And the fruits gleamed in that light

“Of the voice of things – by Fiama Hasse Pais Brandao Only the wind’s blast gives lyrical sound to the windmill’s blades. Only the things touched by the love of other things have a voice.” (translated by Juliana Brina) “Song of Genesis – by Fiama Hasse Pais Brandao In the beginning there was light, then…

Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão

Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão (15 August 1938 – 19 January 2007) was a Portuguese writer. She studied in the University of Lisbon, and worked as a theatre critic and translator. Poems Of the voice of things (tr. Juliana Brina) Song of Genesis (tr. Juliana Brina) Books Poetry Morfismos (1961) Barcas Novas (1967) Novas visões do passado…

if this signal flashes out so feebly in the dark

“Woman overboard – by Margarida Vale de Gato MAYDAY I call, because the war goes on; and empty is the vessel in which I left – it slacks at the bottom where the sway is piercing, sucking the leaking slit, a lack – no a cork jar drifting; I explain: it’s terracotta and fracture, and…

Margarida Vale de Gato

Margarida Vale de Gato (1973) is a Portuguese poet and literary translator. She has a PhD in North American Literature and Culture, and teaches American Studies and Literary Translation at the University of Lisbon. Poems Woman overboard (translated by Juliana Brina) Books Mulher ao mar (2010) Desligar e Voltar a Ligar (play, together with Rui Costa,2010) Mulher…

For this book is the talking voice that runs on,

Dear Stevie, Once I entered your Novel on Yellow Paper (1936), I immediately noticed three things: that I was being held captive; that I was complicit in my captivity; and that the thing that held me inside was neither plot nor character, but something less tangible. I had fallen in love with a voice. Yours,…

Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith (born Florence Margaret Smith, 20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971) was an English writer. She adopted the nickname “Stevie” when she was young.  She was riding in the park with a friend, and he said that she reminded him of the jockey Steve Donoghue. Her father abandoned the family when she was a…

Absent Place — an April Day —

[a weekly compilation of random things] [Spring slowly breaking through the heavy blanket of cold – birds back – the first greens sprouting on the branches – dandelions spreading over in the sidewalks’ cracks – and cherry trees raving wild with blossom. Easter has welcomed us quietly – during the night – with a thin layer…

The taste of the fog was at the back of their throats

Dear Elizabeth, Do you know this feeling we have when we quite unexpectedly understand why a particular book is a classic? When we understand what it means; when we suddenly get to know what it feels like. Have you ever felt it? When a book draws from a tradition it so thoroughly understands that it…

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles; 3 July 1912 – 19 November 1975) was a British writer. She attended The Abbey School in Reading. She then worked as a governess, tutor, and librarian. She was a friend of the writer Ivy Compton-Burnett, of the novelist and critic Robert Liddell, and of the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard. Elizabeth Taylor died of cancer. Books Novels At…

I dig into the heart a well of salt

“I dig into the heart a well of salt, so as to give drink to the traveler I was. I let the wind drag with it the endless caravan of illusions. And I say: let everything drown into the fat of the mornings, let everything hush up… And let a tongue of fire strike the…

Al Berto

Al Berto (Alberto Raposo Pidwell Tavares, January 11, 1948 – June 13, 1997) was a Portuguese poet. Born in Coimbra, he moved to Brussels in 1967, where he studied painting at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Visuels.  In1975, he returned to Portugal, and opened a bookstore and a publishing house. In 1988, he received…

Home is a place in the mind

Dear Maeve, If your novella The Visitor (2000, originally written in the 1940’s) had a face, it would be one of a trapped animal, diverted from its burrow, silently showing its teeth to its predator. A strange and moveable mask that would convey a mixture of fear, loneliness, and ferocious anger. The story opens with…