This is a selection of Antônio Moura's previously published books and the first in English/Portuguese. It has the clarity and urgency of a black and white woodcut. A playful collusion of experimental and traditional poetic styles, this collection has both a powerful mythic reach and a bizarre neo-Baroque flavour. Life appears as uncanny, mysterious, something to be faced by the individual. There is a tension between spiritual insight and the sordid realities of life, between the world of today and that of previous eras, between the wider picture and the intensely personal.
Moura's is a distinctive and compelling voice and this selection from three of his highly-acclaimed collections is striking evidence of the enduring power of poetry in early twenty-first century Brazil.
Writing in an idiom whose diction, attitude and philosophy of life is both moving and challenging, Moura has a facility of 'speaking directly' to his reader; in these brief and concentrated poems, he throws an intensely focused light on images and ideas that are immediate and powerfully suggestive. He invites us to stop and dwell on suspended scenes, minute details, revelatory instants - exquisite still-lives - and to contemplate both the material world and the human condition.
This is the first full-length book by a living Brazilian poet to be published in the UK, and Stefan Tobler's sensitive and accomplished translation does justice to the poetry of one of Brazil's leading literary figures.
Moura's rhythms and his questioning of contemporary assumptions about poetry and our lives make this a powerful and distinctive - and one might say a very 'Brazilian' - book.
Listen to Antonio read Manchas
ISBN 978-1906570-67-5 (pbk)
Published October 2012