Interview with Edwin Gaona Salinas, founder of Poetas Intergalácticos


Fundación Amazonía Productiva, in its capacity as a cultural promoter hand in hand with Poetas Intergalácticos, a Facebook community with more than 3000 members of more than 70 nationalities, conducted a brief interview with Ab. Edwin Gaona Salinas, founder of said group, lover of national and international poetry, whom we are immensely thankful for the opportunity.

Poetas intergalácticos

¿Where were you born?

I was born on September 16, 1971, in San Antonio de las Aradas, Quilanga canton, province of Loja – Ecuador.

¿Your studies?

I studied at the previously called “Cumandá” school in my birth parish and Bellavista – Santa Cruz, province of Galapagos, at the Caupolicán Marín school. Then, at Miguel Salinas Jaramillo Highschool. In some attempts to undertake a college career, I studied Agronomy for one year and another year of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Loja. I joined the National Police of Ecuador and graduated from police school in Guayaquil city. I am also a graduate of the Eloy Alfaro Lay University in Manabí with a degree in Social Sciences and Politics. And Lawyer of the Courts and Tribunals of the Republic of Ecuador graduated from the “General Alberto Enríquez Gallo” Higher Police School as Deputy Police lieutenant of Justice.

¿What do you like to be called?

I like to be called only by my name, Edwin Antonio Gaona Salinas. I don´t like the titles.

¿Since when did you acquire your taste for poetry?

I have been a poet since I was a child, about eleven years old.

¿A book or poem wich marked you?

The first complete poetry book I read was Residencia en la Tierra by Pablo Neruda, later Canto General, and luckily, a lot about Amado Nervo in those times in the library of my uncle Miguel Salinas Jaramillo.

¿Ecuadorian poets who inspired you?

To me, personally Medardo Ángel Silva, Jorge Carrera Andrade, Antonio Preciado. Current, Teodoro Flores Carpio in Babahoyo, Tania Salina in Loja, Mónica Ávila in Ambato, an infinity of our poets who shine with their own light.

¿What encouraged you to create Poetas Intergalácticos?

Poetas Intergalácticos was create with the mind of unifying rhetorical artists from different parts of the world, many have related their name to extraterrestrial poets, but no, the metaphorical sense is that we seek poets to make their poetry of world significance. It is important to say that we started with small literary events, but currently we have an influx of participation from more than 30 countries per monthly event. In each event, we deliver a recognition of participation, dedicating ourselves specifically to raising awareness of the 17 principles of sustainability of the UN, also calling them peace poets.

In this moments, Poetas Intergalácticos has 3006 members ¿Do you know how many nationalities there are in this community?

Yes, around 70 nationalities.

¿What generates this number for you? ¿Did you ever think you would have this variety and scope when created this group?

All this is thanks to the objective set. It has been to spread poets and poetry; given the digital world, it´s easier than in the physical one. Open the doors to newly established and amateur poets regardless of language, region, sex, or economic power. There were some events where the poets didn´t even have enough for the internet and looked for their neighbors to post their creations. I always thought of conversing with poets, and now I do it daily, approving more than fifty o sixty daily contributions. It is a vision that has come to sound like a melody for those who never diffuse them.   

Are the publications made in Intergalactic Poets a free theme or is there a theme that cannot be dealt with?

To write poetry, the poet must be free, and we summon enrolled topics to give a wide opening, especially in style. For example, it can be classic, at the same time free verse, or poetic prose. Our intention is nobody is left out.

If the poems could be qualified (although it is known that all art should not be qualified but rather interpreted), what do you consider to be the level of quality in the poems published in the Intergalactic Poets group?

With the advances programmed so that the poet begins to create with high quality, I could say that we now have works and poets of the highest artistic value. For example, in recent events, poets have written poetry mentioning the tropes or literary figures used in each of their works. That was great to me, not only for poets but also for global poetry. It has been a great joy to think that there were poets at the beginning who had no idea of the word tropes, especially amateurs or people who never went through the academy to study lyrics.

If the public wants to use a poem published in the group ¿Can it be used freely or does it need authorization from the author?

Yes, to use a poem, the person must contact the author (on Facebook, a DM would be fine) to be authorized.

From your perspective, how is a poem born? Is it an inspiration or does each author have procedure or ritual?

Each author has their style. For example, in classic, I first take the idea or the poem theme, then the type of verse, then the structure, and to create. In my case, the invention flows. For the free verse, I use the idea, then look for invented consonances to show a cadence. There are also many cases where the rhythm is sacrificed for eloquence. 

Entering the national sphere ¿what is your opinion of Ecuadorian poetry?

Very good. There is plenty of poetry everywhere. We are an ocean of verses without port because the literary diaries of the public and private sectors do not plan to make our poetry shine.

¿And about international poetry?

The universe is there, and everything is more valued, from the management it is with high intensity. Although the rise of the novel displaced poetry, I feel that now there´s more poetry. The most dedicated poets, it is logical. Besides, now we have the hyperlink that takes us to more content. Years ago, reading was expensive and often inaccessible. Now everything is on the net.

Currently in Ecuador ¿Can the people live from poetry specifically?

Ecuador has a poor education for the artistic public. They read little. We don´t take the precaution of preventing in all its areas, hardly do it in health, we don´t put a barrier to ignorance with books. Culture is not exploited as a strength for tourism no cultural events for tourists, or recitals, neither for education nor for fun. But can be done if a good national calendar is structured. Our poets, in many cases are sellers of their few books and careless of creation. In addition, there is the knowledge that is taught and not exploited. It seems to me that in school and high school, there are language study subjects, and many times what is learned is forgotten as something that does not work.

Although we know that Ecuador had, has, and will have excellent writers and poets, it still does not have a level of acceptance by a large part of our population ¿What do you think our country lacks to create a culture that values Ecuadorian authors more?

Inclusive cultural management, without discrimination, envy less. It seems like a culinary conversation, but it is true. I think the Latin person has a lot of developed selfishness, and that can stop the beginners and produce an involution in every sense. 

In October of this year, our country will be Poets World Congress host, in Manta city ¿Ecuador, on any occasion shelter an event of such magnitude?

Not of such magnitude, but exists an event called: “Poesía en Paralelo Cero”, which has had good transcendence from the private sector. Before the pandemic, I held a series of international neoclassical poetry events. It seems to me being the only ones in Ecuador of that style. The World Congress has significance for America and the world to be held in Ecuador. I think it´s great that it is done. All cultural management of the country should be in logistical support, and from all areas, be it security, protocol, tourism, crafts, or transportation, to show Ecuador, with all its strengths. I know from a good source that the organizers are managing with raffles, and other activities to raise funds and make the country look good, which is worthy not only of applause but to recognize out loud, also that the competent authorities support with state infrastructure.    

¿What are your future expectations with Poetas Intergalácticos? And ¿What are your short- and medium-term goals for the community?

Given the I am the founder of “Corriente Universal de la palabra y de las Artes – Era del Antropoceno” (Facebook community), and the poets are writing with a social conscience regarding the scourge of war, poverty, and other human effects on the planet, the dreamer inside me, propose the objective of search for awareness and why not say it, global pacification. The utopia is entering the confection of mass art from poetry, which in some way, serves to the poetry, but whose themes can always help for the different topics of life. In the long term, then there is continuing with events, dreaming of face-to-face events, where poets, in general, are stimulated in person. We are hand in hand with the Fundación Amazonía Productiva objectives, intending to help the world.

Finally, a message encouraging people interested in poems, both in their reading and in their creation, to join the community of Intergalactic Poets.

There is a world that sighs thanks to poetry, sees itself whole with the music of the verses, and needs the consolation to heal, inventiveness to color it, lyrical seduction to love, and diplomatic strength to face the future. In these times, entering healthy creation is imperative, especially so those good footprints are planted for the benefit of future generations, do not forget that Poetas Intergalácticos is open for your poetry to travel the universe.

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