Members of the Academy

Atxaga, Bernardo


Bernardo Atxaga (1951, Asteasu), whose real name is José Irazu Garmendia, graduated in Economics at Bilbao University, and then went on to study Philosophy at the Central University of Barcelona. He did a variety of jobs until 1980, when he decided to devote himself exclusively to literature. His first pieces were published in the literary magazine Panpina Ustela in the early 1970s. Later, he founded the avant-garde literary group Pott with other writers.

His bibliography, comprising novels, narrations, poetry, essays, theatre and children's literature, includes: Etiopia (1978); Poemas & Híbridos (1990); Bi anai (1985); Obabakoak (1988); Behi euskaldun baten memoriak (1991); Gizona bere bakardadean (1993); Zeru horiek (1995); Poesia. Henry Bengoa Inventarium (1996); Alfabeto sobre literatura infantil (2002); Zazpi etxe Frantzian (2009).

Atxaga has contributed to several national and international newspapers and journals. Some of his pieces feature in different anthologies, the most recent being in New European Voices (USA), The Poetry of Recovery. Aftershocks (USA), and Rosso Primo (Italy).

In 2006, he was named a member of Euskaltzaindia, the Royal Academy of the Basque Language.

Bernardo Atxaga is the most translated Basque-language writer: for instance, his book Obabakoak was translated into 23 languages. Furthermore, Atxaga is, to date, the Basque-language writer recipient of most awards, including the following: Euskadi Award, National Narrative Award, Milepages Prize, Three Crowns Award of the Atlantic Pyrenees, Eusko Ikaskuntza Award, Cesare Pavese Poetry Award, and the Spanish Critics' Award in three occasions (Dos Hermanos, 1985; Obabakoak, 1989; and Días de Nevada, 2014). 

Bernardo Atxaga interviewed by the Financial Times:

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