Joan Valls i Jordà (Alcoi, 1917 - 1989) was a poet.
His first collection of poems was published in Spanish and titled Sol y nervio (Sun and Sinew, 1936). In the years of the Civil War, he was a member of the Writers and Artists Union, which was affiliated to the anarchist trade union CNT. He was imprisoned at the end of the war because of his loyalty to the republican cause. In 1947 he married Roser Colomer Nadal and published his first book of poems in Catalan, La cançó de Mariola (Mariola's Song). Thenceforth, almost all his literary work was written in Catalan. In 1953 he published L'home pot ésser àngel (Man Could Be Angel), and he also travelled to Valencia for the "Jocs Florals" literary competition and met Joan Fuster. The meeting was to be determinant, as revealed in the pro-Valencia sentiment that was subsequently expressed in his work. In 1955 he published, Presoner de l'ombra (Prisoner of the Shade), which was followed by Grumet a soles (Cabin Boy Alone). Apart from his more intimist poetry, which ensured that Joan Valls would come to be one of the most prominent of the post-war Valencian poets, he also wrote for poetry competitions and was awarded a great number of literary prizes. Throughout his life, these poems were collected in three volumes: Toia d'ofrena (A Floral Tribute, 1960), Antologia de poemes premiats (Anthology of Prize-winning Poems, 1970) and Temps de Saó (Age of Ripeness, 1979). With the collection L'íntim miratge (Intimate Mirage, 1959), he was a finalist for the City of Barcelona Prize, while his Tast d'eternitat (Taste of Eternity, 1960) was a finalist for the Valencia Prize in 1958. In 1959 he received the City of Barcelona Prize for Paradís en blanc (Blank Paradise, 1964), in 1962 the City of Palma Prize for Les roses marginals (Marginal Roses, 1965), and in 1974, the "Ausiàs March de Gandia" Prize for Breviari d'un eremita urbà (Breviary of an Urban Hermit, 1975). In 1978 he published Les hores vives (The Living Hours).
Quadern vermell (Red Notebook, 1986) is the last collection that Joan Valls published in his lifetime. His final work La rosa quotidiana (Quotidian Rose) was published posthumously.
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Documentation: Toni Terrades and Manel Rodríguez-Castelló.
Photographs: © Arxiu Municipal d’Alcoi (Alcoi Municipal Archive).
Translation: Julie Wark.