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Karla Duarte Wins VON’s First Writing Contest

By Arianna McKinney

During the month of February, VON accepted entries to our first writing contest with famous writer Clive Matson as judge. We are pleased to present the winning poem by Karla Duarte of Nicoya.

“I didn’t expect to win; I felt satisfied with just the fact that a writer would read my work,” Duarte expressed, “and truly I feel honored with the positive view he gave me of my poems, as well as knowing that they will be published in the newspaper that I admire so much for the tenacity and the focus it has, principally environmental, makes me very happy.”

Matson described her poetry as “a resonant lyric, beautifully written, reminiscent of the early Pablo Neruda, with a dash of deeply felt surrealism."
Matson said that all of the pieces submitted to the competition were excellent, representing a variety of totally different genres including poetry, narratives, short stories and satire.

Honorable mentions go to Howard Kramer for his story “Sunday, Futbol Sunday,” to Peter Wright for “Private Eye” and to Luis Fernando Barrantes Cortés for “Conversación con un Auténtico Narrador” (Conversation with an Authentic Narrator).

Matson, who leads an annual writing workshop in Nosara, lives in Oakland, California and has authored several books and collections of poetry, including “Let the Crazy Child Write!” a guide to unleashing the creative unconscious while writing. He began teaching creative writing in 1978, earned an MFA (master’s degree in fine arts) in poetry from Colombia University and has taught more than 3,000 writing seminars.

As our winner, Duarte will enjoy a free night’s stay at the luxury hotel L’acqua Viva.

How Karla Learned the Power of Writing
Karla describes herself as a very quiet person from a rural zone with little knowledge of writing but when she was a little girl in school, she found that she could express herself better in writing, and when a teacher took seriously a letter of complaint that she wrote, she tasted the power of the written word. 
A couple of years ago, going through the most important loss of her life, everything seemed slow and painful and mentally couldn’t channel anything.
Then someone told her to write, so she started writing poems. She said she threw those first poems away, but later started writing again and noticed that something had changed: “It was that I wrote, and not the pain nor the fear, but rather I was stronger than this and I could be what I wanted and reach wherever I wanted just by dreaming it, by wanting it.”


Poetry and epic poetry
By Karla Duarte

the softness of a quill and
the sharpness of a master dagger
intoning songs of times
during the nights
of breeze and moon,
of nostalgia and
lace in semidarkness
You choose the flock
of birds
that will sleep
this night
at your side. 
You choose the sunrises
that kiss
the morning
to throw away
your regrets
in the dawn
that will not return. 
of yellow solaces
that splash
with the raindrops
that fall to the sea
and are diluted
like desert sands
in an eternal clock
without hours. 

In the eternal hours
of a dead clock,
I hear your voice
through silver crystals. 
The gateways whisper
behind those myrtles. 
I think,
I don’t hear myself. 
I speak,
I don’t remember the words. 
Dust bathes
the cat asleep
in the empty corridor,
by a shadow like me
that slips away
through the threshold
of an improvised window.


Karla attributed her writing’s development to assistance from the people at meetings of the Literary Center of Guanacaste, as well as from the people that she has contact with every day, children, youth and older ones. “Everything is born like the clouds are born in the heavens, like the cry of a child that is born, it’s like that; it just is” Karla described writing. “You should be transformed into this. You should be the wind that caresses the cheek of your beloved; you should be the tear of the pain of loneliness of an elderly one.”

Duarte recognized that there are many good writers in Guanacaste. “Thanks to Voice of Nosara for the opportunity and my respect to all who participated in the writing contest. Continue forward,” she encouraged.


More Entertainment News

Wave of Classical Music Flooded Nosara

Organizers called it, ‘the concert,’ because Nosara had never seen a performance like it before. On April 28 the 25th of July Symphony performed in Nosara at the Catholic Church to a packed audience. The music spilled off the alter, over the crowd, and out onto Nosara’s streets.

Fiestas Garza

A crowd of several hundred people gathered in Garza Saturday April 21, for the second day of the towns first fiesta.

La Banana Bar Shuts Its Doors

This Saturday April 21, La Banana Bar will be closing and will mark the end of a dance era for Nosara. Paul DaCosta, ‘DJ Paul,’ who is a regular feature at the club and has lived below it for the last few years, will be providing the music for the final night.

Pato Banton Lit Up the “Tropi”!

At the height of Easter Weekend with Nosara more packed than ever with national tourists, the evening of Saturday, April 7th, the local discoteque, the Tropicana, surprised everyone with the presence of international reggae artist and performer Pato Banton

Yoga Spa hosts musical experience

An audio-visual journey took place at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa at their outdoor studio perched on the side of a mountain overlooking Nosara, on April 4. The experience featured guitarists, Bill McPherson, Chris Scott and Edger Sequeira as well as visuals by Ray Moss.

The Healing Power of Sound: Removing Energy Blocks

It was difficult not to be deeply moved by the spiritual and harmonious sounds emanating from Deva Premal, Miten and Manose on Thursday March 29. The world renowned trio shared their music and voices with the community in the incredibly spacious and expansive yoga studio on the top floor of Blue Spirit Retreat Center in Nosara.

Symphonic Sounds in Nosara

Music will be reverberating through the streets of Nosara next month when the Nicoya symphony comes to town. A free performance has been organized by the community service committee of Del Mar Academy to bring cultural events to Nosara.

Famous Bull “Malacrianza” Will Perform for Garza’s Fiestas

At the height of summer, fiestas will begin in Garza beach beginning Friday, the 20th, until Monday, the 23rd of April. And this time there will be a pageant! On Saturday, the April 7th, the presentation of candidates will take place in Barco del amor (the love boat) in Garza at 7 p.m., during which music and food can be enjoyed. 

Samara to Host Reggae Star Richie Spice

Jamaican reggae star, Richie Spice will be bringing his brand of uplifting reggae to Tabanuco Bar in Samara on May 6. He will be touring through Costa Rica as part of a larger tour in support of his seventh album, ‘Book of Job.’


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