Paula Bozalongo is this year's winner of “The Bridges of Struga” Award

Young Spanish poetess awarded for her debut poetry book December and We Kissed

Struga Poetry Evenings organization headquarters announced that the poetry book December and We Kissed by the Spanish poetess Paula Bozalongo is this year’s winner of the debut poetry book award by a young world author “Bridges of Struga” presented by SPE and UNESCO. The award was established in 2003 as part of the cooperation with UNESCO, on the occasion of celebrating the World Poetry Day. This year it will be presented for the 12th time on the "Bridges" international poetry meeting, one of the main events of the festival. Her book will be translated in Macedonian and English and will be published by Struga Poetry Evenings before the festival in August. Some of the poets, previous winners of this award, are part of Versopolis project.

Paula Bozalongo was born on 15 April 1991 in Granada, Spain. She studied architecture in Madrid. Her book “December and We Kissed” was awarded the prestigious prize of the “Hiperion” edition in Spain, which has been awarded for books of poetry by a young author for 30 years now. Her poems have been published in significant literary magazines, not only in her motherland, but other countries of the world as well.

Her debut book “December and We Kissed” through 26 poems, divided in two parts, brings forth a poetic language which radiates with a characteristic sensibility, not burdened by some adventurous rhetoric, experimental and metaphorical expression. This is poetry carrying reflections of certain insecurities and fears, indecisiveness in search for closeness. This is by no means some old-fashioned sentimentality, but a spirit-filled expression of intimacy which brings sincerity expressed in a special way, filled with evocative images influenced even by architecture.

The lyric subject reflects an intimate lyric temperament through the elegant and bold changes in the poetic images, through elegiac tonality in which their constant transformations take place. The tranquil tone of this self-reflective lyric is suddenly interrupted by contrapuntal images which sometimes bring contradiction and amazement, and act as an emotional cadence in the poem. Such poetic form allows the young poetess to harness in the poem all of her reminiscences, allusions, emotional outpourings, memories, doubts and fears through the skillful interchange of the story and the confession and create an exceptionally suggestive lyric which challenges the reader with constant interruptions of this confidential tone through constant juxtapositions of images.

This poetry arises from that belief in the transforming power of emotions which fill the poetic images with a tendency to rediscover and change the internal logic of time and space. Hence this quest for love, for intimacy is emphasized through the reflected representations of places and objects that contain the coldness and alienation, and it is entwined in the poem as a muffled cry in the storm (“The Prestige of Crying”). These introspections of disappointments, longings and dreams become contemplative images which contain geometric shapes and structures, architectonic metaphors, such as in the poem “Geometry” where in cubic manner she draws out the silhouette of her loved one in triangles, trapezoids, circles and ellipses. “I lack dimensions/ to explain the world”, as she herself says in her poem, she announces another name whose poetic quest for a new poetic expression will certainly bring poetic creations which will attract the attention of the European and world literary public.

With her addition to the list of all the laureates of this international prize up to now, UNESCO and SPE continue with the endeavor to support young authors and affirm the new poetic values, new poetic writings and names which will make up the very best of the world poetry in the future. Paula Bozalongo fully deserves her placement on this list, and her poetry testifies to the fact that she will bring a mature creative expression in the future.