Joan Barceló (Menàrguens, la Noguera, 1955 - Barcelona, 1980) was a poet, fiction writer, playwright and painter.
He began his secondary schooling at the Col·legi Episcopal (Episcopal School) of Lleida and completed it at the Montalegre Claretian Seminary in Conreria (Tiana). In 1973, he began to exhibit his paintings in Montgat, Manresa, Lleida and Tortosa. The same year he moved to Barcelona and began to study Law at the Autonomous University but dropped out in his third year. In 1974, his collection Esgrogueït paradís (Sallow Paradise) was awarded a Special Mention in the Amadeu Oller Award for unpublished poets. A few years later he stopped painting to devote himself exclusively to literature. His Obres completes, volum XXVIIIè (Complete Works, Volume XXVIII) was published in 1975. The following year, Joan Barceló began an Arts degree at the University of Barcelona and, in 1977, published No saps veure l'espai que t'envolta (You Can't See the Space around You). At this time, he was writing a great deal of children's literature and, also in 1977, his children's play Científicament s'ha demostrat (It’s Been Scientifically Demonstrated) was premiered.
In 1978 he received the Selva del Camp Ventura Gassol Prize for Poetry for his collection Picada d'escorpí amb mel s'ha de guarir (Scorpion Sting Must Be Treated with Honey). He presented the same collection, with different titles, for a number of prizes. He was a finalist for the Folch i Torres Prize with Ulls de gat mesquer (Genet Eyes) and also for the Joaquim Ruyra Prize with Viatge enllunat (Lunatic Journey). In 1979 he won the Ribas i Carreras Poetry Prize for his collection El vent, del vent (The Wind, of the Wind) and the Folch i Torres Prize for Que comenci la festa! (Let the Party Begin!, 1980). On 21 July the same year, his play Olor de cebes (Smell of Onions) was premiered and, in 1980, his work Diables d'escuma (Foam Devils) was staged. His posthumous titles include Estimada gallina (Dear Hen, 1981), Miracles i espectres (Miracles and Spectres, 1981), Pare de rates (Father of Rats, 1981), El somni ha obert una porta (The Dream Has Opened a Door, 1981), the stage adaptation of Viatge enllunat (1981), Els dracs de la Xina (The Dragons of China, 1982), Immortal mort que et mors (Immortal Death that You Die, 1983), Trenta taronges (Thirty Oranges, 1985), Retalls (Snippets, 1986), Un drapaire a Nova York (A Ragman in New York, 1986) and Diumenge a la tarda (Sunday Afternoon, 2000).
Joan Barceló left an extensive –especially taking into account his early death– literary oeuvre, of ruralist and existential leanings.
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Documentation: Toni Terrades.
Photograph: © Damià Barceló, 1979.
Translation: Julie Wark.