As I’ve smoothed back into U.S. life over the last few months, many people have asked me which “new” Brazilian poets I’d recommend reading. I love to introduce readers to poets such as Angélica Freitas, whose Rilke Shake I’m translating, Marília Garcia and Ricardo Aleixo, both of whom I’ve written about in these commentaries, among others. And I love to discover new poets to read. Luckily, just the other week, the books editor of the Porto Alegre newspaper Zero Hora selected ten poets in their 20s and 30s “destined to keep poetic creation alive in the Brazilian literary universe” (“Jovens poetas: Uma aposta contra o tempo” by Carlos André Moreira, Zero Hora, Cultura section, p4-5, 2 June 2012). A good half of them have at least a few poems translated into English.
Dear Readers, by a happy coincidence, today (January 11) is the inaugural post of Brazilian poetry and poetics, and the birthday of Oswald de Andrade, one of the founding poets of Brazilian modernism. "Tupi, or not Tupi that is the question," Oswald famously asked (in English) in the Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto, 1928), which adopted cannibalism (and the figure of the indigenous Brazilian cannibal) as a metaphor for a new Brazilian art that would devour and assimiliate European culture and the European vanguards along with local nature and culture to produce a native national art free of its colonial past. Oswald's writing has touched every Brazilian poetic vanguard since.