Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ana Rueda


Throughout the Spanish poetic production of the 20th century, cities have developed a relevant role as a recurring space at the same time as society urbanized and an exodus took place from agricultural areas to the work centers offered by the cities. Since the second half of the 19th century the city has been the meeting place for people from different backgrounds where the poet found, from his exclusive point of view, a new universe to develop in his work. However, the evolution of capitalist society sponsored the poet's transition from an artist to a worker in the service sector, now able to describe the everyday life through that "other voice" that Octavio Paz so well exhibited in his work (Paz 1990). This way, I argue that with the passage of time and the disappearance of the romanticized figure of the poet, writers who describe the daily commute of the inhabitants of the cities emerged among the working classes through a simple style that has come to be related with other transcultural artistic movements such as Minimalism or Dirty Realism.

My dissertation studies the representation of the urban working class in three contemporary Spanish poets: Karmelo C. Iribarren, Itziar Mínguez Arnáiz, and Fernando del Val. I analyze their shared poetics of the city with a focus on the omnipresent common objects that seem to represent the urban everyday life. In Chapter One, I develop a conceptual “trialectic” lens through which to approach all three poets based on the convergence of urban studies, the analysis of poetic form in relation to the artistic current of Minimalism, and the imprint that U.S. author Raymond Carver-as both literary persona and style-left on Spain since his publication in translation in the late 1980s. In Chapter Two, I analyze how the processes of gentrification and privatization of public spaces reflect an experience of suffering by the working class in Iribarren's poetry. In Chapter Three, I study gender-space relations as I analyze what it means for working class women to walk the city and occupy public spaces traditionally reserved for men in Mínguez Arnáiz’ poetry. In Chapter Four, I follow Spanish expatriates across the Atlantic Ocean in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to explore resistance movements against spatial exploitation that force working classes into geographical oblivion in Del Val's “New York trilogy.”

To carry out this project, I propose to analyze the works of these three authors emphasizing not only the common characteristics that each one of them presents but also those that make them unique. With this, I intend to find out the paths Spanish poetry is taking and how this realist-style poetry differs from the realistic trends of "the poetry of experience" and the "dirty realism" so popular in the 80s and 90s. I argue that with the entry of the new millennium and especially with the extensive implementation of neoliberal policies that led to the economic crisis of 2008, there is a boom in the poetry of resistance that seeks to prove that an egalitarian right to the city is more urgent than ever.

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