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Gibraltar poets urged submit works for Anthology

Gibraltar poets are being called upon to have their works published in the ‘Anthology of Contemporary Gibraltar Poets in May next year.

The book will be a collection of poetry written locally with an aim to raise the profile of literature on the Rock.
The anthology is managed by the Independent Writers and Artists Project (IWAP).

The team at IWAP will anonymously receive the poetry and judge it prior to publication.

IWAP consists of the poets Jackie Anderson, Trino Cruz and Giordano Durante, PhD student Becky Gabay and administrator Felix Alvarez.

Mr Alvarez, Chairman of the Equality Rights Group, approached Mr Durante with the idea to create an Anthology.

The team are looking for original works that have not previously been published in an Anthology.

The Chronicle spoke to Giordano Durante about the idea behind the Anthology and the judging process.

“There was nowhere where you could find a representative selection of Gibraltar poetry,” Mr Durante said.

“If you really wanted to go out and look for it in a library or in a bookshop you couldn’t find that.”

It was felt that creating this Anthology would create a literary tradition.

The idea is this book would give people an insight into Gibraltar poetry which could then be used to promote local works internationally.

“This could attract interest from outside Gibraltar or even locally at the Literary Festival where the book could be sold,” Mr Durante said.

“We could work with local schools, as currently it is very difficult to access local poetry.”

At the moment the book will be a one-off publication.

Mr Durante added that the book will be quite different from how Anthologies in different countries are created.

In other countries works will be chosen by an editor who will choose works of poets that are already in the mainstream.

“As we don’t really have that tradition in Gibraltar it would be difficult to name just a few people who are writing the best poetry in Gibraltar,” Mr Durante said.

“A lot of these people aren’t published, and another factor that complicates this is that everyone knows everyone in Gibraltar.”

He added to ensure there was no favouritism or bias the judges would receive the entries anonymously.

“We’re opening up for submissions which is very rare in an anthology,” Mr Durante said.

“We felt that poetry in Gibraltar is almost at an underground state, there are people who are writing good poems but they are not publishing them. If we had done this Anthology via the traditional method then we would have missed out on people who are good poets but are not in the limelight.”

Mr Durante stressed that all entries would be considered on merit and would be completely anonymous.

“Only in the final editing stages would we know who has written the poem,” he said.

To ensure the judges would not be reading their own submissions, the panel will be split up into groups.

Over the past few years Mr Durante has seen poetry on the rise locally with more poetry recitals and he hopes this will be reflected in the number of entries for the Anthology.

IWAP is calling on anyone interested to submit their work for consideration should email:
The closing date for submissions is February 9.

The project was initiated and funded by Equality Rights Group as part of its commitment to fostering an independent Civil Society.

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