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Euskal Idazleen Elkartea

A brief history of Basque literature

Already by the 80s a number of poets joined together around Susa which made the jump from journal to publishing house, and followed the direction proposed by Atxaga and Izagirre. The Anfetamiña (1983) work of Xabier Montoia that had a direct link with Etiopia expanded the Zarautz publishing house’s production (later on he was to write Linkantropo and Narraztien mintzoa), and this company was later approached by Jose Luis Otamendi (by that time it had published his books of poetry Egunsenti biluzia and Azken urdinaren kaira), Iñigo Aranbarri (Jonas Poisson, 1986); Dordokak eta elurrak, 1989; Harrien lauhazka, 1998), Edorta Jimenez aka "Omar Nabarro" and Itxaro Borda.

Joseba Sarrionandia’s debut book of poetry was published at that time: Izuen gordelekuetan barrena (1981). In that work (and also in the ones that followed) the Iurreta (Bizkaia)-born poet suggests a journey for the reader. The poetic journey sets off through geography and the literary tradition. Thus, if Izuen gordelekuetan barrena had its starting point in the old continent of Europe, in Marinel zaharrak (1987) he complements the logbook of the sailor condemned to the sea (Sarrionandia was in prison at the time and the anxiety caused by being behind bars comes through in his poetry). As the very title indicates, Huny illa nyha majah yahoo (1995), it is reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. In his first work Denbora, nostalgia (1985) Felipe Juaristi was also to adopt the travel style. Having left his home town the poet goes in search of Paris, Vienna, New York, Helen’s Troy, Ulysses’ Ithaca, Berlin, Prague… linking memories and cities. Afterwards he published the books of poems Hiriaren melankonia (1987), Laino artean zelatari (1993) and Galderen geografia (1997).

In the 1980s Tere Irastortza began publishing her work, although like Itxaro Borda she continued into the 1990s.

In addition to these authors during this time many other writers embarked on the road to poetry; Luigi Anselmi, Patxi Ezkiaga, Mikel Lasa, Mari Jose Kerejeta, Gerardo Markuleta, Karlos Linazasoro, Pako Aristi…

At the start of the 1990s the Susa publishing house once again became prominent. As the Pott banda had done at the time, the Lubaki banda group (which at that time was made up of Harkaitz Cano, Asier Serrano, Garikoitz Berasaluze, Xabier Gantzarain, Josu Goikoetxea, Arantxa Irigoien and Xabier Aldai) presented itself through a literary statement. The first step was to relaunch the Susa journal; this project did not last long (only two years), but while the journal was in the street, they had the chance to make their texts known. When the group broke up, each member went his or her own way. Some of them, Cano and Aldai, published their books of poems with Susa itself: Cano published Kea behelainopean bezala (and Norbait dabil sute eskaileran in 2001) and Aldai published Bala zeru urdina. Berasaluze and Serrano, in contrast, published with Elkar.

Since then, poetry has simply grown in popularity. New voices joined the ones from long ago and the main promoters of this were the Susa and Pamiela publishers. Some of the most interesting poetic proposals of the start of this millennium reached us through them: Urtzi Urrutikoetxea (Borroka galduetatik gatoz), Miren Agur Meabe (Azalaren kodea), Kirmen Uribe (Bitartean heldu eskutik), Igor Estankona (Tundra), Jon Benito (Aingurak erreketan)… At the same time one must not forget the poets who came on the scene of their own initiative through winning awards: Ana Urkiza, Rikardo Diaz de Heredia, Jose Luis Padron, Sonia Gonzalez, Ixiar Rozas, Angel Erro, Mikel Peruarena…

Furthermore, one has to mention the increase in the number of live performances over the last four years. More than simple poetry readings, these events have combined poetry with music and in some cases multimedia.

Liburuak Gozagarri 2018
Literatur Jarduerak
Idazleak Ikastetxeetan
Gure Programak
2011 Euskal Idazleen Elkartea
Zemoria kalea 25 · 20013 Donostia (Gipuzkoa)
Tel.: 943 27 69 99

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