Yolanda Castaño was born in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1977. BA in Spanish Language and Literature and with Media Studies, apart from being a poet, editor and a very active culture manager, Yolanda Castaño has been a columnist and has worked in Galician TV during many years (Galician Audiovisual Academy Award as ‘Best TV Communicator 2005’). She has published 6 poetry books in Galician and Spanish (“Depth of Field” and “The second tongue” are her last titles), several chapbooks in Galician, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Macedonian, and a pair of compilations. A finalist of the National Poetry Prize, she has won poetry awards amongst which the National Critics Award, the Espiral Maior Poetry Award, the Fundación Novacaixagalicia, the Ojo Crítico (best poetry book by a young author in Spain) and the Author of the Year Galician Booksellers’ Award stand out. She has coordinated collective books, art and poetry exhibitions; she has published works as an editor, as well as five poetry books for children and four of translations (from contemporary authors like Nikola Madzirov or Marko Pogačar, among others, into Spanish and Galician). She has been involved in many different experiences of blending poetry with music, performance, dance, architecture, visual and audiovisual arts, and even cookery, being awarded for that too. Part of her work has been translated into twenty five different languages.
Off in the distance the rain
stains the clouds.
This map is true for balladeers.
I can’t wait to go and my car is a good soldier,
can you hear its sweet cargo whistle?
The old roads open up
like a ruled notebook,
how I’d love to score the mountains like a sales
rep my case full of poems
My car’s a silver bullet burning with rhythm
instead of gunpowder and I shout “Vamos!”
Together we bear down on valleys,
civil servant suburbs and those huge windmills
urge me on to face the giants.
We get each other, my car and me
– no words needed.
White lillies of paracetemol,
my car’s a soldier
and I say “Let’s go read poems
in Monforte de Lemos!”,
and his engine
hums along to my tune;
even though he’s got
From “The Second Tongue” (2014)
Translated into English by Keith Payne