Bartomeu Fiol (Palma, 1933) is a poet and has a degree in Political Science. In 1956 he opened the bookshop Gralla but it was not as successful as he hoped it would be. Until 1990 he worked in the hotel and catering business.
As a poet, Bartomeu Fiol represents a particular period of Catalan poetry in the Balearic Islands, although recognition of the linguistic aspects of his work has taken it beyond such geographic labelling. A disciple of Blai Bonet and Rosselló-Pòrcel, he was a member of Llorenç Villalonga’s literary circle that met in the Cafè Riskal in Palma in the 1950s, although he is essentially a solitary poet who has developed his work outside the aesthetic trends of the day. He began to recognise his own work with Calaloscans (Dogcove – 1966), a book with echoes of Salvador Espriu.
The publishers Moll (in the early period) and Edicions Proa are those that have marked the public reception of his poetry. From being regarded as an almost secret poet, he is now widely recognised by both readers and critics. In 1999 Proa published his anthology Tot jo és una exageració (Quaranta-nou textos orals perifèrics (I Am All Exaggeration (Forty-nine Peripheral Oral Texts)), which would ensure that he would thenceforth figure fully among the outstanding names in Catalan-language poetry. He subsequently published his Complete Works: Camps de marina i suburbials: obra poètica 1 (Marine and Suburban Fields: Poetic Work 1 – 2000), Cròniques bàrbares: obra poètica 2 (Barbarian Chronicles: Poetic Work 2 – 1999), Canalla lluny de Grècia: obra poètica 3 (Scoundrel Far from Greece: Poetic Work 3 – 2001) and Carants: obra poètica 4 (Carants: Poetic Work 4 - 2011). One of his last poetry books, Càbales del call (2005), received the prestigious Carles Riba prize. Bartomeu Fiol has been president of the cultural entity Obra Cultural Balear (1990 – 1992) and has published numerous opinion pieces in the press.
He was a honorary member of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC, Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Updated by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Cover photograph: © Serra d'Or review archive. Biography photographs from the author's family archive.