Afro-Brazilian poet Salgado Maranhão and translator Alexis Levitin visit to UVA

April 4, 2023

We are honored to host Salgado Maranhão, leading Afro-Brazilian poet, and his translator, Prof. Alexis Levitin, on April 4 and 5!

You are invited to: 

Politics and the Plight of the Amazon: A Conversation with Salgado Maranhão​ and Alexis Levitin

      Tuesday 4/4 at 5 pm at the Language Commons (New Cabell Hall 298). Reception with Brazilian food follows. 

Bilingual Poetry Reading by Salgado Maranhão & his English translator Alexis Levitin

      Wednesday 4/5 at 5 pm in Monroe Hall 124. Followed by book sale and signing

We are thankful for the support of the Department of American Studies and the Institute of World Languages for this event.

Salgado Maranhão was born in the impoverished interior of Maranhão, in the northeast of Brazil, where he lived with his mother as an illiterate field worker till the age of fifteen. From these humble beginnings, he has risen to a position as one of the leading poets of his country and probably the leading voice representing the Afro-Brazilian experience. He won the prestigious Prêmio Jabuti in 1999 with his fourth poetry collection, Mural of Winds. In 2011, The Color of the Word won the Brazilian Academy of Letters highest poetry award.  In 2014, the Brazilian PEN Club chose his collection Mapping the Tribe as best book of poetry for the year. In 2015 the Brazilian Writers Union gave him first prize, again for The Color of the Word. In 2016, he was awarded the Jabuti for his book Opera of Nos. This was his second Jabuti, an extremely rare honor. He has published three books since Opera of NosAvessos Avulsos (Sundry Reverses), 2016, A Sagração dos lobos (Consecration of the Wolves), 2017, A Casca Mitica (The Mythic Shell), 2019, and Pedra de Encantaria (Stone of Enchantment), 2021. In addition to seventeen books of poetry, he has written song lyrics and made recordings with some of Brazil’s leading jazz and pop musicians.  His work has appeared in numerous magazines in the USA, including Bitter Oleander, BOMB, Cream City Review, Dirty Goat, Florida Review, Massachusetts Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. On Nov. 13, 2017, Salgado received an honoris causa doctorate for his achievements in poetry from the Federal University of Piaui in Teresina, Brazil. On Nov. 13th, 2022, he received a similar honoris causa degree from the Federal University of Maranhão in Sao Luis, Maranhão. Salgado and his translator, Alexis Levitin, have presented his work bilingually at over one hundred colleges and universities throughout the USA, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago. His five books in print in the USA are: 

Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012) 

Tiger Fur (White Pine Press, 2015) 

Palavora (Dialogos Books, 2019) 

Mapping the Tribe (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2021) 

Consecration of the Wolves (Bitter Oleander Press, 2021) 

Alexis Levitin translates works from Portugal, Brazil, and Ecuador.  His forty-eight books of translation include Clarice Lispector’s Soulstormand Eugenio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words, both from New Directions. In 2010, he edited Brazil: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press). Recent books from Brazil include Astrid Cabral’s Cage and Gazing Through Water and five collections by Salgado Maranhão: Blood of the Sun, Tiger Fur, Palavora, Mapping the Tribe and Consecration of the Wolves. Recent books from Portugal include The Art of Patience and Furrows of Thirst by Eugenio de Andrade, Exemplary Tales by Portugal’s leading woman writer, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, and Cattle of the Lord by Rosa Alice Branco. Recent books from Ecuador include Tobacco Dogs by Ana Minga, Destruction in the Afternoon by Santiago Vizcaíno, and Outrage by Carmen Váscones. He has been the recipient of two NEA Translation Awards and a participant in two NEH summer seminars. He was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in Oporto and Coimbra, Portugal in 1980. He was a Fulbright International Specialist teaching Shakespeare and the Translation of American Women Poets into Spanish at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 2015. IN 2018, he served again as a Fulbright Specialist, teaching Shakespeare, William Blake, and Emily Dickinson, as well as the translation of Contemporary American Women Poets into Portuguese at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. In addition, he has held translation residencies at Banff, Canada, Straelen, Germany (twice), and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.