Joan Margarit was born in 1938 in Sanaüja, La Segarra region, in Catalonia. He is an architect, and from 1968 until his retirement was also Professor of Structural Calculations at Barcelona’s Technical School of Architecture, working for part of that time on Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral. He first published poetry in Spanish, but after four books decided to write in Catalan. From 1980 he began to establish his reputation as a major Catalan poet. As well as publishing many collections in Catalan, he has published Spanish versions of all his work, and over the past 15 years has gained recognition as a leading poet in Spanish. In 2008 he received the Premio Nacional de Poesía del Estado Español, Spain’s highest literary award, for his collection Casa de Misericòrdia, as well as the Premi Nacional de Literatura de la Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2013 he was awarded Mexico’s Premio de Poetas del Mundo Latino Víctor Sandoval for all his poetry.
Tugs in the Fog: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), translated by Anna Crowe, the ﬁrst English translation of his Catalan poetry, was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. Strangely Happy, a selection of later poems from Casa de Misericòrdia (2007) and Misteriosament feliç (2008), also translated by Anna Crowe, was published by Bloodaxe in 2011. A third translation by Anna Crowe of his most recent poetry, Love Is a Place, is published by Bloodaxe in November 2016; this includes all the poems from three Catalan collections: No era lluny ni difícil (It Wasn’t Far Away or Difficult, 2010), Es perd el senyal (The Signal Is Fading, 2012) and Estimar és un lloc (From Where to Begin to Love Again, 2014).
Books by Joan Margarit