According to linguist Joan Corominas, the Spanish term duende originated as a contraction of the phrase dueño de casa (or duen de casa). Dueño means owner/possessor. So duendes are mischievous possessors; tener duende is to have spirit.
In “Juego y Teoría Del Duende,” Federico García Lorca writes: “Así, pues, el duende es un poder y no un obrar, es un luchar y no un pensar. Yo he oido decir a un viejo maestro guitarrista: El duende no está en la garganta; el duende sube por dentro desde la planta de los pies. Es decir, no es cuestión de facultad, sino de verdadero estilo vivo; es decir, de sangre; es decir, de viejísima cultura, de creación en acto.”
Susana Lezra translates this as: “And so, duende is a power not an act, a fight not a thought. I heard an old guitar master say: duende does not dwell in the throat; duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet. This is to say, it is not a matter of faculty, but of live true style, of blood; that is, of ancient culture, of creating in action.”
Our word limit for this contest is strict; we want your duende in 650 words or less.
Please send us unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in either English or Spanish in a PDF file. We are looking for work with heart-stopping images, rhythms, textures; you can submit up to three separate pieces.
Finalists will be determined by a team of six editors ranging in age, background, and experience.
Click here to submit your work for consideration.
Winner gets $100.00.
Runner-up gets $50.00.
Honorable mention gets $25.00.
All submissions are considered for standard publication.
This contest will close on December 1st. Our “Duende” issue will be published on the first day of 2020.
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