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Home arrow ZOOM arrow INCROCI 2018 | A matter of balance. Interview with poetess Gioconda Belli
INCROCI 2018 | A matter of balance. Interview with poetess Gioconda Belli
Written by Chiara Sciascia   


In the 1970s, Nicaragua was ruled by one of the strictest dictatorships in Latin America. Gioconda Belli was soon to experience a two-sided revolution: personal and social. Born in Nicaragua, she was educated in Europe and America. She joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front, then exiled herself to avoid capture. Gioconda spent her life looking for a balance between the woman she could be, feminine and well-integrated in the upper class, and the woman she aspired to be, with all the privileges then reserved to men. Gioconda Belli will meet the public on April 6 together with authors Abdilatif Abdalla and Raúl Zurita.


Journalist, poet, author.
The strongest in me is the illusionist. That’s the part I like the most, the one that uses words to imagine stories.

The language codes you use.
Language codes depend on the part of the body you use to get closer to the issue. Every genre has a soul. I don’t do much journalism anymore because I can’t be objective anymore, I cannot feign indifference. I write op-eds, I feel more freedom that way. Novel, for me, is a journey to an island that pops up out of fog, like Virginia Woolf said, only when you’re close enough. Discovery is fascinating. Poetry is a sigh, a mirage, a revelation you must capture and shape to arrive to emotional exactness.

Your manifesto.
Every day we get closer to a gender-inclusive world. The discussion on sexual harassment is a discussion on power. Us women don’t strive for an unattainable utopia, we want a real, effective power balance. Balance is key – I don’t want to switch one kind of domination for another. I did wrote a women’s utopia, though, The Country of Women, a story of feminine feminism: daring, imaginative, and humorous.

Personal identities and group identities.
We always write about our own lives, of what we see and who is around us. Naturally, when you experience what we experience in Nicaragua, it becomes part of who you are, it’s like the magma that feeds a volcano. Love, passion, death, birth are part of a collective drama of war, triumpgh, and treason. Conflict is positive for a writer, as painful as it is.

Your next project.
I just finished by latest novel, The Man Who Died Twice. I’m hoping to publish it in Italy next year. This means now I have time to just enjoy two beautiful festivals: Incroci di Civiltà here in Venice and Poetry Vicenza. Then, I will spend a month in Bogliasco to write a film script.