Adelia Prado - Voice Of Brazil

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2016061220160618 (R4)

An immersive portrait of the Brazilian poet, who was only discovered when she was 40.

A rare encounter with one of Brazil's most extraordinary poets. Adélia Prado has shunned the spotlight since her discovery in 1976 - then a 40-year-old mother of five living in the interior state of Minas Gerais. Now aged 80, her sensual, devout, sometimes provocative poetry is read and admired around the world.

For this programme, in the company of her long-time translator and fellow poet Ellen Doré Watson, she invites us into her home to talk about her life and work.

Adélia Prado was discovered by Brazil's foremost modern poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who launched her literary career with the announcement that St Francis was dictating verses to a housewife in the backwaters of the interior state of Minas Gerais. She writes about the transcendent in ordinary life, of how the human experience is both mystical and carnal. She has been called one of the major voices of the Americas, who 'would remind you of Emily Dickinson if she didn't keep reminding you of Walt Whitman'.

With Poetic Licence, Denouement, Seduction, Neighbourhood and Day from The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adélia Prado, published by Wesleyan. Copyright 1990 Adélia Prado and Ellen Doré Watson. The Mystical Rose and Spiritual Exercise from Ex-Voto: Poems of Adélia Prado, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright 2013 Adélia Prado and Ellen Doré Watson. Adélia Prado, The Mystical Rose: Selected Poems, translated by Ellen Doré Watson (Bloodaxe Books, 2014). Used with permission.

Producer: Eve Streeter

A Greenpoint production for BBC Radio 4.