Ferreira Gullar

Ferreira GullarFerreira Gullar is the pen name for José Ribamar Ferreira (born in São Luís, Maranhão, Northeast Brazil on September 10, 1930), Brazilian poet, playwright, essayist, art critic, and television writer. In 1959 he formed the “Neo-Concretes” group of poets.

The Neo-Concrete Manifesto of that year by him begins:

“We use the term “neo-concrete” to differentiate ourselves from those committed to non-figurative “geometric” art (neo-plasticism, constructivism, suprematism, the school of Ulm) and particularly the kind of concrete art that is influenced by a dangerously acute rationalism. In the light of their artistic experience, the painters, sculptors, engravers and writers participating in this first Neo-concrete Exhibition came to the conclusion that it was necessary to evaluate the theoretical principles on which concrete art has been founded, none of which offers a rationale for the expressive potential they feel their art contains.”

Living in Chile, in 1975, Ferreira Gullar wrote his best known work, “Poema Sujo” (“Dirty Poem” in English). He was exiled by the Brazilian dictatorial government that lasted from 1964 to 1985. The poem states that the persecution of the exiles was growing, many were being found dead, and, thinking hypothetically of his death, he decided to write his last poem. He spent months writing this poem with more than two thousand verses, which brings forth his memories of his childhood and adolescence in São Luís, Maranhão and the anguishes of being far from his land.

Ferreira Gullar read the poem at Augusto Boal’s house in Buenos Aires, in a meeting organized by Vinicius de Moraes. The reading, recorded on tape, became well known among Brazilian intellectuals, who tried to guarantee Gullar’s return to Brazil in 1977, where he continued writing for newspapers and publishing books. He was considered one of the most influential Brazilians of the XX century by Época magazine. He was awarded the Jabuti Prize for best fiction book in 2007. Gullar keeps a weekly column at Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, publishing it every sunday.

via Ferreira Gullar

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