Ben Clark

- Spain -

Ben Clark is a Spanish poet and translator born in Ibiza in 1984. Both his parents are British. He studied English Philology in the Universidad de Salamanca where he is currently teaching poetry in the Máster Virtual de Escritura Creativa. He has held residencies at the Antonio Gala Foundation for Young Artists (Spain. 2004-2005); The Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, (Scotland. 2012); The Château de Lavigny International Writers’ Residence (Switzerland. 2013) and the Valparaíso Foundation (Spain. 2017). In 2019 he was appointed as the Poetry Tutor for the Antonio Gala Foundation. He has published several poetry collections in Spanish, such as Los hijos de los hijos de la ira (Hiperión, 2006), Cabotaje (Delirio, 2008), Basura (Delirio, 2011), La Fiera (Sloper, 2014), Los últimos perros de Shackleton (Sloper, 2016), La policía celeste (Visor, 2018), Armisticio (2008-2018) (Sloper, 2019) and ¿Y por qué no lo hacemos en el suelo? (Espasa, 2020). 

His poetry translations include the Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, Love Poems by Anne Sexton and an anthology of English-speaking poets from WW1. He has also translated into Spanish two short story collections by George Saunders. 

In 2006 his book Los hijos de los hijos de la ira was selected as one of the three most important poetry collections released in Spain ('El País'. 28-12-2006). Some of is awards include the Hiperión Poetry Prize (2006), the El Ojo Crítico de RNE Poetry Award for the best poetry collection of 2014 and the Loewe Foundation International Poetry Prize (2017). He currently lives in Mérida.

Ben Clark, half Spanish, half British, all poetry, was born in precisely those two worlds: on the one hand the chivalry of an English Lord and his very correct use of language; on the other hand, the Spanish nobility, which makes those same words warp and radiate towards vanishing points that are sometimes humorous, other mischievous and easy-going, ingenious most of the time.

Ben has an absolute innate talent for poetry. It can be seen in all his books. His poems are fluid, they never stop. There is nothing in them that hinders the gaze. All his poems open and close themselves like the pumping of blood. They all build slowly, rise gradually and end up falling down, jumping into the void from very high. In spite of Ben´s preference for anaphora, none of his poems end where they start and the trend throughout the verses has the same pattern as the Dow Jones.

All his poems are written as if he would have built a scale model of a train with all its details: its trees, its mountains cover of artificial moss, its rivers of silver paper, and suddenly, an axe fell on them, making the entire landscape explode. He builds, deconstructs and demolishes as he pleases, with no other satisfaction than that wanting the poem to come alive. Ben becomes easily detached from his work. So to speak: he quickly let the poem fly alone, he does not polish it delicately, but instead confronts it with its present in all its form, complete and well assembled, yes, but orphan in front of the world. In this way he ensures that his poems accompany him in all phases of his life, adapting to the circumstances and adopting the necessary consistency at all times.