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Juanita Olivera is one of our creative talents. She was responsible for the poem found on each and every SYOU. I recently had a virtual encounter with her, where she gave me a deeper look into what goes on in her mind.
"Tengo evidencias de tus apariciones,
recuerdo ritmos, tonos de atardecer,
brisas de viento
En la que mis pasos construyen tus presencias"
"I have evidence of your apparitions
shades of sunset, wind breezes,
in which my pace
forget your presence."
Juanita has always been mesmerized by poets. When asked about the source of her inspiration, she shared her three favorite ones with us.
"The first one is Paul Celán. He was a Romanian poet born into a Jewish family. He was one of the most influential German-language poets post-World War II. What I recognize and appreciate most in his writing is the way he creates imagery of silence.
Secondly I chose Tomas Tranströmer, a poet from Sweden. His poetry creates complex images, penetrated by landscapes of his birthplace Sweden, and is heavily influenced by his love for music and his work as a psychologist. My favorite books of him are 17 Dikter and The Half-Finished Heaven.
Finally, the Colombian poet Giovanny Quessep, from San Onofre. In his poetry you can find elements of the Arab World - something I particularly love- and constructs images that conjure the passing of our days. My favorite work is ‘Muerte de Merlin'."
During our conversation I asked her about her work for SYOU and how she experienced it. She was very openhearted and explained, in her beautiful words, how SYOU gave her bravery to publish her first work.
In Juanita’s own words:
"Writing has always been a way of being brave and saying the things I dare not say. I fell in love with poetry at a young age because I found that in writing universal feelings could be found. I found myself written in between stanzas.
Before SYOU's Talent Conference, I had never dared to make my writing public, I just wrote for myself or for someone in particular. When I won it was a way to feel recognition on what I felt was the thing I held most precious and personal for me.
It was a way to be brave. I thank SYOU for believing in me and giving me that boost to not be afraid. It sounds silly, but I usually don't let many people read what I write. And now that the poem is in every SYOU and that anyone can read it... It feels overwhelming.
I've always thought that poetry should be part of everyone's life and, in a way, SYOU makes poetry a cool thing. I'm glad that I had the chance to be brave and that it has the possibility to awake in every step that a person takes."
Thank you Juanita!