Carmen Camacho

- Spain -

(Alcaudete, Jaén, 1976), besides a poet, is an aphorist, a literary critic and a creative writing teacher. To this date, she has published the following titles: Arrojada (2007), 777 (2007), Minimás (2008, 2009 -2nd edition-), La mujer del tiempo (2011), Campo de fuerza (2008, reprinted 2018). Letra pequeña (2014), Vuelo doméstico (2014), Zona franca (2016) and Deslengua (2020). Las versiones de Eva (2014) is a personal anthology of her own poetic work. She has also published Fuegos de palabras (Fundación José Manuel Lara, 2018), an anthology of the 20th and 21th centuries poetic aphorisms in Spanish.

Also, as an anthologist she has edited Seré bre/ Aforismos poéticos y otras breverías (Universidad de Sevilla, 2015) and 10 poetas jóvenes desde Andalucía, published by UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de México) for the 2006 Guadalajara International Book Fair.


In 2011 she was awarded the Premio Iberoamericano Fernando Quiñones. Her work has been translated into several languages (Germany, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Arab, Macedonian, Albanian and Armenian) and included in relevant contemporary Spanish anthologies of poetry and aphorisms. She is a member of the editorial board of the poetry publication Nayagua (Fundación Centro de Poesía José Hierro).


A specialist in International Information, she holds a degree in Journalism from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Her weekly op-ed pieces appear in, Diario de Sevilla, the rest of publications in Grupo Joly and in Canal Sur Radio, the public radio in Andalusia. She also writes for many other poetry, art and philosophy publications and magazines.


Due to her deep interest in the dialogue between poetry and the arts, she has designed scenic poetry shows, written dramatizations and carried out collaboration projects with photographers, painters, musicians and other artists. Toma de tierra, her latest work for the stage is the meeting of texts - written and performed by herself - and contemporary dance, cante jondo and other forms of stylized yell, in collaboration with dancer Raquel López Lobato and cantaor Juan Murube. In a 2015 collaboration with the rock band Pony Bravo, she wrote the dramatization of Alessandro Baricco’s Omero, Iliade, premiered at Itálica’s Roman theatre, Sevilla, in which she played Helen of Troy. 


She has held poetry readings, lectures and workshops in festivals and institutions all over Spain and other European countries, such as Portugal, Greece, Italy, France, Ireland, Macedonia or Germany; Latin America, such as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Puerto Rico; and the Arab world, such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, and in Russia.

She has been a coordinator, curator and consultant at several poetry and contemporary art venues, meetings and exhibitions. She has been a jury at both national and international awards. Currently she manages several groups of poetic creation. She lives in Sevilla, doing her thing.



On Campo de fuerza


“Poems like Igual a cero (I recount hotel nights: / nights of men clawing/  my bedroom door and howling) should not be forgotten when thinking about poems written in that sad Spain of the dawn of the new millennium”””.

Ben Clark, Culturamas


On Vuelo doméstico

“From its very title, Vuelo doméstico displays a concept of the world as an oxymoron uniting the exalted and the homely. Its texts are near-distance as well as high-lyricism travels. But even if someone could, through an etymological leap, come up with a correspondence between the terms domestic and domesticated, there is nothing less meek than the characters and the poetic voice in this book (…). Its pages are a lost-and-found office where reality presents itself as decontextualized items inviting us to rebuild the history of those who no longer own them. Like the shelves in that imaginary office, Vuelo doméstico is inhabited by lips forgotten between sheets, the finger of the mad scientist pointing at the direction of the wind, the all-too-familiar noose hanging from a tree or a plague of typos”.

Erika Martínez, Granada Hoy


“Carmen Camacho elicits a strange poetry from random associations (“El bolso de Jane Bowles”), brings forth poetic shine from mundane coincidences (“Tres Enriques”) and defines with taxonomic intensity the ways and customs of certain endangered species (“Rara avis”, “La posmoderna”). Beyond the defamiliarization effect very often achieved, one of the many virtues of this domestic flight (Vuelo doméstico) is its ability to gobble up any extraliteray speech. The code of advertisement and street graffiti entwine themselves with utmost ease in sequences that hold brevity as their creed, or expand into the imaginative density of versiprose”.


Luis Bagué Quílez, Ex Libris


On Venus track, a performance of poetry in dance with Raquel L. Lobato (Cosmopoética, Córdoba, 2011)


“Carmen and Raquel walk backwards on stage. And then they diverge. The precision of the set of lights combined perfectly with the voice and the bodies. The sound system never malfunctioned. The technical setting was exquisite, an extra achievement in an avant-garde honest show that shines when the lights are off and which point of departure is an engagement with poetry. I don’t know whether I should desecrate poeticizing silence, Carmen declares whilst the heart pumps to the rhythm of the drums and the body is shaken by the ruffle of a dress. Something awakens on the edge of a chair: a comforting feeling. Today is this, followed by the most beautiful gesture of Andalusia: the unfolding of a red fan. (…) It was about time that eroticism came into Sala Orive the way it should: wearing dark t-shirts and trousers, with ordinary clothes, with every day verses”.


Galatea, Cosmopoética

Sobre Zona Franca


“In her minimás, Carmen Camacho adopts various means to avoid the dangers of pithiness, of the haughty, heavy or bombastic sentence. The first one is a mindful ear for the nameless findings of “official” street speech: expressive innovations, double entendres extracting literality, or rather wringing it like the neck of the proverbial Verlainesque swan. Then we have humor -irony or sarcasm, the sting of a wasp- and a masterful use of ellipses, of things suggested but never uttered, the invisible underside of things somehow insinuated or revealed but never said. And there is, above all, a professional uncertainty, doubt as a non-Cartesian method of facing reality and its paradoxes from a perspective that is critic and self-critic at the same time. Opposed to those discourses that only substitute certainties for more certainties or submit themselves to the dictum of palliative doctrines, an exposed stance devoid of self-indulgence is needed in order to subvert or question dogma. A ludic, irreverent tone characterizes many of the aphorisms collected in Zona franca, but, in the absence of alternative recipe-books, one feels there is a deep truth written in lower case lying within them”.

Ignacio F. Garmendia, Europa Sur

“Do not be deluded. The apparent -but extremely complex- simplicity in Carmen Camacho’s minimás is the result of a painstaking and pursued exercise of verbal contention, and their expressive capability demonstrates as well that they are the legitimate daughters of the speech and thought of an old and wise people -accustomed to be silent-, as shown by the series entitled “Popular Metaphysics” (Metafísica popular), a whole repertoire of tenets of universal validity”.


José Luis Garrosa, Nayagua


On Fuegos de palabras


“If we add some remarkable doses of intuition, daring, enthusiasm and ingenuity to all that has been said, it becomes easy to understand why reading these pages will expand and nuance our points of view; the same happened to the author through the writing process. A book that does not bring forth such fruit will only live where there was never life: in the coteries of academia. However, this is a living book, it belongs in the streets. It is so alive that it must be heard and read by those who hardly ever hear and only read what will make them thrive and grandstand. This is the reason why this book by Carmen Camacho is an open window, a breath of fresh air that will stoke every fire, the fire inside the words, the hearts and the intelligence of its readers”.


José Carlos Rosales, República de las letras

The poetry of Carmen Camacho is voice and word, both united in a constant dance. Every word in his writing must be said immediately, otherwise the full meaning that emerges from the depth and ends in a flight is not completed. Each of his poems always includes this game of heights, of abyssal depths and stratospheric lightness. Hence, many of its titles: "Force field", "Domestic flight", "Earthing", which continuously describe the duality between the subject and his aura, between matter and the immaterial, between gravity and lightness. And it seems then that what is written and described weighs more than the paper where it is printed, and yet its declamation it is completely detached from its physical quality and acquires the properties of the wind.

Her poetry goes through a range of sensations, all the edges of the idea, with a fickle physicality that is altered in an inversely proportional sense. This is: when the poem is gestated the idea is free and vaporous, it is a slight resentment, a small whisper. Then Carmen binds it firmly to its symbol, she endows it with valence until it becomes matter. Little by little, the idea acquires the weight of the experience that transits in the poem, adding layers of meaning, building a house of connected rooms and nesting in each of the rooms. And yet, in this process of "fortification", its verbal referent, which is what previously had the burden and weight, is fading and rising until both signifier and signified are in the air, levitating above our heads.

Carmen Camacho continuously repeats this process with such a level of efficiency in it that the dynamic has been transformed into a game, into fun, into an experiment. When she recites on a stage, she displays in the air a whole zoo of great ideas magnetized among them, from love to indifference, from illusion to death, from beliefs to detachment. A bestiary of absolutes that Camacho makes descend and rise like soap bubbles, tying them when she wants, releasing them when necessary.

It is not easy in poetry to acquire the ability to enjoy the terms, to change their weight and properties as Camacho does. To do this, she uses two accurate formulas: on the one hand, personal experience, which one would say is what makes everything "landing", the one that sews the word to the skin that embodies it and screams it. It is the personal experience that turns the verb into body, the one that gives it nails and eyes, the one that turns everything in red like her hair. The other one is humour. A humour that unravels what comes, an extraordinary laugh that uncovers the imbricated and resolves the complex. A humour that releases ballast with shovelfuls. A humour that is the passage of time, and acceptance, and pride and understanding. A humour that runs around the concept and frees it, making it graceful, light, ethereal. This is how in her poetry everything ends up naked, without a mask, without lead, without rope or sanity. Everything floats, everything levitates, but we can never forget that what is so weightless is also the solid rock that builds our soil.