Nudged out of being a self-confessedly – and cripplingly – shy young teenager thanks to locally-organised poetry contests, the 14-year-old Inguanez first began experimenting with poetry after witnessing – as she somewhat enigmatically claims – an example of “moving collegiality” at a project launch her father was involved in at the time.
Penning down that first poem helped the young Inguanez to make something of a habit out of it, while success at literary contests helped her to break out of the notebooks, and she eventually attracted the attention of veteran poet, playwright and erstwhile literary fixture Mario Azzopardi, who agreed to publish some of her works in the magazine NEO.
This recent boost helped her find further inspiration through local entities Inizjamed and PoeżijaPlus, where she would consolidate her practice amidst kindred spirits. Much to Inguanez’s delight, one of these turned out to be the landmark poet Maria Grech Ganado, who would go on to translate Inguanez’s work into English: a volume subsequently published in 2005 as water, fire, earth and i (Inizjamed & Midsea Books). This would actually be a follow-up volume in an important year for Inguanez, which had by then also seen the release of her debut collection, ftit mara ftit tifla (part woman part child; Klabb Kotba Maltin, 2005), which announced what would become recurring obsessions: childhood, silence, reminiscence, longing and water; themes the poet finds “elementary, fertile, and generous”. Such an eclectic approach is doubtlessly informed by the variety of Inguanez’s academic and professional background. Having graduated with a degree in law, forensics and psychology, Inguanez would go on to form part of the Maltese Language Council since its inception in 2005, becoming a recipient of a writers’ residency at the International Writers Programme, Iowa, in 2007.
Inguanez currently serves as Diversity and Communities Associate within Arts Council Malta, with arts management playing a defining part in her life over the past few years. It is a post which she claims has fed into her poetry in oblique ways, teaching her to buttress her creative gift with a more disciplined and sustainable work ethic.
Biography written by Teodor Reljić
Project co-ordinator: Clare Azzopardi
With the help of: Kirsty Azzopardi, Leanne Ellul and Albert Gatt
Proofreader: Dwayne Ellul