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The Poetics of Luso-Brazilian Circulation. Literary Magazines and Poetry Making in a 110 × 110 Square

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Der Wert der literarischen Zirkulation / The Value of Literary Circulation


The following article investigates the literary interactions between Portugal and Brazil from the 1990s up to the present by means of a comprehensive overview of contributions by Portuguese poets to Brazilian literary magazines and vice versa. Having developed steadily over the course of the 2000s, this encounter has intensified considerably in the wake of the emergence of the internet. Social media, in particular, has played a crucial role in promoting intercultural dialogue. The deepening of poetic contacts between the two countries coincides with the authorial democratization of poetry – a process with pronounced repercussions for the poems themselves, both in terms of form and content, in the course of which authorial exclusivity is increasingly challenged and novel audiences and authorial possibilities open up.

O que quer

O que pode esta língua?

Caetano Veloso*

Quando Helena Lanari dizia o ›coqueiro‹

O coqueiro ficava muito mais vegetal

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen**

*Caetano Veloso: Língua, in: id.: Velô, 1982.

** Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen: Poema de Helena Lanari, in: id.: Obra Poética, Lisboa 2015, 567.

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  1. 1.

    To assume a mutual linguistic and literary dependency between Portugal and Brazil could constitute a somewhat naive presumption. As early as the dawn of the 20th century, the first modernist wave in São Paulo was characterized by a strong anti-colonial thrust and the creative appropriation of the Portuguese language, a movement emblematized by Oswald de Andrade’s seminal reading of anthropophagic rituals performed by Brazilian Amerindian communities. Initially framed by European observers as a symbol of indigenous cultural ›backwardness‹, the imaginary of the ›cannibal‹ was instrumentalized since the earliest encounters as a key argument in favor of colonization. Set against this background, Andrade’s rereading proposed to reinvent the image of indigenous culture through the metaphorical repurposing of anthropophagy. Cultural anthropophagy, a notion first presented to the public in 1928 through Andrade’s manifesto, was originally animated by an anti-colonial impetus that not only rejected European cultural and linguistic models, but also recovered, as a performance of resistance, the violence and assimilation pervading the anthropophagic rituals of the Tupinambá. This political and aesthetic position, which was a key factor in the formulation of a decolonial Latin American identity, has influenced Brazilian poetic production to this day. Second, it is not a coincidence that today’s literary rapprochement between both countries coincides with the growth of post-colonial studies on either side of the Atlantic. Third, it should be noted that this debate does not include all the former colonies where Portuguese remains as an official language (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Timor, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Macau).

  2. 2.

    Various authors, in: Colóquio/Letras I (1971); cited from: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian: [accessed 16 July 2021]. All translations, if not marked otherwise, are mine.

  3. 3.

    Fernando Paixão was born in Portugal but has been living in Brazil for more than 59 years now.

  4. 4.

    The created magazine was to be dedicated to »anything outside of time and space – somewhat like the way we live. The real aim of the magazine will be to start choosing what [parts] of us are worthwhile«. João Cabral de Melo Neto, in: Inimigo Rumor 1 (1997), 30.

  5. 5.

    Ítalo Moriconi: Qualquer coisa fora do tempo e do espaço (poesia, literatura. Pedagogia da barbárie), in: Ana Luiza Andrade et al. (eds.): Leituras do Ciclo, Florianópolis 1999, 77.

  6. 6.

    Angélica Freitas, Fabiano Calixto, Marília Garcia, Ricardo Domeneck: Modo de Usar & Co., in: Modo de Usar & Co. (19 Nov. 2007); cited from: [accessed 12 Apr. 2022].

  7. 7.

    The Portuguese magazine Flauta de Luz was launched in the same year. Despite not being exclusively dedicated to poetry or literary criticism, it provides an important platform for Brazilian and Indigenous writers such as Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Ailton Krenak, and Eliane Potiguara. Flauta de Luz was founded in 2013 by Júlio Henriques and has thus far issued seven volumes, the most recent of which was published in 2020.

  8. 8.

    Various authors: Quem somos, in: Caliban (2019); cited from: [accessed 12 Apr. 2022].

  9. 9.

    The list of titles in this section is not comprehensive – it merely constitutes a selection of key authors and publications.

  10. 10.

    In certain circumstances, accounts of this type can raise ethical questions, given that they frequently profit from posting poetic work whilst contributing neither to the financial well-being of the poets themselves, nor to that of the respective publishing houses.

  11. 11.

    See for example Casa de Gigante on Instagram; [accessed 21 July 2021].

  12. 12.

    I have explored this subject in detail in: Patrícia Lino: Augusto de Campos, as farpas virtuais e os cibercéus do futuro, in: Santa Barbara Portuguese Studies 2/8 (2021); cited from: [accessed 16 March 2022].

  13. 13.

    In fact, the impact of the first modernism – and later of concrete poetry – was considerably greater in Brazil than was the influence of Portuguese experimental poetry on Portuguese poets active after 1960. In Brazil, concrete poetry influenced not only isolated one-off projects like Poesia Práxis by Mário Chamie, but also the members of the Neoconcrete and Poema/processo movements, and it continues to inform the intermedial practices of several contemporary poets who were born after the 1980s.

  14. 14.

    See for example Wreading Digits on Instagram; [accessed 21 July 2021]; and Aka Biru on Instagram; [accessed 16 March 2022].

  15. 15.

    Ben Lerner: The Hatred of Poetry, New York 2016, 54.

  16. 16.

    In more general terms, I think of the dual impact that social media has had on Brazilian politics. If, for example, left-wing activism has benefited from online fora, social media has also led to the spread of nationalist and right-wing ideas.

  17. 17.

    Pierre Lévy: Cibercultura, São Paulo 1999 [1997].

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Correspondence to Patrícia Lino .

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© 2023 Der/die Autor(en), exklusiv lizenziert an Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE, ein Teil von Springer Nature

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Lino, P. (2023). The Poetics of Luso-Brazilian Circulation. Literary Magazines and Poetry Making in a 110 × 110 Square. In: Gamper, M., Müller-Tamm, J., Wachter, D., Wrobel, J. (eds) Der Wert der literarischen Zirkulation / The Value of Literary Circulation. Globalisierte Literaturen. Theorie und Geschichte transnationaler Buchkultur / Globalized Literatures. Theory and History of Transnational Book Culture, vol 3. J.B. Metzler, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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