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Announcing the winners of our 2020 Poems in Translation Contest in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Read more.


Juan Mari Lekuona

Juan Mari Lekuona (1927–2005), a priest, studied at the Gregorian University of Rome and earned a doctorate in mystic literature. He lectured, mostly on the subject of literature, at the seminary in Donostia and at the campuses of the University of the Basque Country and the University of Deusto in Donostia. In the 1960s he guided and supported a whole generation of writers. He was particularly fond of research into oral literature (Ahozko euskal literatura, Oiartzungo kantutegia: bertako herri memoriatik). The volume Ikaskuntzak euskal literaturaz (1974–1996) gathers together several key essays of his that had been published in journals and magazines here and there. He published five collections of poetry: Mindura Gaur (1966), Muga Beroak (Gero, 1973), Hilargiaren Eskolan (Erein, 1979), Mimodramak eta ikonoak (Erein, 1990) and Ibilaldia / Itinerario (UPV/EHU, 1996). Lekuona’s early poetic works dealt with social, existential, and religious issues and followed the path of traditional literature. From the 1970s onward, he moved toward more sophisticated literature, more anthropological and aesthetic concerns.

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