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Official Selection

Ana Luísa Amaral - Poet, Writer, University Professor and Translator

Ana Luísa Amaral

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Ana Luísa Amaral was born in 1956, where 90% of the people of Lisbon were born (at Maternidade Alfredo da Costa). At the age of nine, she moved, on someone else’s will, from Sintra to the lands of the North (Leça da Palmeira), having personally suffered from the stupidity of the North/South division. As she was very skinny, she was in minority, and, having a pronounced accent from the capital, she was repeatedly tossed into the air by older classmates at school. Fortunately, she was always caught in time, and ended up befriending some of the girls. Reading that made an impact on her: Zorro (of which she was a subscriber since the age of six and of which she still has every issue); Oito Primos; the complete collection of Os Cinco (The Famous Five) -- she never liked Os Sete (The Secret Seven); Ivanhoe; David Crockett; The Tales of the Alhambra. Because there were none of today’s anthologies of poetry designed for children, nor did her parents have poetry books at home (those that poets usually say they read omnivorously during childhood), her main influences came from various Secondary School literary selections. Poem memorized at the age of six and recited at school in Sintra: O Passeio de Santo António (Saint Anthony’s Walk).

She attended the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto, having graduated in Germanics. She must have liked the faculty so much that she stayed there, as a teacher, up until six years ago when she left having lost patience for the bureaucracy, among other things. But, at the time, out of need for her career, she was obliged to pursue a PhD. And she did, on Emily Dickinson, whose poems fascinate her as much as Zorro had.

Along the way, she published books of poetry, books on theatre, novels, children's stories and translated Dickinson, Shakespeare and others; some canonical, others, not as such. She won awards, travelled - a lot - and now she hopes to resume those trips a little more. She has a wonderful daughter named Rita.

She still lives in Leça da Palmeira with a cat named Kitty and a poetic dog named Milly Dickinson, happy successor to the magnificent, attractive and longing Lili (Marlene).”

Poet, writer, university professor and translator, Ana Luísa Amaral has received multiple awards throughout her career, the most recent being the Vergílio Ferreira Prize, from the University of Évora; the Spanish literary award Leteo, from the Council for Action and Cultural Promotion of Léon, and the Reina Sofia Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.
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