The U.S. Chapter of “Women of Letters” (Mulherio das Letras), an all-women literary collective, launched a bilingual collection of poetry, Raízes: Brazilian Women Poets in Translation.
Published by Venas Abiertas, and edited by UGA department of Romance Languages faculty members Cecília Paiva Ximenes Rodrigues and Cris Lira, Raízes brings together poems by forty-seven Brazilian writers of different identities and reveals the power of a new literature built from plural experiences and perspectives. The book was conceived and edited by Rodrigues and Lira, in collaboration with Angela Rodriguez Mooney of Tuskegee University, Lígia Bezerra of Arizona State University, and Luana Reis of the University of Pittsburgh.
“It is our goal, as editors of this book, to spread the word about the work being done by Mulherio das Letrasnot only in Brazil but around the world,” said Rodrigues, associate professor of Portuguese and curriculum coordinator of the Portuguese Flagship Program. “We hope that this first volume of poems works as a valuable resource for teachers, professors, and students of Portuguese in the U.S. and other countries.”
In addition to contributing to the democratization of literary work, the collection promotes new bilingual publications by Portuguese-speaking writers published by independent non-mainstream publishers as this is one of the reasons preventing them from being known outside the scope of the Portuguese language. The desire for a more democratic literature resonated among the vibrant and committed Lusophone community spread across different geographies. During the height of the pandemic in 2020-2021, the collective carried out voluntary translations and revisions of the texts gathered in the book.
“We hope that this book will serve as an example of a diverse and inclusive publication, taking into consideration that throughout the process, from the call for submission to the final selection of poems, we insisted that there be a balance between all identities represented in the application process,” Lira said.
Raízes: Brazilian Women Poets in Translation was made possible by the generous support of a National Resource Center (NRC) Title VI Grant from the United States Department of Education, the UGA Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, and is available as free download.