Lit Lang Library
Lit Lang Library
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CENTER FOR TRANSLATION STUDIES -- Blood of the Sun: Reading and Conversation with Salgado Maranhao and Alexis Levitin
Salgado Maranhao is one of Brazil's leading contemporary poets. His collected poems, "The Color of the Word," won Brazil's highest award, the Premio de Poesia da Academia Brasileira de Letras, for the year 2011. An earlier collection, "Mural of Winds," won the prestigious Premio Jabuti in 1999. In addition to eight books of poetry, including "The Snake's Fists," "The Kiss of the Beast," and the recent "Tiger's Fur," he has written song lyrics and made recordings with some of Brazil's leading jazz and pop musicians. Salgado's white father was descended from a wealthy family whose plantations in the past had been worked by slaves. His mother was an intelligent, determined black field laborer who sang to him from a folk tradition tracing back to the lyric poetry of the troubadors. As he says, "The Mansion" and "The Shanty" flow together in his veins. One of Brazil's leading critics, Antonio Carlos Secchin, had this to say about "Sol Sanguine" ("Blood of the Sun"): "With a deeply-rooted personal diction, Salgado Maranhao, in "Blood of the Sun," has reached the high point of his work (so far), in this cohesive collection of poems in which a speculative intelligence and a celebration of the corporality of the world are expressed with great metaphoric vigor." Alexis Levitin's translations have appeared in more than two hundred and fifty literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Grand Street, New England Review, Partisan Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, Northwest Review, and Two-Lines. He has published thirty-one books of translations, including Clarice Lispector's "Soulstorm" and Eugenio de Andrade's "Forbidden Words." He recently co-translated "Tapestry of the Sun: An Anthology of Ecuadorian Poetry" (Coimbra Editions, 2009). He is also the editor of Brazil: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press, 2010). His most recent book is ""Salgado Maranhao's 'Blood of the Sun'" (Milkweed Editions, 2012). He has been awarded two NEA translation fellowships and two Fulbright Lectureships, as well as residencies at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, The European Translators Collegium in Germany, and The Rockefeller Foundation retreat at Bellagio, Italy. He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor at Pittsburgh State.