Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Alejandro Mujica-Olea

Alejandro Mujica-Olea

God, Take My Hand
By Alejandro Mujica-Olea
Translated by Elvira Quintana-Rivas

Oh God, take my hand
and guide me through the storm
of berries and roses,
despite their beauty and sweetness they hurt my skin.

God, do not allow my small light
of poet blind others with jealousy.
God, allow me to keep the joy
given by the love of a woman.

Oh God, teach me to walk
in this mundane world,
in this new life where the weight of the years
falls on my back and submerge into the ground.

God, my tree’s bark has aged,
but my heart still beats
fast in the deepest rivers of my being
resembling a newborn destined to love.

Oh God, take my hand
and guide me
through the path of love, faith,
justice and peace on this earth.

Alejandro, the beautiful voice.

Chilean-Canadian poet & arts activist, Alejandro has long been familiar as co-founder of World Poetry Cafe, alongside Ariadne Sawyer, co-hosting countless readings, workshops and publishing projects in the Lower Mainland, and co-hosting the bilingual World Poetry Cafe on CFRO-FM

This creator of fiercely political poetry, as well as unabashedly loving love poetry, has helped to transform the wealth of Canadian poetries by creating the space to share words and works in original languages and poetic forms, as well as in english. A profound voice for justice, Alejandro has been both a model and an active mentor of poets of all ages and language and culture backgrounds, to hold their ground, to sing forth from the depths.

I am very pleased to host Alejandro, alongside five other talented writers* of the region, at Richmond City Hall Council Chambers, one-thirty to four pm on Sunday, May 6th, a part of our annual Doors Open Richmond! celebration.
Alejandro was recently appointed Poet Laureate of St. Thomas Anglican Church, marking the church's centennial year.  

In 2008, Alejandro and Ariadne were acknowledged with a Gala feast and award, by the Project Cultural South Canada and the Latin Business Network, in thanks for their years of work and important community-building contributions through the World Poetry Cafe radio show.

World Poetry Café - El Mundo de la Poesia

  • Tuesday 9-10pm

Alejandro Raul Mujica-Olea, was born in Santiago, Chile, August 8 1947.  He was a political refugee who came to Canada in 1975 and became a Canadian citizen in Alberta in 1980.

In 1973, the military had a coup causing the assassination of President Salvador Allende Gossens and many other deaths.  Alejandro was detained, tortured and convicted to eight years of jail.  He wrote on small papers with tiny writing, a diary of his life experiences and they were hidden.  It took him almost thirty years to publish the diary in his book, “Shade of the Death” and his poetry book in two languages “Pearls of the Soul of a Political Prisoner.”  Then he was pushing another four books of different topics.

Alejandro is the Recipient of The Poet of the Year (2003 Silver Medallion), an award in honor of Gonzalo Cantón Santelices, presented by The Southern Cultural Project Vancouver.

Works online:

Proyecto Cultural Sur Vancouver (Espanol/English)

World Poetry 
Reflexiones de Mujica-Olea

Saint Thomas Anglican Church
Centennial Poetry 

411 Seniors Centre Society, Voices of Wisdom Digital Archives, Canadian Multicultural History, featured speaker Alejandro Mujica-Olea (2009)
part one: (9:45)
part two: (9:14)
on Feb 26, 2009

Bibliography  of  six  published  books.
Sonatas For Three ( an edition of three authors in Spanish and English of 300 pages) Sonatas in Grey Minor by Gonzalo Canton Santelices , Sonatas in G  Major by Hernán W. Bravo and Sonatas in Love Major by Alejandro Mujica-Olea. Published in Chilliwack, B.C. by Bravo Publishing, in 1999.  ISBN: 0-9683444-5-3.
The Beginning and End of Many Loves / El Comienzo y el Fin de unos Amores  (Poetry English and Spanish Edition, 188 pages.)  Published by World Poetry Publishing in New Westminster, BC, in 2002.  ISBN: 0-9731497-0-3. 
Pearls from the Soul of a Political Prisoner / Perlas del Alma de un Preso Político (Edition in Spanish and English, 152 pages)  Published by World Poetry Publishing in New Westminster, B.C., in 2003.  Second edition 2008 ISBN: 0-9689144-1-1.
Your Love Killed My Cancer/ Tú Amor Mato Mi Cancer, (Edition in Spanish and English, 197 pages) World Poetry Publishing in New Westminster, B.C., in 2005 ISBN: 0-972147-3-8.
One Thousand Women, None Like You. / Mil Mujeres, Ninguna Como Tú (Edition in Spanish and English) World Poetry Publishing in New Westminster, B.C., in 2006.  Second edition 2008 ISBN: 0-973179-5-4.
A La Sombra de la Muerte, (Edition in Spanish, 399 pages) Publish by Xlibris in USA, in 2010.  ISBN 978-1-4535-2262-2

A man who loves his work

Sources & notes:
*Each of the performers will be announced and introduced on this blog in the coming weeks

Top image and text of poem, Saint Thomas Anglican Church,
Centennial Poetry

video, "El Amor," Proyecto Cultural Sur Vancouver 
youtube notes:
Uploaded by on Nov 11, 2011
Alejandro Mujica Olea leyendo su poema "El Amor" con musica de Rene Hugo Sanchez. Arte de Oparin.

World Poetry Reading Series website, various pages

Co-op Radio

411 Seniors Centre Society, Voices of Wisdom Digital Archives, Canadian Multicultural History, featured speaker Alejandro Mujica-Olea (2009)

uploaded to youtube by on Feb 26, 2009

Bibliography, short bio and final photo (taken at a recent WP Richmond workshop) received from Alejandro & used with his permission.

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