With the poetry book Viernes Santo (Good Friday), Antonio Martín de las Mulas Baeza (Madrid, Spain, 1977) has won the XXXVIII Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry, awarded on December 13, 2018, in New York, at the Instituto Cervantes. The prize is € 7,000, publication of the work and a commemorative medal. The Laureate is a lawyer by profession. As a poet, he has received several recognitions and his poems have been published in some literary magazines and anthologies. Of the work Viernes Santo, the jury has said that the voice of the poet expressed in its verses is the voice of Jesus in Golgotha, that from the heights of the cross, regards with a unique vision the littleness of the poet, transformed now in the lyric you.
From that view the crucified makes his own the situation of humanity, its weaknesses and its fears: “My blood is being poured out throughout the world, my heart dreams you in the eternal city”. There is a special sensitivity regarding loneliness and human suffering, that the poet assumes out of the total disposition of the crucified one, that is no longer a passive victim, but an omnipotent maker for one who the cross is a throne, unconquerable rock, a saving altar. It expresses, not without a certain/ apocalyptic bent, a profound theological content full of salvific hope through which Christ brings humanity to the Father: He will come like a torrent wind in the fields/ like a wind that agitates green crests / opening the entire soul to the intense love of the Father.”Honorable mention has been granted to the poetic work Desnudando el alma of the Spanish writer Desamparados Escriva. A work of great beauty and sensitivity proper of an enamored soul. It is composed with excellent verses full of expressive recourses that spring forth from the wound of love: “No, it was not I who found Love, / it was He who found me…/ I got lost in that encounter / and I meander lost in its sea.” The experience of absence and presence is not missing, just like that of the final union: “With You, there are moments in which I do not know if I am / I do not know if You are / I only know that we are.”The other finalists were: Antonio Bocanegra (Cádiz), Miguel Sánchez Robles (Murcia); Adela Guerrero Collazos (Cali); Theresia Maria Bothe (Sicilia, Italia); Pilar Elvira Vallejo (Madrid, España); María del Pilar Galán García (Valladolid, España); Marcelo Galliano (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Fernando Raúl Matiussi (Tucumán, Argentina) and Desamparados Escrivá Vidal (Tarragona, España).
The Jury was composed of Jesús Fernández Hernández, president of the Fernando Rielo Foundation; José Mª. López Sevillano, literary critic and permanent secretary of the Prize; Annalisa Saccà, poet and professor of Language and Literature at St. John’s University of New York; Hilario Barrero, poet, prose writer, translator and professor at the City University of New York; Marie-Lise Gazarian-Gautier, professor of Spanish and Latinoamerican Literature at St. John’s University of New York, and David G. Murray, literary critic and philologist.
The President of the Fernando Rielo Foundation, Fr. Jesús Fernández Hernández, in his message in the award ceremony, recalled the words of Fernando Rielo: “Mystical poetry begins where religious poetry ends. The referent of mystical poetry is a divine personal relationship with the Most Holy Trinity and what in this life can be conceived of a life eternal, familiar, intimate. (…) He also expressed that “mystical poetry, far from any ideology or manipulation, is empowering, inclusive and dialoguing; for that reason, it can cover all the registers and forms of literary expression. Nothing is opposed to the creative freedom of the mystic.”
The event featured a harp concert by the famous María Rosa Calvo-Manzano, which has more than three thousand concerts across five continents and numerous awards, in addition to being a member of several Academies of Fine Arts and World History.
The prize is for unpublished works in Spanish or English and has been awarded in venues such as the UN; the UNESCO; the French Senate and the Roman Campidoglio. Every year, it has the support of a wide Committee of Honor composed of Academicians of Language, History and Moral and Political Sciences, as well as writers, poets, university professors, and university rectors.
The ecumenical nature of the prize has made it possible for it to be awarded to poets from different Christian confessions -as a matter of fact in most cases-, but also non-Christian, demonstrating how mystical poetry can unite cultures and religions.
Biographical data of Antonio Martín de las Mulas Baeza (Madrid, 1977)Antonio Martín de las Mulas (Spain, Madrid, 1977) graduated in Law at the Universidad CEU-San Pablo in Madrid, although he had a vocation as a philosopher, a career in which he studied for two years. He devoted himself freely to law with considerable success for nearly fifteen years until 2015 when he decided to move to Medellín (Colombia) and dedicate himself, as a father of a family, to missionary life. He is a catechist for children in one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods of the town of Bello and is also part of the group “Queen of Peace” of Medellín, linked to the Catholic spirituality of Medjugorje. As a poet, he has received several recognitions, including the first prize in the XII Rodrigo Caro Poetry Contest in 2003. His poems have been published in various literary journals and anthologies.