The controversy arose because the winner of 20,000 euros is not recognized within national or international literary circles, but has 878,000 followers on Twitter and 716,000 more on Instagram.
The Venezuelan Rafael Cabaliere won the III Prize for Poetry awarded by the Spanish publishing house Espasa, but this recognition sparked such a strong controversy on social networks that the contest organizers were forced to publish a video of the young man to show that “it is not a robot“.
In the audiovisual material, the author of the award-winning work entitled ‘Taking flight’ regretted not being able to travel to Spain due to the coronavirus pandemic and said he was “very grateful” for the recognition.
The controversy arises because the 34-year-old poet is not recognized within national or international literary circles, but has 878,000 followers on Twitter and 716,000 more on Instagram, where he eventually publishes his verses.
Cabaliere’s surprising popularity, more than his poetic quality, was the reason why some Internet users speculated that he was actually a robot, a pseudonym or even a publishing invention to win the award with the best financial endowment for a collection of poems in Spain .
“Rafael Cabaliere is not a robot. He exists. We spoke with him this morning to see what was happening”, they explained sources from the Espasa publishing house to the newspaper El Confidencial. However, they said they still don’t know if that’s her real name because “many writers sign with pseudonym“, although they stressed that the real data” will be in the contract. ”
Cabaliere, according to his digital biography, is “a writer, engineer and publicist” and was awarded by the writers Luis Alberto de Cuenca, Ana Porto, Marwan, Alejandro Palomas and Ana Rosa Semprún, who made up the qualifying jury.
“The winner of the award didn’t sound like anything to me. He won by majority. I have no more information about it “, express Basin. Palomas, meanwhile, clarified that the award was not unanimous but “the man exists, yes.”
From the editorial seal they maintain that Cabaliere sent his collection of poems like anyone else and was the winner. In fact, Espasa has previously awarded “viral poets” on social networks such as Ben Clark, Cesar Brandon, Loreto Sesma, Irene X, Defreds, Redry and the Spanish singer-songwriter Nacho Vegas.