© Miguel Lizana
BiographySpanish poet Jordi Doce writes “unforgettable poems that, on the verge of tales and fables, drag the reader toward a universe of images”, according to critic Antonio Ortega writing in El Pais. Others have compard Doce to Miguel de Unamuno, Antonio Machado, William Blake and T.S. Eliot.
And in a twist on a famous remark attributed to Emily Dickinson, about knowing she was reading a poem if she felt the top of her head were taken off, a review of Doce’s poetry in the European Literary Network observes that
Jordi Doce’s work […] lifts the top of your head gently and stirs the settled mud of preconception.
This image seems incongruously violent as if reading a good poem was like settling the barrel of a shotgun in your mouth and pulling the trigger. Yet it expresses vividly how poetry can unsettle our perceptions of the world.
Jordi Doce’s work doesn’t spatter your brains on the ceiling, it lifts the top of your head gently and stirs the settled mud of preconception…Every one of his finely wrought images arises naturally as a wave out of the emotional undertow of the poem.
As Vicente Luis Mora notes in his introduction to Doce's [Nothing is Lost: selected poems], Doce prefers a ‘“configural” poetry, which [avoids] falling into a… subjective, expressionist swamp. His devotion to his craft has secured him a reputation as one of Spain’s most gifted contemporary poets.*
He has published seven volumes of his own poetry: La anatomía del miedo (Ayuntamiento de León, 1994; winner of the Antonio González de Lama Award), Diálogo en la sombra (Deva, 1997), Lección de permanencia (Pre-Textos, 2000), Otras lunas (DVD Ediciones, 2002; winner of the Ciudad de Burgos Award), Gran angular (DVD Ediciones, 2005) and No estábamos allí (Pre-Textos, 2016), as well as two volumes of his selected poems, Nada se pierde (University of Zaragoza, 2015) and En la rueda de las apariciones (Ars Poetica, 2019). Two collections of his poetry have been published in English, both translated by Lawrence Schimel, Nothing is Lost: Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2017) and We Were Not There (Shearsman, 2019).
Doce is also the author of two books of aphorisms – Hormigas blancas (2005) and Perros en la playa (2011 – and nine books of essays, criticism, and diaries, including Imán y desafío (Península, 2005; winner of the Casa de América Award for Essay) on the influence of English Romanticism in Spanish Modern Poetry, La ciudad consciente (Vaso Roto, 2010) on the work of T.S. Eliot and W.H Auden, and most recently La puerta verde (Saltadera, 2019) on contemporary Anglo-American poetry. His most recent book is La vida en suspenso (Fórcola, 2020), a diary of his months of confinement due to coronavirus.
He guest-edited an issue of UK journal Agenda Magazine devoted to Spanish poetry, Vol 35, No 2, Summer 1997, with work by Spanish poets José Ángel Valente, Ángel Crespo, Clara Janés, Jaime Gil de Biedma, and others in translations by Penelope Shuttle, Ruth Fainlight, Andrew Motion, Peter Bush, and Charles Tomlinson.
In addition to his own writing, he is a prolific literary translator and has translated the poetry of W.H. Auden, John Burnside, Anne Carson, T.S. Eliot, Charles Simic, Paul Auster, and Charles Tomlinson, among others.
He lives in Madrid, where he works as freelance editor and translator.
© Guest-edited by Lawrence SchimelBIBLIOGRAPHY in Spanish
Mar de fondo (pamphlet), 1990
La anatomía del miedo, 1994
Diálogo en la sombra, 1997
Lección de permanencia, 2000
Otras lunas, 2002
Gran angular, 2005
Poética y poesía, 2008
Nada se pierde, 2015
No estábamos allí, 2016
En la rueda de las apariciones,2019
Diary / Aphorisms
Hormigas blancas, 2005
La vibración del hielo, 2008
Perros en la playa, 2011
La vida en suspenso, 2020
Prose / Literary Criticism
Imán y desafío. Presencia del romanticismo inglés en la poesía española contemporánea, 2005
Curvas de nivel. Artículos, 2006
La ciudad consciente. Ensayos sobre T.S. Eliot y W.H. Auden, 2010
Las formas disconformes, 2013
Zona de divagar, 2014
Don de lenguas, 2015
La puerta verde. Lecturas de poesía angloamericana contemporánea, 2019
Agenda Review. An Anthology of Spanish Poetry, 1997
Poesía hispánica contemporánea. Ensayos y poemas, 2005 (with Andrés Sánchez Robayna)
Poesía en traducción, 2007
Pájaros raíces. En torno a José Ángel Valente, 2010 (with Marta Agudo)
Lost City / Ciudad perdida, 2010
Poetry in English translation
Nothing is Lost: Selected Poems bilingual ed. tr. Lawrence Schimel, Shearsman, 2017
We Were Not There tr. Lawrence Schimel, Shearsman, 2019
[*Citation from Steve Komarnyckyj's review in Eurolitnetwork.com, May 2017]
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