Gerard Vergés (1931–2014) was a pharmacist, poet, essayist, translator, columnist and teacher. The son and grandson of pharmacists, he graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona and obtained the title of Doctor in 1962. Since 2001 he has been a Permanent Member of the Royal Academy of Pharmacy of Catalonia. In 2003 the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia recognised his professional career with the Josep Trueta Medal for Merit in the Field of Health and, in 2007, the Official College of Pharmacists of Tarragona presented him with its Gold Decoration.
With Jesús Massip he founded the literary magazine GEMINIS (1952-1961) and published several collections of poems, including L'ombra rogenca de la lloba (1982), winner of the 1981 Carles Riba Prize, Long play per a una ànima trista (1986), Lliri entre cards (1988), La insostenible lleugeresa del vers (2002) and El jardí de les delícies (2014). The volume La raíz de la mandrágora (2005) is a bilingual collection of his first four books with Spanish translations by Ramón García Mateos. Among his essays are El pintor tortosí Antoni Casanova (1983), Tretze biografies imperfectes (1986), winner of the 1985 Josep Pla Prize, Eros i art (1991), winner of the 1990 Josep Vallverdú Prize for the Essay, and Alfabet per a adults (2010). He was awarded the 1994 Serra d'Or Critics' Prize for Poetry Translation for Tots els sonets Shakespeare (1993).
With his honest, exceptional style, which is both original and classical, Gerard Vergés is one of the most representative, singular writers of contemporary Catalan poetry.
Winner of the Gold Medal of the City of Tortosa in 1986 and 2009, he was also awarded the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia’s Creu de Sant Jordi (St. George Cross) in 1997.
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Biography: Mònica Vergés.
Photographs: Author’s personal files.
Translated by Julie Wark.