Catalan women poets of the 21st century have a doctoral thesis

Catalan women poets of the 21st century have a doctoral thesis

Catalan women poets of the 21st century have a doctoral thesis

The thesis affirms that in the 21st century, the Catalan female authorial tradition is consolidated

Source: Universitat de Barcelona

On 5 April, Meritxell Matas, a member of the Àdhuc research centre at the University of Barcelona, defended her doctoral thesis, “Al límit de la pell hi ha la metàfora”: un estudi de les poetes catalanes del segle XXI”, co-supervised by Francesco Ardolino and Helena González, lecturers at the UB’s Faculty of Philology and Communication. The thesis was graded with an excellent cum laude and will be embargoed for a year because the author is working on its editorial publication.

Meritxell Matas / Universitat de Barcelona

Matas’ work highlights how Catalan women poets of the 21st century have represented a change in Catalan poetry, a conscious point of no return in the dominant poetics, which called for a detailed study. Poetry in Catalan in the first decades of the new millennium experienced a unique moment in terms of production, abundant and of high quality, and the increased presence of female authors such as Mireia Calafell, Maria Callís, Maria Sevilla, Raquel Santanera, Anna Gual, Eva Baltasar, Maria Isern, Blanca Llum Vidal, Chantal Poch and Lucia Pietrelli, among others, not only in terms of the creation of content, but also in terms of their role in the public sphere: cultural managers, directors of recitals and cycles, promoters of activities and literary critics.

According to Matas, “from this moment on, the poets are fully aware of the place they occupy in the tradition and, in fact, they are responsible for building the foundations of a fully-fledged female authorial lineage, complementary to the male one”. Furthermore, she points out that “the multiplicity of voices shows that it is neither a cohesive group nor does it conceal any manifesto, but shared subterranean themes and common interests can be glimpsed. Likewise, it is possible to interpret a political background and a set of readings and confluences with the main feminist, cultural, political and affective theories of the moment”.

The author, through a careful reading of their verses, points out the main features of this poetry, such as “the preponderance of the skin, questions about identity and gender, the desire for an active female subject, the creation of the other and vulnerability, motherhood and pain”. Thus, these new poets “make the theorems of carnality and abjection their own, strip themselves of armour and labels and write against the tyranny of perfection”, concludes Matas.

The thesis affirms that in the 21st century, the Catalan female authorial tradition is consolidated and in movement, and that the vectors established in the first years of the new century are not only no longer questioned, but are evolving, enriching, multiplying and reaffirming themselves with the new generations of poets and with the continued work of those who started out.

Meritxell Matas graduated in Journalism (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2010), and in English Studies (UB, 2015). She holds a master’s degree in Construction and Representation of Cultural Identities (UB, 2018). Her research focuses on an analysis of Catalan poetry of the 21st century from a gender perspective. She regularly publishes poetry reviews in the journal Caràcters, and has also published in other journals such as ReduccionsLectorarevista de dones i textualitatCaplletra and Catalan Review. She is also the technical secretary of the journal Compàs d’amalgama and a member of the editorial boards of Haidé, estudis maragallians and Caràcters. She has also written on Maria-Mercè Marçal, Felícia Fuster, Miquel Martí i Pol and Vicent Andrés Estellés.

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