Born in the south of Spain, in Extremadura, but from Pontevedra and Galician by adoption, María Victoria Moreno is honoured this year on the Galician Literature Day. She lived for about 40 years in Pontevedra, where she was the teacher of several generations of students at the high school for girls Instituto Femenino (today the high school IES Valle-Inclán). Years later, she also taught at the high school IES Torrente Ballester, also in Pontevedra, which now has about 4,000 volumes donated by the writer from her personal library. She inculcated in all students her deep love for the Galician language and literature. This year, Pontevedra will be the centre of the events organized around this writer on the Galician Literature Day.
The author of the book Anagnórise was born in the town of Cáceres, near Portugal, and studied in Barcelona and Madrid. In 1963, she moved with her husband, José Luís Llacer, to Pontevedra, a town that would leave a deep mark on her. In fact, one of the main streets of the city, in the district of Campolongo, where she lived most of her life, has just been named after her. Previously, in 2006, the Town Council of Pontevedra, as a tribute to her, placed a commemorative plaque on the bridge of Avenida de Vigo with her famous words: “Persons are created to achieve the most beautiful projects”.
When she moved to Pontevedra with his husband, who was blind and had just been hired by the ONCE (National Organization of Spanish Blind People), she would fell deeply in love with this town and Galicia. Although the writer, one of the pioneers of literature for children in Galician, also worked as a teacher in the town of Lugo and in the parish of Vilalonga, in the town of Sanxenxo, she established her permanent residence in Pontevedra. There, she was also co-owner, with eight associates, of the bookshop Xuntanza, where works by Castelao and Miguel Hernández, issued outside Spain and censored during Franco’s dictatorship, were sold.
A passion for the Galician language and literature
María Victoria Moreno was a teacher of Spanish literature at the Instituto Femenino, but every Friday afternoon she also taught her students about the works of Galician writers, at a time in which the Galician language was not a school subject. She also gave lessons on Galician language in courses organised by the association Amigos da Cultura, in Pontevedra, and in Vilagarcía de Arousa.
During her last years of life, and after her death in 2005, several members of the cultural and education sector of the town honoured María Victoria Moreno on several occasions, evidencing that the affection she had for Pontevedra was mutual. The love affair continues today and, this year, the town of Pontevedra will be the capital of the Galician Literature.