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Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

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Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (Oporto, November 6 1919 - Lisbon, July 2 2004) was one of the most important Portuguese poets of the 20th century.

She distinguished herself as a storyteller with Os Contos Exemplares (Exemplary Tales) and was the author of several children's books, including A Menina do Mar (The Sea Girl), O Cavaleiro da Dinamarca (The Knight from Denmark), A Floresta (The Forest), O Rapaz de Bronze (The Brass Boy) and A Árvore (The Tree).

"Poetry," she explained, "is my understanding with the universe, my way of relating to things, my participation in reality, my encounter with voices and images. That is why the poem speaks not of an ideal life but of a concrete one: the angle of a window, the resonance of streets, cities and rooms, the shade cast by a wall, a sudden face, the stars’ silence, distance and brightness, the night’s breathing, the scent of the linden and of oregano."

Mello Breyner's Awards

  • In 1964 Grand Prize for Poetry by the Portuguese Writers Society for her book Canto Sexto (The Sixth Chant).
  • In 1977 Teixeira de Pascoaes Prize for her book O Nome das Coisas (The Name of Things).
  • In 1983 Critics' Prize by the International Association of Critics for the full set of her work.
  • In 1989 King Diniz Prize by the Casa de Mateus Foundation for her book Ilhas (Islands).
  • In 1990 Grand Prize for Poetry by both Inasset/Inapa and Pen Club for her book Ilhas (Islands).
  • In 1992 Calouste Gulbenkian's Grand Prize for Literature for Children by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for the full set of her work.
  • In 1994 "Vida Literária" (Literary Life) Prize by the Portuguese Association of Writers.
  • In 1995 Honour Plaque of the Petrarca Prize by the Italian Association of Editors.
  • In 1998 Luís Miguel Nava Foundation Prize for her book O Búzio de Cós e Outros Poemas.
  • In 1999 Camoens Prize (the biggest Prize for Portuguese language literature for the full set of her work.)
  • In 2003 Reina Sofia Prize Iberan-American (the biggest prize for writers of Portugal, Spain and Latin America.)

External links

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