On October 17, 2014, we filled the Conde Duque Auditorium with poetry readers who came to listen to Rafael Cadenas, and then we declared that “one day Cadenas will be the Cervantes Prize Winner”, with the innocent security manifested by those who believe that beauty and justice should always go hand in hand. That day they asked him what the word Venezuela suggested to him, and he sentenced: “I need it.”
The phrase provoked a long sigh that almost three hundred attendees at the recital released in unison, a perplexed choir of writers and artists, exiled for decades, or directly in exile, apprehended the words of the poet as a breath of desperate nostalgia.
I hope that many more readers come closer to Rafael Cadenas now that Cervantes blesses his work, and that this leads them to visit the novels, stories and essays of so many current Venezuelan authors who refer to him with another word, the word Maestro.
It is an immense joy to celebrate that dream fulfilled with the recognition of the work of this great author and to think that, in some way, Poemad made the path more comfortable. We share the videos of that day here in case you want to understand what we are talking about when we talk about poetry. And, perhaps, when some of us are asked what we think of Venezuelan literature, we will also answer: I need it.