Photo by Carme Esteve

SOCLAS Lecturer in Spanish and Catalan Dr Diana Cullell has been touring Spain, as part of a series of events organized by the publishing house Devenir to present her new book, La poesía de la experiencia española de finales del siglo XX al XXI (2010), which argues for a re-evaluation of the controversial genre of ‘poetry of experience,’ rejecting abstract or disengaged readings of this poetry to recover its social and corporeal context.

In April, Dr Cullell spoke at the Centre Cultural Blanquerna in Madrid, alongside poets Jorge Urrutia and Melcior Mateu. Then, in front of a packed house at the Ateneu Barcelonès on 30 May, in an event hosted by the Associació Col.legial d’Escriptors de Catalunya, Dr Cullell’s book was discussed by critics José Maria Micó, Rodolfo Häsler, and Juan Pastor. Finally, on 2 June, Dr Cullell took part in a round table at the Centre Cultural Blanquerna, debating the need for a critical revision of Spain’s poetic canon, alongside Julia Barella, Manuel Rico, y Germán Labrador Méndez.

Following the positive critical reception of La poesía de la experiencia española de finales del siglo XX al XXI, Dr Cullell is now developing a project on rewriting in Spanish and Catalan contemporary poetry. The project explores how rewriting (of topics, genres, languages, systems etc.) offers the poetic voice an opportunity for ideological progression, cultural development and intellectual maturity. It argues for the reintroduction of bodies and gendered experience to the discourse of nation and autonomies, with the aim of challenging the narrow national standpoint that has isolated Spanish scholarship from global developments in literary and cultural studies.