Luis García Montero

Mural of Luis García Montero.

Luis García Montero (Granada, 4 December 1958) is a Spanish poet and literary critic, as well as a professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada.

Biography

Descendent of a granadino family that was very active in the community, Luis García Montero was born in Granada in 1958 as the son of Luis García López and Elisa Montero Peña, and studied at the Colegio Dulce Nombre de María- PP.Escolapios in Granada. As a teenager, he was a fan of equestrian sports and had the opportunity to meet Blas de Otero.

He studied Philosophy and literature at the University of Granada, where he was a student of Juan Carlos Rodríguez Gómez, a social literature theorist. He received his Masters in 1980 and later became a doctorate in 1985 with a thesis about Rafael Alberti, La norma y los estilos en la poesía de Rafael Alberti or The norm and styles of Rafael Alberti's poetry. He maintained a great friendship with Alberti, a poet of the Generation of '27, and prepared a compilation of all his works of poetry.

He began to work as an associate professor at the University of Granada in 1981. He received the Premio Adonáis de Poesía in 1982 for El jardín extranjero. He created a memoir of his studies in 1984 about El teatro medieval. Polémica de una inexistencia or Medieval theatre. Controversy of an inexistence.

He became linked to the poetic group La Otra Setimentalidad (The Other Sentimentality), a wave in which contemporary Spanish poetry took the name of its first joint book, published in 1983, in which poets Javier Egea and Álvaro Salvador also participated. The poetics of the group remained reflected above all in this short book and in lesser part in the his manifesto Manifiesto albertista (1982) by Luis García Montero and Javier Egea. Their personal trajectory began widening in what would later become known as poesía de la experiencia or poetry of the experience and is characterized by the general tendency to dillude the most personal I in the collective experience, furthering itself from the stylistic and thematic individuality of previous Novísimos authors; Garía and his group, however, tried to relate themselves with the previous poetic tradition taking in the postulates Luis Cernuda and Jaime Gil de Biedma and tried to unite the aesthetics of Antonio Machado with the thinking of the Generation of the '50's, as well as with Surrealism and the impactful images of Spanish Baroque poets or those of Juan Ramón Jiménez.

Garía Montero's most distinguishable characteristic is the history-biographical narrativism of his poems; a structure almost theatrical or novelistic with a character or protagonist that tells or lives his story through recollection, memory or desire.

His poetry is characterized by a colloquial language and by his reflections regarding every day events or situations.

He's edited Rimas (Rhymes) by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, among other theoretical works. He has also cultivated the art of essay writing and is an opinion columnist. Between the award-winning poetics that he's received, the most impressive have been the Premio Federico García Lorca, the Premio Loewe, the Premio Adonáis of poetry and the Premio Nacional de Poesía with which he was awarded in 1995, and the Premio Nacional de la Crítica in 2003. In 2010 he was awarded in Mexico the Premio Poetas del Mundo Latino for his literary career.

Since 1994 he has shared his life with writer Almudena Grandes and has three children.

Since he was very young he has been an active member in the PCE and, since its foundation, in the United Left. In the 2004 European Parliament election he was a United Left candidate. Prior to the 2011 Spanish general election he declared his support for United Left.[1] In October 2012 it was announced that he would take on a key role in Izquierda Abierta, a new party led by Gaspar Llamazares and Montse Muñoz that was part of the United Left coalition.[2]

On 22 October 2008 Luis García Montero was condemned for a libel case in writing an article calling professor José Antonio Fortes "disturbed." While in his classes at the University of Granada and in writing, Fortes called Federico García Lorca a fascist and the exiled writer Francisco Ayala a Nazi. García Montero asked for unpaid leave as a lecturer of said university.