JOAN BROSSA (19 January 1919 – 30 December 1998) was a Catalan poet, playwright, graphic designer and visual artist. He wrote only in the Catalan language. He was one of the founders of both the group and the publication known as ‘Dau al Set’ and one of the leading early proponents of visual poetry in Catalan literature.
Although he was in the vanguard of the post-war poets, He also wrote hundreds of formally perfect sonnets, sapphic odes and sestinas as well as thousands of free and direct poems. His creative work embraced every aspect of the arts: cinema, theatre (more than 360 pieces), music, cabaret, the para-theatrical arts, magic and the circus. For him, the expression had priority over content, and he managed to give his poetry the appearance of plays on words. His lyrical work is connected with the theatre while the totality of his literature (more than 80 books, all written in the Catalan language) is impregnated with the theatrical dimension as he always employed a broad and interdisciplinary vision of culture, the arts in general and the performance arts in particular. This vision was expressed in his literary and visual works which often appeared as satirical, cutting, ironic and critical, or on other occasions, irreverent yet playful. In the latter years of his creative life, he received a number of awards such as the National Prize for the Visual Arts (1992), the National Theatre Prize (1998) and the UNESCO Picasso Medal. He has been posthumously awarded doctorate honoris causa from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (1999). He was a member and then Honorary Member of the Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers). His visual poetry, obviously placed beyond all linguistic borders, is recognized as a reference the world over.