The great capacity to manifest, or transmit emotions in poetry and art; that natural and intense release of feelings through these magnificent works, which sometimes cause us so much impact, and at the same time arouse our deepest interest, is certainly a great stimulus for the heart.
How many times, when contemplating a canvas, do we walk between reflections, going deeper beyond our feelings? How many times, in the intimacy of that encounter, do we surprise a tear or a smile?
How many sensations we experience between the pages of a book!
That essence that surrounds us, becomes an immense source of inspiration and motivation.
And that happens here, in this great work presented by Ana Cecilia Chávez Zavalaga entitled “Essence”, in which that love and passion for art and poetry is enormously manifested.
Ana Cecilia Chávez Zavalaga, was born in Lima (Peru). She has lived in Germany for 15 years with her youngest daughter, in the city of Baden-Baden, belonging to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, a beautiful city located on the slopes of the Black Forest. She studied journalism and public relations in Peru.
Author of the books “Tiempos de Esperanza” (2020), a book written in the hard moments experienced during the pandemic, a year later she gave us her second collection of poems “Para ti” (2021), and this year we surprise with this great specimen that will conquer the hearts of more than one person, “Essence”.
Ana Cecilia, what has the creation and edition of this wonderful work meant to you?
Essence is a symbiosis of art, because it involves together, what is the painting and the image through photography, as well as the value and strength of the content that words can have, that is, what on the one hand they will see all those who have in their hands the collection of poems Essence. On the other hand, for me it has a very great personal value, when the idea of Esencia is born, it is to commune, to intertwine the art that has been dragging a family, my father as a draftsman and painter, I the daughter who writes and my daughter, the granddaughter who he also writes, so I told myself this is the essence of life that passes, the essence of not one life, but of generations of a family, the essence of blood, of what we are, of what we have been, of what it comes beyond my parents, my grandparents, suddenly the Incas or the Spaniards who colonized us.
Esencia means a lot to me, because it is a very close bond with my family.
Esencia is not just a book of poetry, but it is accompanied by some exquisite and well-studied works of art that increase the value of this book, making it a true jewel not only visually, but also sentimentally.
Who are the people who have collaborated with you in the edition of this book?
Initially I wanted a family book, my father, my daughter and I, I had the poems written and I spoke with Peter Hillert, I formulated the idea for him to help me with the images, he is a professional photographer with a very extensive international career, and he told me that a concept had to be created that maintained the same line of images.
He experimented from the optical and artistic side, the design of the book.
So, he introduced me to Brigitte Siehl and asked her permission to work with the paintings she had painted and the portraits he had made of me. He wanted each of these portraits to represent what the poem itself expressed.
One of the ones I like the most is the image of one of my poems entitled “Guilty innocents”, the impression of the pensive man and the woman, both have their hands up and it’s a coincidence, when I took those photographs I didn’t I thought it was going to be for that book, it was an innovative idea by Peter Hillert; and Brigitte was very generous in allowing us to work with her work.
Esencia has been a joint effort, I am the author of the poems but without the collaboration of Brigitte Sihel, of Peter Hillert in the design of the book, as it is now, it would not have been possible.
And I’m happy with the result, it really turned out better than I expected.
The prologue was written by my eldest daughter, Maria Alexandra Carranza, who studies art and acting at the University of Prague, she won a prize in narrative for which she had the opportunity to participate in the creation of a joint book that was published in Madrid.
Also in Esencia, at the beginning of the book there are paintings of my father, Vicente Gonzalo Chávez Rondón, his paintings have always made me feel at home despite the kilometers that separate me from my land. And I would like to highlight a painting of my father, in which Peter Hillert has worked a portrait of me on the painting, which has made me cry with emotion, that work, that design of the portrait with the image painted by my father, made me feel to my father and to all the race that I carry inside my skin, and all those artistic, emotional genes, of affection, of traditions, it was to see everything embodied in an image.
Essence beyond being a book that I have written with great affection, it is a book where I pour out many emotions, it is very special to me.
What is poetry for you?
It is the instrument through which I give voice to my feelings and reflections, to memories, to justice, to peace, to equality. Poetry is like breathing, because it allows me to express everything I have inside.
It’s my best therapy, my best way to let off steam.
It is an incentive, a companion, it is a friend, it is a permanent growth. Each poetry is a feedback process.
How do you feel poetry today?
Just as there have been both political and social revolutions in the world, there has also been a revolution in the way of expressing oneself; the poet does not parameterize himself so much and is freer and I feel that this is a growth, an explosion. When I see through social networks, the number of people willing to express all kinds of fictional or real facts, in poetry or narrative, it’s incredible!… And that seems to me to be a development, a spiritual and intellectual evolution enormous. There is a lot of motivation, and that also comes to the point that we have freed ourselves from many taboos, in that sense we see new talents born every day as good as those from whom we have learned and continue to delight us.
Today, people feel freer to demonstrate their art, we are in a process of tremendous evolution, and if we talk about erotic and sensual poetry, which I did not write before because of taboos or shame, I have discovered that writing this type of poetry it is a challenge for the poet, to express with elegance and subtlety, without falling into the grotesque. Those moments of intimacy or those sensations that shine through in poetry with a goldsmith’s finesse, is what shows us that poets are alive and growing day by day.
How do you define yourself through the years and experiences?
Simply a woman, a human being, who like everyone is passing through in the process of learning, of enrichment. Sometimes I am not as capable of absorbing things as I would like. I am not infallible, always making mistakes, but trying to improve myself and be better. We all have weaknesses as well as strengths, but we are in the process of development, growth, opportunity that gives us that ladder that is life, that without numbers of steps to climb.
I am, that human being who is on that staircase, naked, going up, sometimes going down or at times, static.
That I am, nothing more.
Apart from your facet as a writer, what other passions are there in your life?
The flamenco. It’s something that I carry deep inside, since I was a child I loved to dance flamenco and I did the movements with my hands instinctively, so my father gave me some castanets, I lived in the northern cone of Lima and there was no flamenco school there, so The years have passed and you’re forgetting a little.
Years later, in Germany, I was able to start my apprenticeship and the first time I heard in class “War cries”, it was how, when you see the haughty bullfighter, alone, in the center of the ring, I immediately felt like electricity through the spine. and my body stood upright, I had the bull in front of me.
I really felt that the whole world was transformed and at that moment I remembered… that I liked flamenco. I started to dance, and I remember that I had goosebumps throughout the class, it is that I was not only dancing, I was feeling the music that was heard through every pore of my body.
Flamenco is a lifestyle, it’s a way of expressing what words sometimes can’t, it’s a passion.
And I don’t stop being Peruvian for dancing flamenco, it’s the kind of music that makes me feel and allows me to express, vibrate from head to toe.
What is your biggest dream?
That there comes a time when we can find spiritual peace, tranquility and we are not talking about economic tranquility but living in peace, that this satanism ends, first we had the pandemic, now the war, the fear of rising prices and come down, this constant terror that society is subjected to, it’s a horror movie.
My dream is that we can find peace, that justice arrives, because the people cannot take it anymore, and when that moment arrives, that we begin to think about our neighbor, about our planet, about the people who live on other continents. My dream is that people can understand that it is not me, but us, and that we need each other to live.
That moment in which the human being becomes aware.
The essence of a whole woman and of a whole family impregnated in each page of this book.
Art, said Paul Klee, does not reproduce what is visible but rather makes visible what is not always visible.
Ana Cecilia will present “Esencia” in Baden-Baden, Germany on October 12, at 7:00 p.m., where many of the works presented in the book will be exhibited and where many of her poems translated into German by Markus Strauss will be played by actor Frank Albrecht.
This artistic and inspiring jewel can only be purchased through its website; www.ceci-poesia.com or in direct contact with its author.
“Essence, it is not only my essence, it is the essence that we all carry inside. I believe that people will feel that energy and will feel very identified with the poetry and art transmitted in Esencia”