Joaquim Horta i Massanés (Barcelona, 1930 - 2013) is a poet, translator and publisher. A specialist in graphic art, he was director of the "Fe de Vida", "Quaderns de Teatre" and "Signe" collections of essays and poetry between 1950 and 1965. He made his debut as a poet in 1955 with the publication of Poemes de la nit (Night Poems), after which he published several collections of poems that have been partly brought together in the volume Home que espera: Selecció de textos (1955-1992) (Man in Waiting: Selection of Texts (1955- 1992)). A considerable number of his poems have been set to music and sung by Josep M. Casanovas and Xavier Ribalta, while much of his work has been translated into Italian, English, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese, among other languages.
A leading writer of socially committed poetry in Catalonia, his work moves within the realms of 1950s social realism, with existential tendencies and particularly influenced in the domain of ideas by the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose Complete Poetic Works (1981 – 1983) and Theatre (1984 – 1989) he translated jointly with Manuel de Seabra. He has also translated works by Mao Zedong, Ernest Hemingway and Laurent de Brunhoff. Outstanding among his essays is the work Tres notes sobre poesia i música negra (Three Notes on Poetry and Black Music – 1959) and, in keeping with his keen interest in music, he has produced radio programmes on classical music and jazz. He also writes for the media, for example in Índice, Inquietud, Bages and El Pont.
He was a member of honour of the Associació d’Escriptors de Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Guillem Molla for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: © Pere Virgili (portal).