“Art is a type of cure, something we all need”
Anna Fernández (Sabadell, 1986) has a degree in Art History and has a master’s degree in secondary and baccalaureate education. She has worked for many years as a bookseller and is currently teaching. Cova ( Editorial Fonoll) has been the first collection of poems that she has published and that has reached its second edition this past summer.
Whenever I can, I recommend attending the presentation events that Anna Fernández has made of her poetry collection Cova throughout the Catalan territory. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the first presentation of Cova, in April 2019 in Terrassa, and it was an artistic enjoyment.
That Cova presentation was an act full of beauty and poetry that moved everyone present, and I am aware that Anna Fernández and her team of Covaires usually repeat this presentation format, even improving it in each act, and it is that Cova‘s presentations do not leave anyone indifferent precisely for that reason, to treat poetry with the affection and love that those of us who like literature has.
The Covaires that make up the rest of the Cova collection of poetry books are Toritaka Tokumei, writer and professor at the Escola Bloom, who has written the initial “Clivella” (Rift) with which he opens the book of poems as a prologue, the Illustrator Judith con H, who has complemented Cova‘s lyrics with the appeal of her illustrations, and Nunu Garcia, musicologist and singer who has mused some of the Covaires poems, also performed them during the poetry’s presentations. Between the four of them, they make up a team that, with their art and knowledge, arouse in present readers the desire to want to enter Cova and paint bison like the rest of Covaires.
The Cova poetry book published by Editorial Fonoll is made up of 30 poems written by Anna Fernández, a young author, who humbly tells us about her poetry book, moments before another Covaire presentation.
CR: “Only the change reveals the condition” (from the poem Grow). “Digging” the Cova has made you evolve as a poet?
AF: Yes, of course. To live is to evolve without remedy, it is a change of perspective. Living is moving and writing has made me aware of this change. A change that frees me.
CR: Cova is divided into two parts, one of Concave and the other of Convexa, why this division? What is the meaning of a poem belonging to the Concave or Convex part of Cova?
AF: I separated the collection of poems in two when I was already writing it when I was inside the Cova (Cave). By this, I mean that it was not premeditated, but that, when creating it, I realized that there were two parts and that, surely, they expressed two moments of the creative process. A creative process closely linked to the path of my mourning and my cure. Every emotional process requires stages and looks. We look at mourning, grief or joy from different points of view, concave or convex, in this case.
CR: The collection of poems is called Cave (Cova), a word that begins with “C“, with an initial prologue called Crack (Clivella), a word that also begins with “C” in Catalan, the original language of this poems collection, and the 30 poems that Cave is also made up of titles with words that start with “C”, divided into two parts: the Concave and the Convex. What is special about the “C” within the Cave? Why this repetition of the “C“?
AF: I didn’t have it planned either, and this ‘linguistic and phonetic game’ happened which, a priori, was not within my plans, precisely because I believed that elaborating this type of filigree didn’t represent me too much. But then I entered fully and had all the sense in the world. The letter C is shaped like a cave, it is concave and convex, like practically everything, depending on how you look at them, and its sound, sometimes cacophonous, is delicate as a crack.
CR: Regarding the Crack (Clivella, in Catalan), the prologue written by Toritaka Tokumei, he fences the Crack (Clivella) of Cave (Cova) with a reflection “Today we all paint bison”. Is this Cave the place where we could all paint bison? Why? What does it mean to be able to paint bison inside Cova, Anna?
AF: The bison represents the antidote to fear, the way that man has to face the world when he leaves the Cave. From here he begins to paint, to the caves, he captures the world from another perspective and it is precise because he paints bison that this gaze changes. Art is, therefore, a way to heal, something that we all need.
CR: In one part of the poetry collection, Clàudia Masin is mentioned with her saying “ Because we give each other, / even terror or sadness / comes from the same desire: to heal and be healed”. How much healing is there inside this Cave? How did you feel creating Cova ( Cave)?
AF: We return to it. Art as a repairing tool. And in this, I like this verse of Masin very much because it recovers an idea with which I very much agree: even when we hurt, when we are sad and unfair or not honest we start from the same need and lack: receiving and giving love. A cave can be a cold, dark and hostile place or a cozy refuge, it will always depend on what we need, our prism and what is outside. But one thing is clear: it always beats with and from love.
CR: “Now we all live on a giant dead end” (Creatures) What are we like these Caver Creatures that we inhabit inside Cova, Anna?
AF: There are many, of caver creatures. The ones that inhabit this giant dead-end are the same ones that flourish in a botanical garden or wander through arid paths. Everything that happens to us we need.
CR: After writing Cave ( Cova), what is the most satisfying part of writing poetry for you Anna?
AF: I suppose that I can share it with those I love, with those who enjoy it or need it. Having run into Judith, the illustrator, with Nunu and Toritaka … Having tried to create the beauty of pain, this seems indispensable to me for writing. And to live.
CR: Explain to us how you feel when you read aloud to the rest of the Cavers that we have felt you recite your poetry? What goes through your head and your heart at those times?
AF: Well it depends. It always depends on the day, the place and the moment, but, indeed, I am always a little nervous. I consider myself a sociable person and not too shy, but when it comes to work or art, I have a great sense of ridicule. I feel good, but also restless.
CR: And the first time you publicly shared your Cave ( Cova) verses out loud, how was it special for you?
AF: It was very special. Also, the fact that it was inside Elixir, a festival that I admire so much. The place, space, the people … It was magical, I have a strong feeling and I always find it hard to put words. And I already like that there are indescribable things.
CR: Inside Cova, is there a poem that you prefer more than the rest? If so, which is your favourite? The one you like best of all? And the least?
AF: It is very difficult for me to answer this. There is a part of me that would like to write better or that even thinks that I don’t know too much. But when I am fair and honest with myself, I recognize that I respect and appreciate all my poems, because they represent a moment and a specific Anna, that of a few moments. I can not deny anything. Even if I did things differently now, or had a different way of writing, I couldn’t reject past poems. The same thing happens to me with tattoos.
CR: “Believing was not a matter of time. Just pure climatology ”(Conjectures) A question that surely you have been asked many times, especially if they have read the poetry book and have been able to enjoy it: for when the next poetry book?
AF: “Creating was not a matter of time, just pure weather.” And it is like this: I cannot know how much time I need, despite knowing that I must have perseverance and discipline, but I do know that I need an environment, a climate, a motivation. Inspiration research, they tell you.
Thank you very much, Anna Fernández, for having created this Cova published by Editorial Fonoll, and for this interview that you have so kindly answered us. All the Cavers wish to read your next poetic publication soon, it will be very welcome when it arrives.