The poet and journalist Eva Durán was born in Cartagena. She has worked in the media since the tender age of seventeen. She is the author of several essays, television scripts and stage-plays, as well as combative political columns published in newspapers and magazines such as El Tiempo and El Universal. As a television producer she has worked for several public and private broadcasters, for example, Senal Channel in Colombia and a local station in Cadiz, Spain. In 1997 Durán was awarded a scholarship to the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, in 2003 she won the City of Cartagena Award and a scholarship from the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for New Latin American Journalism, in 2007 the International Award Morada al Sur for Best Published Book.
Eva Durán travelled to Germany in 2005 on a Heinrich Böll scholarship, and from 2006 to 2008 she received a residential scholarship in Cologne from the World Writers’ Organization. She has performed in Paris, Madrid, Salzburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Jurlich and Troisdort and her poems are translated into German, Portuguese, Italian and French.
Eva looks at the world with the same eyes as Doc, an elderly, sweet stray dog who now lives in one of her poems: life is something infinitely “incomprehensible and hard, made out of kicks and bites”. Doc lives in a dying landscape, there’s no doubt about that, and because of this, Quessep’s disenchanted question seems more relevant than ever: “How to preserve hope when it’s akin to a castle built on the tip of a needle?” It is a very difficult question for poetry in an age when it could be more easily compared to a small threadbare blanket with which we try to cover ourselves, inevitably leaving an arm or a leg uncovered, and almost always, the heart. It is all the more disturbing for a young Colombian poet who is just starting out on her journey at the beginning of the second millennium.
Eva Durán answers it, assumes it, in her own way. Her sign is the fish, and on that fish, swimming against the tide, she builds her church:
I wish to occupy
a space in the closet
where words not dared pronounced
She writes poetry with the same voracity as teeth biting into the flesh of a mango or hands undressing a tangerine, bursting with feeling for defenseless animals, a lucid and eternally adolescent dream of being “petite and flirty”. The results are direct and carefree words – dynamite sometimes – that don’t seem to beg any meaning from individual words, her poems (like kicks, her poems, like bites, her poems) are copulation, varnished with bravery, perplexity, profanity, eroticism, representing above all a passionate gamble for life.
We can’t forget that in a previous incarnation, Eva Durán was a sorceress who ended up being consumed by the fire. That is why her best diction is displayed in those texts where the authorial voice works like a burning priestess, the body joyful, suffering, always desirable and temporary, a precarious altar of conjunction and irony; the word feeds on it greedily as if it were the only possibility in a dilapidated universe.
(Somewhere, in a fold of no-time, old Doc rounds an incomprehensible, infinite poem where someday, as Borges sensed, the lost and the searcher will be the same thing. Eva Durán knows it and waits, while writing poems, furious poems.)
El jardín donde vuelan los mares, Editorial de la Alcaldía de Cartagena, Caragena, 2004.
Registro Corporal, Cafe Berlin, Coleccion reloj de arena, Berlin, 2007.
Termita del Caribe blog
An essay by Eva Durán about Raúl Gómez Jattin.
More poems by Eva Durán