Heptagrama 2009 poetry contest

In the 2009, Heptagrama called for submissions for its first poetry contest. The call ended on January 31st, 2009. 115 poets took part of the same.

The jury gave granted the prize to the poem "Aunque se corre el riesgo" by Basilio Sánchez. Honourable mentions were also given to "Elogio de la pobreza", "Biografía sin vértebras", "Gris", "Cómo cambia la vida", and "Como la marea".

The jury was composed by Blanca Barojiana, Elisabet Cincotta, José María García Toledo, Ana I. Hernández Guimerá, Ana Lucía Montoya Rendón and Liliana Varela.

Heptagrama thanks the jury and all the poets taking part of the contest.


Although you run the risk

Although you run the risk,
after living a life in writing,
of dying in it. I am a man who writes,
someone who is comforted
by the daily treatment with the words.

Frequently covered in the rumour
of my internal ramblings,
sat in front of my table as if I were guarding
a valuable thing,
somewhat recovered by chance,
I continue the combustion of words with the doubtful voice
of my uncertainties,
the column of smoke that elevates
looking for a way out
through the windows in my bedroom.

Yet, however,
in the writing the wound
of the white paper lies, the begging wound
of what still belongs
to what is real. That's why, some nights,
under the immense scaffolding of the deflagration,
the poem's life,
as the snails in a hand,
refugee in themselves.

It is first a door, then another,
a tumult of successive doors
none of them can be opened,
but the one in the middle.

As if it was contemplating
the walking by of things with a dull light
of a half-thought,
I correct the words without being in them,
without finding, despite all,
a way in.

The destroyed tables, the amendments to the poem.
The piece of paper abandoned in a corner
with the word nothing
as a river flower in the twilight.

In those occasions,
without wanting to quit all
I asked myself in a few lines
that I could not write,
I go on closing the books, lowering the Persian curtains
turning off the lights. It is possible
that it is just my stubbornness what allows me
that sometimes, a poem,
becomes similar to life.

© Basilio Sánchez

Basilio Sánchez is a Spanish poet born in Cáceres in 1958. This poem is part of his book, "Las estaciones lentas" (The Slow Stations).

Honourable mentions

Ode to poverty

...the look in which sits
the lamb to be drunk.
I auction what I lost,
every error is on sale.
—Carlos Zamora Rodríguez

I auction this paradise
free from the applause
that, from the suicide, I cause
when I don't ask for permission.
I auction the humble air,
the word that encourages it.
I auction who feeds me
with God's scraps
without knowing about his voice,
the look in which it sits.

I auction any truth
that may announce any lamb.
Everything is for sale. I don't want
to go back to eternity.
I auction vanity,
what I could have had.
I auction what is destroyed
in the trial of doubt,
the knive where the lamb
to be drunk will come.
What I had will be auctioned
to the pleasing orphan.
I give the obedient game,
the scream that wears out.
I sell the chastest illusion
and all that has been destroyed.
I sell all I have lived,
the hunger, the rain, the fire.
All my life is at stake.
I auction whatI have lost.
I give this old trade
where the glory is ritual
of a dirty ceremonial
which sells us to sacrifice.
I auction even the benefit
every city invents
if time doesn't feed
from my corpse. I auction
the chalice where I spend myself,
every error is for sale.

© Carlos Téllez, from Cuba.

Biography without vertebrae


My father
is a rented sorrow,
he knows the robust bellow of the patched cow
and of the other pronghorn,
and he obeyed the boss.
My father is a half-way seeder,
and he works the land awaiting silence.
My father is a river of crying in the ridge,
and under the sun he points animals,
and he warns about drought foul weather.
And in the verb of the holes...
in the path of shadows and laments,
my father is a whole sorrow,
just like a baffled worker,


My father is
a thin echo in the distance,
one of those thousands of living departed.
He has a hat of debts with a long hat pin,
and he must seed his blood in the wind,
and he has in his eyes an unfinished homeland,
and my father's father had the same,
under a simple tone, in a folk song...
spreading crap on the land without words.
My father never has accents in the pocket
or a noon in the forehead,
or a landscape in the ears
or bouquets of flowers when returning;
my father always has buds of rain
in his lips,
and a torrent of hope in the chest,
because my father is my father,
in the hand full of mud,
and in the common song,
and in the delivered verb
of these hectic mouths,
and these revolted stomaches
which reclaim their universe.

© Julio Cuevas, from Dominican Republic.


A poet produces when it is autumn and it drizzles
and houses elevate by the grace of fog,
the poet then returns to the land of childhood
populated by anguishes, sounds and grandmothers.

Time silences for an instant, sprinkles the look,
the cloud is universe which involves all the sky
nearby, in the afternoon, by the sunset or that way
at least the awaiting poet imagines it.

Nothing in this fever the well-known silence
which serves as fertilizer of beautiful metaphors;
that hidden thing sounds, it pleases for man
the indescribable magic of this brief instance.

A poet generates the fruits of the soul
feeds life with subtle scents: the blue
of days, the beloved and his love, the wine and the light
which in every good path like a goal settles.

Unhappy the distance between the bird and the smile!
Accursed the lineage of hate and lie!
Calm rain tells us haste is useless
if at every hour sixty lives sing.

A poet writes and the hand is strange to him:
five fingers impersonate the pain of times
add a tone of pain to that note;
with autumn, leaves give the shape of the wind.

© Alejandro Mauriño, from Argentina.

How life changes

How life changes when the first
gloom of innocence escapes,
the blindness of the times of indulgence,
the intoxication of the new, stage after stage!

How dreams migrate from this stage
that we leave covered with experience
and, naked, we cry of impotence
when coming out from the cloud that covers us!

How do they alter, my God, the pains
matter of the soul and the existence!
—How they burn, the shadows of the ways!—

How life changes in the crystals
of tiredness of fullness encrypted in indolence...!
—How many lines wound our affections!—

© María Antonia Gutiérrez Huete

Like the tide

The soul takes off its foams
if the tide lowers
in the calm of each Moon.
The visible holes
show innocently
the shameless trails
that the oceans violence
deflowered connived with
the perfidious sand.
The indiscreet time astonishes
tearing the secrets
of the hidden tears
in the violet conchs.
Shames undress
the pains of life
and it doesn't matter if it shakes
or absence faints
now that the shelter of foam
is now uncovered.
When the tide goes up
the soul will paint its face
in blue, but dead.

© Antonia Blasa, from the United States of America.

Arts and expression + Poetry