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Ben Brooks selects Luna Miguel

Barcelona-based poet Luna Miguel on sickness and being a Sylvia Plath devotee

Taken from the October issue of Dazed & Confused: 

Precocious Brit novelist Ben Brooks: “I remember sitting with Luna in Barcelona and repeating lines of her poetry in my head and pulling my t-shirt over my face. I remember feeling outdone. She has a book out in English now and I hope people notice.’”

Barcelona-based poet Luna Miguel has a bit of a body obsession. She recently edited an anthology of female writing about blood and menstruation called Sangrantes (Bleeding). Her last work, which will be translated into English at the end of this year, deals mostly with sickness and was influenced by a close relative suffering from cancer. And the 23-year-old plans to call her next book Los Estómagos (The Stomachs). “It’s about hunger and vegetarianism, among other things,” she says. 

Miguel’s first collection in English stays a little closer to the epidermis, however. Bluebird and Other Tattoos gets its title from the feathered beast daubed on her chest (alongside the first few lines of Charles Bukowski’s poem “Bluebird”) and focuses on “the stuff I wrote from 15 to 20. There was a selfish ‘I’ that talked about drugs, sex and the writers I loved. The body has since grown and mutated.”

I’ve been on the internet long enough not to be bothered. Haters feel frustration when they see something they envy

Miguel has held columns in two national newspapers in Spain and been published many times, but it’s in social media and the blogosphere where you find most of her fans – and haters. The latter don’t appreciate her imposing media presence, the many selfies she posts or the frequent references in her writing to her boyfriend, novelist Antonio J Rodríguez. The photogenic power couple generate almost nuclear reactions among Spanish glitterati. Does she care? Nope. “I’ve been on the internet long enough not to be bothered. Haters feel frustration when they see something they envy.” As for her exposure, she admits that, “Yes, I’m constantly showing my hands, my face, my tattoos. I do it because it amuses me, like so many others.” 

The daughter of two poets she calls her “best friends”, Miguel aligns herself with everything “visceral” and confesses to being a Sylvia Plath devotee. Despite that, she’s often included in the field of alt lit, a scene of young and mostly American authors who worship writer Tao Lin and share his impersonal literary style, which has been described as “Asperger’s realism”. She might share their generational qualms and internet savvy but when it comes to writing, Miguel likes things a bit more bloody.