1960-1980   | A | B | D | F | G | H | L | M | P | S | T | W |
1980-2000   | D | G | W |

WRITERS & POETS 1960 – 1980

ROBERT GRAVES

24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985

was an English poet, novelist, critic, classicist and student of Celtic, Greek and Hebrew mythology. He produced more than 140 works between novels, essays, poetry, drama, children’s books and reference works. Graves’s poems, together with his translations and innovative analyses and interpretations of the Greek myths; his memoir of his early life and military service during the First World war, Good-Bye to All That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print.

 

In 1926, he took up a post at Cairo University, accompanied by his first wife, Nancy Nicholson, their four children and the poet Laura Riding. He returned to London briefly, where he split up with his wife before leaving England to live with Riding in Deià, Majorca. Graves and Riding left Majorca in 1936 at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and in 1939 they moved to the United States with several collaborators to work on a project in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Their volatile relationship ended in their eventual breakup. After returning to England, Graves began a relationship with Beryl Hodge, the wife of Alan Hodge, his collaborator on The Long Week-End (1941) and The Reader Over Your Shoulder (1943; republished in 1947 as The Use and Abuse of the English Language).

 

In 1946, he and Beryl re-established a home with their three children, in Deia, Mallorca. Robert became a magnet for many artists and academics from all over the world. They came to Deià to visit him and, in many cases, stayed on.

 

His influence in Deià was huge. He helped save the village from the intrusion of mass tourism by insisting that the architecture should be of the same style as the existing stone faced houses. They do so to this day. From the 1950’s he would galvanize the locals and visitors to stage theatre performances and poetry readings, first in the old quarry behind the house and later in the little amphitheater built by his nephew below his house. He was a familiar and debonair figure in the village. He would walk down at the little beach of Deia for his daily swim, collecting salt from the rocks and chatting with the locals. He lived to a ripe old age and was loved and respected by the Mallorquin and foreign residents of Deia alike.

 

He is buried in the little cemetery behind the church on top of the hill. People still come to see his grave (where many leave poems) and to visit the house in which he lived, today the CASA MUSEO ROBERT GRAVES, CA N’ALLUNY.

CLARA ISABEL ALEGRÍA VIDES

Born in Nicaragua on May 12, 1924. A Nicaraguan poet, essayist, novelist and journalist who was a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America. She writes under the pseudonym Claribel Alegría. Alegría was born in Estelí, Nicaragua and grew up in the Santa Ana area in western El Salvador. In 1943, she moved to the United States and in 1948 received a B.A. in Philosophy and Letters from George Washington University. She met her husband Darwin Flakoll and they bought a house in Deia in 1969. They had four children. Alegría was committed to nonviolent resistance. She had a close association with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle and took control of the Nicaraguan government in 1979. Alegría returned to Nicaragua in 1985 to aid in the reconstruction of Nicaragua. Alegría now lives in Managua, Nicaragua.

Alegría has published novels and children’s stories. In 1978 she received the Cuban-sponsored Casa de las Américas prize for Sobrevivo (I Survive), a poetry collection. She was awarded this prize alongside Gioconda Belli. In 2006, she was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. She has recently published a translation of Lao Tzu’s iconic Tao Te Ching with her son Erik. At 93 years old she just won the Reina Sofia de Poesia prize.

ALSTON ANDERSON

Born in Panama of Jamaican parents, he went to school in Kingston before going to Oxford, N.C., where he lived until he was drafted into the Army in 1943. A master sergeant at war’s end, Anderson took the G.I. bill through North Carolina College (‘47), went on to study at Columbia University and the Sorbonne, concentrating on 18th century German metaphysics.

Then he set out to travel and write. Perhaps it is this kind of distance that removes “Lover Man” from the mountain of angry- Negro stories. Anderson is not mad at anyone. He was fascinated by the South, by what he had seen, and by what he had heard, and he managed to re-create that fascination for his reader.

NICK RODES ARNOLD

Born in Panama of Jamaican parents, he went to school in Kingston before going to Oxford, N.C., where he lived until he was drafted into the Army in 1943. A master sergeant at war’s end, Anderson took the G.I. bill through North Carolina College (‘47), went on to study at Columbia University and the Sorbonne, concentrating on 18th century German metaphysics. Then he set out to travel and write. Perhaps it is this kind of distance that removes “Lover Man” from the mountain of angry- Negro stories. Anderson is not mad at anyone. He was fascinated by the South, by what he had seen, and by what he had heard, and he managed to re-create that fascination for his reader.

JOHN BIRAM

Born in 1922, John Biram was an English scientist, philosopher, poet and musician. He wrote the brilliant book TEKNOSIS, a word coined to describe the sickness enveloping the human race. Pubished in 1978, it is more relevant now than ever, calling for a controlled deindustrialization of the world. Robert Graves challenged him to write the book and accordingly wrote the foreword. Biram worked for NASA and had relations with the US secret Service and the manufacture of nulear bombs but later turned to poetry and music as a form of salvation from “Teknosis”.

He played drums in the Deia Jazz band and wrote poetry on an old typewriter till the ribbon ran out. He died in 2008 and was secretive to the last. 

JULIA BLACKBURN

Born in England in 1948. A British author of both fiction and non-fiction. She is the daughter of poet Thomas Blackburn and artist Rosalie de Meric. Julia Blackburn is the author of four books of non-fiction, Charles Waterton, The Emperor’s Last Island, Daisy Bates in the Desert and Old Man Goya, and novels, The Book of Colour and The Leper’s Companions both of which were short listed for the Orange Prize. Most recently she published My Animals and Other Family (2007) and The Three of Us (2008). She first came to Deia in 1961 with her mother and then returned many years later to live and work taking a job with Robert and Beryl Graves and living for some time in the village with the artist Herman Makkink.

ROBERT DE MARIA

Robert De Maria was born in New York 1928 and grew up in Spanish Harlem during the great depression. He first heard of Mallorca when he was in the sixth grade and just 12 years old. The teacher asked students to pick out a place on the world map and to write something about it. De Maria chose Mallorca, about which he knew nothing, because he liked its place on the map. He looked it up and found that there was much more to like about the place. About twenty years later he found himself sitting in a cafe in Deia, where he and his wife and two small children had decided to spend a year. He spent that year in Can Colom, writing DON JUAN IN LOURDES (Macmillan, 1965). 

He went on to write many books and to teach at several universities, but he always spent part of the year in Deia, usually the winter and sometimes the whole year. In 1969-70 he organized The Mediterranean Institute, in which 34 college students were enrolled for a year of study in Deia. During that year he started the Mediterranean Review, a literary magazine, which featured an artist in each issue. Several Deia artists were included. After missing several years, Robert and Ellen began to spend the winter and spring (Jan-June) in Deia. Later he decided to come in the summers in order to meet old friends. He is currently writing a memoir of days in Deia.

ALFRED DUHRSSEN

Alfred Duhrssen, born in the U.S.A. He lived most of his adult life in Europe. He held degrees in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where he taught, and from the Sorbonne in Paris. As a combat engineer during World War II, he learned that war and love were not that far apart. He divided his living and writing time between London, Barcelona and Deia, Mallorca. He wrote two books, Memoir of an Aged Child and Difficult Women. He died in May 2005.

MAUREEN FREELY

Born 1952. A U.S. journalist, novelist, translator and teacher. Born in Neptune, New Jersey, she grew up in Turkey and now lives in England, where she lectures at the University of Warwick and is a regular contributor to several London broadsheets. Among her novels is “The Life of the Party”, set in Turkey. She has also written “The Other Rebecca”, a contemporary version of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca. Her name has become well known to many as the English translator of Orhan Pamuk’s recent novels (including Snow). She works closely with Pamuk on these translations, because they often serve as the basis when his work is translated into other languages. They were both educated simultaneously at Robert College in Istanbul, although they did not know each another at the time. Maureen has 4 children and 2 stepchildren. Her three daughters are called Pandora, Helen and Emma. Her son is called Matthew. Her two step children are called Kimber and Rachel.

VIDA GABRIELA

Writer, admirer of Balearic culture since her arrival in the 1950s with partner and writer Bert Morton, Vida was one of the first foreigners to speak mallorqui. She collected recipes, improved on “traditional” stories, customs and maintained intimate contact with villagers. Her book “Els Mallorquins Són Bons Al.lots” was circulated among villagers. Vida Gabriela died June 2018.

FREDERIC V. GRUNFELD

Born in Berlin in 1929, Fred and his family fled the Nazis in 1938. The author of the definitive biography of the sculptor Rodin published in 1987, he roved across Europe as cultural correspondent for the American magazines The Reporter and Horizon, using Deia as his base from 1961 until his death in Barcelona of a heart attack. In the early 1970s, he also edited Queen magazine in London. Tall, erudite, bass-voiced, multilingual, and fond of puns, he travelled widely. He was married three times.

MASON HOFFENBERG

Born in December 1922 in NYC to a well-to-do Jewish family, he attended progressive Olivet College, was drafted in 1944, and was sent to England in the Air Force. He was in France and Belgium, and in Germany as part of the occupation army. He had good self-deprecatory stories about WWII, such as setting fire to the base with a cigarette butt, being arrested as a German spy, and rolling in collective vomit at sea. Conquered by Europe, Mason returned to France on the GI Bill and registered at The Sorbonne.

A French marriage in 1953 and children settled him in Paris. He belonged to what would be known as the “Beat movement”. With a pool of authors including Terry Southern, he wrote for the Olympia Press and worked at the Agence France Presse. He spent long periods of time in Mallorca, Spain. Upon his mother’s death in 1978, he returned permanently to his native Manhattan. He died of cancer in June 1986, with his family near him.

JAKOV LIND

Born February 10, 1927 in Vienna, died February 16, 2007 in London. Jakov Lind was an Austrian writer. As an eleven-year old boy from a Jewish family, he left Vienna after the Anschluss, found temporary refuge in Holland, and succeeded in surviving inside Nazi Germany by assuming a Dutch identity. After a literary apprenticeship in Israel, he moved to London, where he wrote, in German, the short stories and novels on which his stature as a major European writer are based: “Soul of Wood”, “Landscape in Concrete”, and “Ergo”.

After many years in England Lind began writing in English and the stories in “The Stove” were the first written in his new language. Through his girlfriend Annie Truxell the painter, he found Deia in 1967, rented and renovated the Tower above the Cala and lived there and in London and in the Chelsea Hotel, N.Y. For the next 40 years until his death in 2007.

JOSEP MARIA LLOMPART DE LA PEÑA

Josep Maria Llompart de La Peña was born in May 23, 1925 in Palma (Mallorca). He continued his studies in Barcelona and began writing his first poems in 1947.

He contributed to literary anthologies from then on and worked in the public works department of the Baleares, which gave him the stability to devote his time to his letters. He married his wife Encarnacio Vinas sister of the poet Celia Vinas in 1954.

In the 1960s he published poems of Mondrago and began to work as a literary advisor for the modern literature society of the Baleares. He collaborated with the Diario de Mallorca and wrote numerous articles on Catalan and foreign authors. He became president of the foundation of Balearic Culture from 1978 to 1986.

He was a familiar figure in the town of Deia where he would come and stay with his wife.

He was awarded many prizes for Literature and poetry and died in January of 1993.

LAWRENCE MALKIN

Born in 1930 in Queens, N.Y. Author, journalist (and ghostwriter), Lawrence Malkin first came to Deià in 1962 to escape the distractions of New York City and write a novel. At the suggestion of his boyhood friend Fred Grunfeld, he literally stole a year from the hurly-burly of high politics: Larry had reported on Nikita Khruschchev banging his shoe on his desk at the United Nations. So isolated was Deià in those years that the rest of the world was three days into the Cuban missile crisis before we even heard about it here. Ever since then, he and his family have returned to their house in the Viña Vieja to recharge and for Larry to write books, his own or someone else’s His most recent book, Krueger’s Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19, was translated into seven languages (including Spanish as El Falsifacador de Hitler); the story inspired the Oscar-winning film The Counterfeiters. He now is completing a novel set in Wall Street.

In 1986 his book, The National Debt, foresaw the current failures of American economic policy. In between, he has collaborated on the memoirs of historic figures, among them Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to Washington for a quarter of a century, and the Communist master spy Markus Wolf, who headed East German foreign intelligence.

JOAN MAS

Born in 1929, to a Deià couple who had emigrated to France. Although they weren’t rich they could afford to pay his high school fees at La Salle. He studied a subject called History of the Empire. He then got a degree in law with the insane idea that this would give him the freedom to persue his dream of becoming a theatre/film writer in the style of Hitchcock. However he was forced to give a hand in the family grocery business.

At that time in Mallorca there was one small film company and a number of writers however once he began to practice the craft of writing his forte became interactive dialogue with the public. He was a member of the Obra Cultural Balear and contributed to many Mallorquin publications. After more than 20 works for theatre and many prizes his status as a Mallorquin author and playwright was confirmed. He died in 1992.

BILL MATHEWSON

Author, poet, critic, friends have said: ”such a man was meant to be savoured, like the headiest of potions. Bill had a unique charisma”. He was inprisoned for refusing to give up smoking dope, like Robert Mitchum… Nick Arnold marveled at his editorial prowess: he always chose the precise word. He created paradise in Miramar where he (like the archduke before him,) lived during the 1960s. He died on the Deia roads a few years later. 

ROGER JOSEPH MCGOUGH

CBE (born November 9, 1937) is a well-known English performance poet. He presents the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please and records voiceovers for commercials, as well as performing his own poetry regularly. He is a Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and a member of the Executive Council of the Poetry Society. McGough was born in Litherland in north Liverpool a city with which he is firmly associated according to most people.

He was educated at the University of Hull at a time when the chief librarian was Philip Larkin. Returning to Merseyside in the early 1960s, he met Mike McGear and John Gorman, both multi-talented entertainers together they formed a comedy group called The Scaffold, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart in 1968 with their version of “Lily The Pink”. McGough also co-wrote many of their songs. McGough was also responsible for much of the humorous dialogue in The Beatles’ animated film, Yellow Submarine, although he did not receive an on-screen credit for it. With Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, he published two best-selling volumes of verse entitled The Mersey Sound, and came to prominence as one of the “Liverpool poets” of the 1960s and 1970s. The Mersey Sound, first written and published in 1967, was revised in 1983, and then again 2007.

JAMES MCKINLEY

James McKinley has been a widely published magazine writer for Esquire, American Heritage, and National Catholic Reporter, among others. His book Assassination in America grew out of a series of articles in Playboy magazine and is one of the definitive works on the subject. McKinley has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and two senior Fulbright fellowships, to Yugoslavia and to Spain. His personal essay here, about his friendship with the poet Robert Graves, appeared in summer 1974, prior to McKinley’s 17-year tenure as editor of the magazine, New Letters. James McKinley’s fiction includes two collections of stories, “Acts of Love” and “The Fickleman Suite”, and a novel, “The Woman in the River: A Case of Abortion”.

His latest book is “Who Taught Me to Swim: New and Selected Stories”. He was living in Kansas City, Missouri and Oracle, Arizona until his death in 2015.

BRIAN PATTEN

Born 7 February 1946, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Brian is an English poet, born in a working-class neighbourhood near the docks. He left school at fifteen, and was hired by a private newspaper called “The Bootle Times” to write a column on popular music. One of his first articles was on Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, who later joined Brian in forming the performance group called the Liverpool Poets. The group performed poetry for audiences and also released an anthology called “The Mersey Sound”, which sold thousands of copies.

Patten received early encouragement from Philip Larkin, and Charles Causley once commented: “[Patten] reveals a sensibility profoundly aware of the ever-present possibility of the magical and the miraculous, as well as of the granite-hard realities”.

CHRIS PERRET

Born June 26th 1930 in France. Son of a French artist, Rene Perret and American wife Frances, nee Roach. He went to school in France and then the United States. Graduated in 1947. Served as a merchant seaman in the Caribbean then joined the U.S. army in Germany. Attended the Institute des Sciences Politiques of the Sorbonne in the early 50’s. A frame maker and finisher by profession, he focused on poetry from an early age.

His writings and illustrations appeared in magazines in Poesie Vivante (Geneva), Botteghe Oscure (Italy), Elwood Review, (Connecticut). He had a one-man show in 1961. He brought out two volumes of poems. “Blood and other Poems” (London, Outposts Publication, 1963) and “Memoirs of a Parasite” (Hors Commerce Press, California, 1965). At the time of his death he was working on his first full-length novel, “Homus” and on translations of the Modern French Surrealist poets for a New Directions Anthology. He died from a heart attack on 6th December 1965 in Deya, Mallorca. He was married twice and had two sons, Jason and Jonathan.

PAUL SPIKE

Paul Spike first came to Deya from New York City in 1965, at the age of 17. He returned again over several wild summers during the Sixties, while a student at Columbia College in NYC, before moving there in 1972. He wrote his second book, “Photographs of My Father”, in Toby Grunfeld’s casita during that spring and summer, and a year later it was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times and the New York Public Library. He went on to publish three more books of fiction before becoming a full-time journalist in London, the only American ever to edit Punch. Years later, he owned a bar called Ca’n Pep Mosso in the village.

JOHN DE ST. JORRE

Journalist and writer, was born in London 1937, served in the British army in Malaya, and graduated from Oxford University. He joined the British Foreign Service, spent three years in embassies in Africa, and later studied Arabic in the Lebanon. After leaving the Foreign Service, he returned to Africa as a journalist covering wars and political crises for the London Observer. He was subsequently the Observer’s Paris, Middle East and New York correspondent. He covered the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the Iranian revolution in 1979. Turning freelance in New York, he has written for many American and British magazines and newspapers. John discovered Deia the summer 1961, when friend George McDowell, who was working for the United Nations peacekeeping operation, invited him to come and see his house in Deia. The house was cool and welcoming, the view sublime, and the scented air soothing. It had to be paradise. John bought the house next door and lived there off and on for over forty years. He lives in USA.

FRANCISCA SUNYER

Francisca was the girl´s schoolteacher during the 1960s. A great hiker and nature lover she met Marc Heine in Deia and they lived and worked together the rest of their lives.

Her book “Viure a Cabrera: Una Illa Fet a Mida” was a study of the island of Cabrera where she grew up. Their son Damien and his children carry on their memories.

MARTIN TALLENTS

Born May 8th, 1921, the younger son of Sir Stephen Tallents, K.C.M.G., C.B., C.B.E. and Lady Tallents. Schooled at West Downs, Winchester and Dauntsey’s School. Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture at Trinity College, Cambridge. He entered the Royal Navy Reserve as Ordinary Seaman. Mentioned in Despatches, H.M.S. Cleopatra, 1942. Leading Seaman, Coastal Force Coxswain. Sub Lieutenant. Leading Seaman. Malta Convoys, Mine sweeping, Normandy, the Philippines and Borneo. Five years in all. Served as a sailor on a battleship that was bombed by a German submarine.

He had gone downstairs to make some tea for his friends on deck and when he came back his friends had been blown to pieces and he had to pick them up and put them in body bags. He came back to England and worked on restoration of a Parish Church and looked after his mother until she died then in 1969 he came to Mallorca first staying in Can Quet then buying a house in the village of Deia. He became good friends with Robert Graves. He would make tea everyday at 5 pm except Sundays and would entertain all visitors with his compositions. He wrote poems and Gilbert and Sullivan type musical songs, over 200 of them. He was loved by everyone and would always take his hat off in the street for a lady. A true English eccentric, he was never seen without a tie. He moved back to England and died singing in 2006.

BRUCE WALLACE

Born in 1938 in San Diego and grew up in Maine. He focused on music and studied with Monteux. In the army he worked as army security (another word for “spy”) in Germany. He lived in Bar Harbour after this. He met Alice Meyer in 1963 and moved back to Europe. They had a son, Tal and in April 1965 they went to Deia where he edited “Deia Daily Roll”. In 1983 he moved to New York. After that he went back to Greece for two years living as a monk in Chios. He then moved to Maine and died in 2009

RONNIE WATHEN

Ronnie was born in 1934 from a wealthy background of Scots and Welsh descent. He was a good scholar, he avoided the Oxbridge education he was due and escaped to Trinity College Dublin. He published a book of poems, “Brick” published by the prestigious Dolmen Press. He pioneered rock climbs of some difficulty in Wicklow and Donegal and he made friends, an activity which he had a particular affinity. He met his wife Asta in a Kibbutz in Israel, followed her to Copenhagen and remained wedded to her from then on.

He liked Spain and moved to Deia with Asta and his two children. They built a house and settled into a life of Spanish winters and summers in Greece or Iceland always with Ireland somewhere in between. He liked to play pipes and he bought his first set in 1969 and laboured as never in his life to gain empathy with them and expression from them. He was “a shambling, funny, savage man whose fierce mind fully knew which way his spleen should expend itself”. He died of a brain tumour in 1993. 

WRITERS & POETS 1980 – 2000

NICOLE D’AMONVILLE

Nicole d’Amonville Alegría is a poet, editor and literary translator. She was born in El Salvador, and grew up in Deià. She then lived in Barcelona, Paris and London, and has travelled widely across America, Africa, Europe and Asia. In 1992, she obtained her M. A. at the Sorbonne with her paper on Ramon Llull. She returned to Mallorca in 2010, after working as a publisher in Barcelona for 11 years, and has since made her home in Palma. She is of multiple nationalities, but writes in Spanish. Her translations of Dickinson’s letters were selected by ‘El País’ as one of the 10 best books published in 2009.

She has written a libretto on Ramon Llull, Foll d’amor, for the Spanish composer Alberto García-Demestres. She has published two collections of poems: Estaciones (Cafè Central) and Acanto (Lumen), as well as poems in literary magazines in Spain, France, and Mexico. She has participated in literary festivals and has given workshops and lectures on authors such as Agustí Bartra, Robert Graves, Paul Bowles and Emily Dickinson.

TOMAS GRAVES

Born in 1953 to Beryl and Robert Graves, poet and author, in Palma. Studied Typography design at the London College of Printing. 

In 1982 he founded The New Seizin Press in Deià with his wife Carmen, a bookbinder. Their hand-made books are in the collections of the V & A, British Museum, New York Public Library and the Kunsthalle After writing articles on food and fine printing for Hearst’s Connoisseur Magazine, a translation for Olañeta Editores led to book commissions: A Home in Majorca (1997), a practical guide for home-owners, in Spanish, and Bread and Oil (1998),also Tuning Up at Dawn. ( 2004), a musician’s perspective of contemporary Spanish society and culture. As an accomplished musician he accompanied Majorcan singer Toni Morlà from 1977 to 1995 on guitar, mandolin, buzouki and cuban guitar; is a player/vocalist with Pa Amb Oli Band since 1980 and plays acoustic guitar/vocals with duo/trio Tomás con Gas since 2011. He continues to live on the island of Mallorca with his wife Carmen.

JACKIE WALDREN

Born in Los Angeles, arrived Deia 1959, met Bill Waldren the first night and their story began. Together they created four daughters and Damarc, (Deya Archaeological Museum and Research Centre) where archaeological discoveries ,art exhibitions, poetry readings, silent movies and concerts formed a cultural hub. Accompanying Bill to Oxford University in 1975, she joined a Women’s Study group, re-ignited her love of research.

The next few years she set out to try to get behind the multitude of ‘myths of Deia’ and into the lives and coexistence of locals and foreigners over the past decades. Her DPhil at Oxford, based on Deia, became a book Insiders and Outsiders: Paradise and Reality in Mallorca (1996). She combined teaching social anthropology at Oxford with summers and holidays in Deia over the next thirty years publishing numerous articles, and editing the series New Directions in Anthropology. Jackie returned to Deia as Director of the museum in 2012 where she continues to organise concerts, children’s workshops, courses and enjoy the company of her family and friends ‘at home’ in Deia.