Award ceremony of the 28th Fabiola Gavilán Literary Contest at the Alta Axarquía secondary school in Periana. SUR
Malaga village remembers young poet on 30th anniversary of her death from leukaemia

Malaga village remembers young poet on 30th anniversary of her death from leukaemia

Riogordo town hall is to name a street after Fabiola Gavilán on 15 June and will posthumously name her a 'favourite daughter'

Eugenio Cabezas y Jennie Rhodes


Friday, 7 June 2024, 19:07

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Fabiola Gavilán was a young resident of Riogordo in the Axarquía area east of Malaga province. She was only 19 years old when she died of leukaemia on 19 May 1994. She was in the first year of her nursing degree and a great fan of writing poems and reading literature. Since her death her two older siblings, Juan and Victoria, have made sure that her name and memory live on.

Now the town hall is to name a street after her. Calle Cabo Puente is to be changed to Calle Poetisa Fabiola Gavilán, where the family's home is located. In addition, a plaque will be placed there in her memory, as Fabiola's brother, Juan Gavilán, told SUR.

"For us it is a great source of pride and emotion that on the 30th anniversary of her death, the town hall has unanimously approved this recognition, which has been supported by 16 associations and entities in the area," said Gavilán, who invited residents, friends and family to attend the ceremony which will take place on 15 June at 11.30am. Fabiola will also be posthumously named a 'favourite daughter' of Riogordo later in the year.

"She was a brilliant writer, she loved the poetry of Miguel Hernández, Federico García Lorca and Gustavo Adolfo Becquer", recalled Gavilán, who pointed out that a few years after her death an anthology of her work, entitled Tu Memoria, was published, with 40 of her poems about love and silence. The work is now to be republished according to Juan.

Since 1996 a literary competition has been held at the Alta Axarquía secondary school in Periana, where Fabiola was a student and in 2016 the school library was named after her. Much-loved and remembered by all the residents of Riogordo, Fabiola took part in Riogordo's Passion Play every Easter for 12 years.

Juan, who works in the social services department of Riogordo town hall, said he was "delighted" with the literary competition, which aims to promote values such as solidarity, and with the "involvement" that, after almost 30 years, the teachers and pupils of the Periana secondary school continue to show. "They all know her verses," he pointed out.

Fabiola on a trip to London in the 1990s.
Fabiola on a trip to London in the 1990s. SUR

During her lifetime Fabiola won first prize in the Youth Literary Anthology competition, held in Vélez-Málaga, with the poem Porque No Son Misos (Because they are not mine).

Juan told SUR in English that Fabiola was also an excellent language student and was awarded two grants to study English in London in 1992 and again in 1993. "The grants were awarded to students who had excellent grades," Juan recalled, adding that his sister, "always got top marks". He concluded that she went during the summer holidays and "always came back delighted" with her experience in the city.

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