A Basque in Boise

The “Bertsopaper” competition conmemorates Pello Mari Otaño

A couple of weeks ago, the Boise Basque Center secretary asked me to translate an email she had received in Basque regarding a “bertsopaper” contest organized by the Hernandorena Culture Association in honor of Pello Mari Otaño, a famous bertsolari from Zizurkil, Gipuzkoa. He is a very well-know figure in Argentina, where he died in 1910 of a heart attack in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe. I meant to write about it then, but luckily I waited and now the Etxepare Institute has the news already written in English.


First bertsopaper competition Pello Mari Otaño

The Hernandorena Culture Association has organised the first “bertsopaper” competition, in order to keep the memory of Pello Mari Otaño.

Pedro Mari Otaño Bertsopaper contest

The competition is not going to be focussed exclusively to the Basque Country. Taking into account that Otaño left his mark in America, the Association has created another section for the Basques who are at the diaspora. Otaño lived for many years in Argentina. Since then, it has been kept the relationship between the “Euskal Etxeak” of Zizurkil and Argentina. Nowadays, they are working with the Etxepare Basque Institute, in order to open a Pello Mari Otaño Chair at the La Plata University. Therefore, this competition’s aim is to strengthen these relationships. The call for the participation is available at the Basque Centers (601 Grove Street, in Boise).

The contest is divided in three categories:

1. Young people up to 18 years of age (born after 1995)
2. Basques in the Diaspora: Basques that were born and who live outside of the Basque Country
3. Adults: Born in 1995 or before

Each participant may present as many works as they want, nonetheless, in the young category, there is a minimum of 6 verses and a maximum of 10. In the adult category, there is a minimum of 8 verses and a maximum of 12. The deadline to participate will be the 10th of April, and the 4th of May the names of the winners will be published, who will have the opportunity to sing their own verses.

The verses must be original and unpublished. Entries will be identified by a never before used pseudonym inside the verse. If you are mailing your entry by regular post, the verses and identifying pseudonym must be noted on the first envelope. A second envelope will include the author’s details: pseudonym, real name, address and phone number. Finally, both envelopes need to be put inside a third one that will be mailed to the specified address. If you are emailing your entry, you will need to include two attachments in your message: the verses with the pseudonym in one, and the rest of the information in the other.

By email: pedromariotano@zizurkil.net

By regular post:
Hernandorena Kultur Elkartea
(Pello Mari Otaño bertsopaper lehiaketa/verse contest)
Iriarte etxea – Pello Mari Otaño plaza, 1
20159 – Zizurkil.

1500 euros will be distributed in prizes: in the young category, the winner will win 250 euros and the runner-up 100. In the adult category, the winner will receive 500 euros and the runner-up 250.

You can check the announcement in both Basque and Spanish. Or if you would like additional information, you can call +34 65 674 3741.

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