’s documentary ‘Videopoetry in Portugal and Spain’ includes a fragment of ‘On the Eve of Death’ which filmmaker Sándor M. Salas made with Guinda in 2014. Sándor commented in his interview for The Poetics of Poetry Film: ‘[Ángel] is someone who understands other artists and therefore gives them the freedom and respect to create’.
Our featured image is a photo of Ángel Guinda from the poetry film Charles made with him – ‘Libro de huellas –The Book of Traces’.
I can think of no better videographic glimpse into Guinda’s craft in his later years than that made by Charles. In its quiet, yet controlled black and white depiction of the poet, it is as if he were submitting his identification details to a police authority, whilst summing up his life. As such the camera is allowed time with him, and the quiet, yet official sounds of an old typewriter occasionally rise to the surface. In the poem Guinda says ‘Like a fish in the air / have I lived in this world.’ … ‘I’m tethering my life / so the storm doesn’t escape me’. … ‘memory: What is it, but a book of traces’…. ‘And my final declaration:/ Don’t wait for me./ I’ve arranged to meet myself / and I’m in a hurry to arrive.’
In those prophetic, final words in the video poem we can leave our thoughts with him.