by Ana Maria Ruimonte
“Although my lover body is under the ground write to me, my dear pigeon, that I will write you too…”
Miguel Hernández (1910-1942), poet and playwright from Orihuela in Valencia, Spain, was condemned to death by Franco. He was condemned for defending the country day laborers, for writing poetry and theatre plays, for reporting the social injustices many Spanish citizens were suffering in the 20th Century and for ideological opposition to Fascism. His origins were humble. He worked as a shepherd but when he was 20 years old he received a literary prize. Miguel Hernández moved to Madrid to join the literary society of the times making friends with Vicente Aleixandre and Pablo Neruda, becoming part of the Surrealism movement. Finally he collaborated with the famous “Gaceta de Occidente”. He started writing social poetry and he dedicated himself politically with the poor.
In 1936 when the Spanish Civil War burst te peace when Franco’s fascists rose up against the democratic Spanish Republic that was implemented in 1931. Miguel Hernández decided to affiliate with the Spanish Communist Party. He became political communist commissar at the Republican Army. When the fascists won the war in 1939, he decided run away through Portugal, but there the troops of the fascist dictator Salazar arrested him and delivered him back to Franco’s Spain. Hernández was condemned to die by a military court though this was hypocritically commuted to prison for life. But the inhumane conditions in Franco’s prisons led to this death from tuberculosis just 1 year later, when Miguel Hernández was only 32 years old.
This year, 2017, is the 75th anniversary of the death of Miguel Hernández in 1942. He would be 107 years old. Hernandianas Journays will celebrate him in New York on 24 and 25 October. Those who are interested in taking part of the Jornadas Hernandianas by presenting papers, ballets, audiovisuals or other didactic projects related to Miguel Hernández’s works can do it now. Please, contact email@example.com.
One of the key participants in these Journays is Aitor L. Larrabide, director of the Foundation Miguel Hernández of Orihuela and expert in the work of the poet. Mr. Larrabide’s doctoral thesis was titled “Miguel Hernández and the Critic”. The organization of the “Hernandian Journays” has been organized by the poet Juan Navidad who lives in New York. Rafael Lozano Prior, who teaches sax at the Conservatory of Orihuela and is a composer and founder of the musical organization Lux Aeternae, will present his new CD in commemoration to the poet on October 25. Myself, Ana María Ruimonte, as a faithful fan of Miguel Hernández, am honored to sing the poems in the compositions of Rafael Lozano. For me, this is a dream and the most fair knowledge to the sad fate the poet suffered, and together with him, many more who fought against fascism by means of literature, journalism, and others arts, who unfortunately remain anonymous and unknown as a consequence of a dictatorship that put Spain in shadow times during 40 years. There remains much work to be done to shed light on the facts of that dark era.
The happy news of the Hernandianas Jornadas arrives from Juan Navidad, who says that “this event is creating a “Hernandiano Movement” -very beautiful and committed, that will present to the public a variety of incredible multidisciplinary projects related to the work of Miguel Hernández.”
Jornadas Miguel Hernández
October 24, Spanish Benevolent Society
239 W 14th Street, New York, NY 10011
October 25, St. John’s University
8000 Utopia Parkway, New York
*Photos are courtesy of Instituto Cervantes