Galician Literature Day 2021: Xela Arias

As we have said in the last publication, May 17th is the day we celebrate Galician Literature Day. This celebration began on May 17th, 1963, coinciding with the centenary of the publication of Cantares Gallegos, in which each year the 17th May is dedicated to a writer in the Galician language. It is a tribute to the Galician literary creation and for the defence of the Galician language. This day was chosen because on May 17th, 1963, it was 100 years since Rosalía de Castro had published Cantares Gallegos, the first literary work written in Galician that represents the starting point of the period called Galician Revival, after the Dark Centuries.

This year, the Galician Literature Day was dedicated to Xela Arias. Xela Arias was a poet, a translator, a writer, a Galician teacher and an activist for the defence of the Galician language. In the 1980s she began to publish in newspapers and magazines, such as A Nosa Terra or O Faro de Vigo. In 1986 she began to experiment with the literary world by publishing Denuncia do Equilibrio, an innovative collection of poems with a heterogeneous theme.

In addition to her poetic work, she translated into Galician great authors of the universal literature such as James Joyce, Roald Dahl or Bram Stoker, among others. She also wrote short stories and collaborated with the rock group, Desertores. After the birth of her son, she published Darío a Diario, where she reflects on the experience of being a mother. Her last collection of poems, Intempériome, was published the same year of her death.

Xela Arias was a committed writer and was a role model for later generations. She was a precursor of the current feminine literature and her work tends to be ascribed within the trend of “women’s poetry”.