Poetry. Translated by Alexis Levitin. "After experiencing this territory of the sacred wolf in the poetry of Maranhão, we will inevitably understand in a new way the notion of Aristotle that the human being is a 'political animal.' Agreeing with the survival of the animal/barbaric side of humanity, at the same time that he insists on the complexity, multiplicity, and fierce beauty of this animal side, the question which Maranhão poses in his poetry is the following: in our social and political life today, which wolf will we feed? Whence will we give our power, our political and creative energy? The poet—migrant creator, friend of barbarians, animals, and foreigners—continues to dream the answers in this, his journey between pregnant silence and a transformed language."—Jack A. Draper III
Salgado Maranhão was born in the tiny village of Canabrava dos Moças, in the municipality of Caxias in the interior of Maranhão. His mother was a "camponesa," a sharecropper. His father was a wealthy land owner. His mother insisted on raising him alone, though the father (and his established family) wanted to raise this only male child themselves. He worked the fields till 15, in a region with no hospital, no school, no church, no police, no judge, no social mediation whatsoever. He was illiterate, like everyone else in his village. At 15 he moved to Teresina and learned to read and write, spending much time at the local library, where he discovered Camoes, Pessoa, Walt Whitman, Dostoevsky, Mayakovski, and the whole world of western literature. He had always loved hearing the repentistas, who came through on their northeastern peregrinations, singing or reciting their highly rhymed, highly rhythmic verse. After four years in Teresina, he was able to combine the rhythms of his infancy with the literary poetics he had learned at the library and so he went off to Rio to be a poet. In addition to his 14 books of poetry, he has written lyrics for over 500 popular songs, of which at least fifty have been recorded, including Caminhos do Sol, which became the theme song for a famous telenovela. Winner of all of Brazil's major poetry awards, Maranhão has toured the United States five times, presenting his work at over one hundred universities. Four collections of his work have appeared in English: Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Tiger Fur (White Pine Press, 2015), PALÁVORA (Dialogos Books, 2019), Mapping the Tribe (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020) and CONSECRATION OF THE WOLVES (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2021). Salgado was awarded an honoris causa doctorate for his cultural contributions by the Federal University of Piaui in 2017.
Author City: RIO DE JANEIRO BRA
Alexis Levitin has published forty-six books in translation, mostly poetry from Portugal, Brazil, and Ecuador. In addition to four books by Salgado Maranhão including CONSECRATION OF THE WOLVES (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2021) and PALÁVORA (Dialogos Books, 2019), his work includes Clarice Lispector's Soulstorm and Eugénio de Andrade's Forbidden Words, both from New Directions. He is a recipient of two NEA translation fellowships and has served as a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universities of Oporto and Coimbra, Portugal, The Catholic University in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in Brazil. In addition, he has held translation residencies at the Banff Center, Canada, The European Translators Collegium in Straelen, Germany (twice), and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.
Author City: USA