News

Brazilian poet Adelia Prado to read at Regis on Nov. 19

November 12, 2013

WESTON, MA. Brazilian Poet Adélia Prado, a major poet of the Americas, and her translator, Ellen Dore Watson, will read from Prado’s newest poems entitled Ex-Voto, on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center at Regis College. The reading, sponsored by “Regis Writers Read,” is free and open to the public.

As described by her publisher, Tupelo Press, Adélia Prado has authored eight volumes of poetry and seven volumes of literary prose in Portuguese. Ellen Dore Watson, who is poetry and translation editor for The Massachusetts Review and director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, discovered Prado through a seven-line poem while travelling in Brazil in 1980 and made a pilgrimage to her door hungry for poems and eager to discuss the problems and the mysteries of translation.

Ex-Voto is the second collection of Prado’s poetry translated by Ellen Doré Watson. Their previous collaborative volume, The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), was abundantly praised by poets James Tate and Carolyn Forché, with Tate commenting on the “convulsive” life Prado captures since she can rocket “from a dark corner of despair” to “pure joy in one line,” and Forché noting that “In Watson’s hands, Prado’s work arrives in English as if it had never left Portuguese.” Prado is known for conveying both a religious intimacy and a sharply acknowledged awareness of the feelings of the body.

“The ball thumping against the wall annoys me, but the kids laugh, contented,” Prado observes in “Dysrhythmia” in The Alphabet in the Park, and then her observation breaks open on an interior reflection to conclude the poem:

I’ve seen hundreds of afternoons like today.
No agony, just an anxious impatience:
Something is going to happen.
Destiny doesn’t exist.
It’s God we need, and fast.

The first in her family of laborers to see the ocean or go to college, Prado has lived all her life in the provincial industrial city of Divinópolis, in Minas Gerais. She has degrees in philosophy and religious education from the University of Divinópolis, and she worked for many years as a teacher.

News