With the statement “Not all poets are dead”, the writer Ben Clark began a recital of poetry at Mojácar’s “Rey Alabez” School, to an audience of year 4 E.S.O students.
Ben Clark is currently staying at the Valparaíso Foundation in Mojácar as part of an award programme set up by the Town Council in conjunction with the Foundation, which brings artists from all over the world to the town for a fortnight, to give them an opportunity to further develop their work.
Ben, a Spanish writer of British origin, lives in Ibiza and has received numerous literary awards, among them the Hiperión Prize, the VII National Prize Félix Grande for Young Poets, the IV RNE Young Poet Prize and the Ciutat Prize of Palma Joan Alcover. He has been a literary scholarship recipient at the Antonio Gala Foundation, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland and the Château de Lavigny International Writers’ Residence, Switzerland. He is also a translator of important literary works, a columnist and collaborator with well-known newspapers, activities that he combines with being one of the most recognized current poets.
During their stay at the Foundation, the scholarship holders carry out some activity organised by the Department of Culture, in which they get to interact with different sectors of Mojácar’s residents. The sessions, which often involve young people, allow local people to get a feel for the latest trends in the art world.
In the literature class prior to the meeting with the poet, the students had the chance to find out about his biography and work, in particular one of his poems called “El Regreso”, The Return. This was a first contact with contemporary poetry of the moment, of which Clark is a clear exponent. Poems in prose were selected and recited from his numerous works as he managed to capture the attention of more than thirty young people, between the ages of 15 and 16, who attended the session.
Through the young poet, this group of Mojácar students were given an experience of great value, by which he proved that poetry does not have to be boring or old fashioned.