©2019 by Tania Panés. Proudly created with Wix.com

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MY  STORY

I will never forget the day when a teenager approached me while writing in the Plaza de Bacalar, Mexico, and asked me if I had any degree. I answered: «Art History», while improvising a poem with the word "pizza" for an Argentinian who worked in the pizzeria of the square. The young man looked at me in disbelief, as if he had never heard those two magical words. "And are there any jobs on that?", he asked hastily. "Of course!" I said with a smile that came from within me, as if his question had made me integrate a new part of my being. "Don't you see me?"

 

Improvising with my typewriter has been the most raw and tangible learning of my entire life. An activity that has led me to know each part of myself by force of street and encounters, people and identities. It all started in 2012, when I met Antoine Bérard in the Pompidou square in Paris. My brother and I were walking down Rue Rambuteau when suddenly we saw him in the crowd. We could not believe it. A poet à la demande! That man inspired us in such a way that, guided by his advice and invitation, a few months later Momentoverso was born in Madrid, a project that my brother Alejandro gave life with his Olivetti pluma 22 and to which I joined shortly afterwards.

Antoine Bérard

Alejandro Panés

The first time I managed to gather the courage to go out to the street was at the Madrid Book Fair. I remember that my hands were shaking and the violent beats of my heart threatened to sprout from my chest. Hundreds of questions invaded my mind: What am I doing here? Will I be able to write good poems? Am I ready to do this? What will people think? And so an endless etcetera that I had no choice but to ignore and that dissipated at the precise moment when a man approached me and asked me for a poem on anger. He seemed very upset and disappointed and I asked him if he was okay. «A man has insulted me on the street because I am Colombian». I started writing immediately and as the words took shape I felt that this moment was a moment of transformation. I did not really know what was transforming exactly but I could feel it, as if the typewriter was a channeler of the energy that this man brought to my folding table and now melted in my hands. What was happening in those three square meters of asphalt was something of extreme importance because when I finished the poem and read it out loud, I could see how a smile was drawn on his face and how the anger had turned into complicity and, perhaps, compassion. There was no more pain, but a sense of peace (in his eyes) and catharsis (in mine) that made me understand that this interaction not only had it produced a poetic creation through a real and present situation, but it had also led me to help someone. It did not take many words. The mere act of listening and expressing my vision on a piece of paper was enough to make that man feel supported, seen and heard for a moment. And that is for me the power of this activity.

In 2015 I decided that the time had come to take the typewriter out of Spain and I made a 9 month trip through North America. From market to market, from street to square and from park to avenue, I went through magnificent places and improvised thousands of poems to people I will never see again and who may have the poem that I wrote to them hanging on the fridge or somewhere inside of a book of poems.

In addition to the mainland of the United States, Mexico and Canada, my trips have led me to improvise in places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Cuba and France. This way of life, which I consider privileged, has led me to witness and live unique stories and intimate moments with thousands of people who, although from different cultures, "social classes", contexts and mentalities, have stopped their lives for a few minutes to talk with me and tell me their stories, their secrets, their joys and sorrows, to get a unique poem from me. In all of them I have seen myself reflected, and thanks to all those meetings I have built myself up to this day.

BIO

I was born in Madrid in 1989. I have a degree in Art History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, I have studied a year of Humanities at l'Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Paris) and a semester in Psychology at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Lima) with two different exchange programs. I have worked in national museums both in France (Musée Gustave Moreau) and in Spain (Museo Nacional del Prado) and I am a member of Momentoverso.

 

My poems have been published in digital magazines such as Oculta Lit, Kokoro or La Rabia del Axolotl. I have participated in the anthology of pulp stories She was so bad (Aloha Ed., 2016) and I am the author of El arlequín sentado (Torremozas, 2017). In 2017 I was awarded with the XXIX Ana María Matute Prize for Narrative of women for my story "Where nobody wants us".