This handsome volume presents the poet Al Berto’s imaginary gallery. Paintings—from Giotto, Fra Angelico and Zurbarán to Kandinsky, Klee and Beuys, together with fourteen contemporary Portuguese artists—mirror each of the twenty-six poems : twenty-six facets of artistic creation seized in its tragic humanity.

AL BERTO, born 11 January 1948 in Coimbra, spent his childhood and adolescence in Sines, in the south of Portugal. He studied painting in Lisbon and during the colonial war went into exile in Brussels, where he studied at the École Nationale d’Architecture et des Arts Visuels. He abandoned painting in 1971 to concentrate on his writing. His collected poems, published under the the title O Medo (Contexto : Lisbon 1987), received the Portuguese Pen-club Poetry Prize. A Segreda Vida das Imagens (the secret life of images) was published in Lisbon in 1991 and has since been translated into French and Spanish.

Al Berto died of cancer in Lisbon in June 1997.

Richard Zimler is a translator and a novelist.

publication supported by Instituto Portugês do livro e das bibliotecas; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Instituto Camões.



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the secret life of images

poet al berto
translator richard zimler (from the Portuguese)
collection finis terrae
format royal 8vo, 235x156mm
extent 64pp
illustrations 24 colour + 2 b+w reproductions
binding sewn|paperback with french|flaps
print|process offset out|of|house
edition n|a
isbn 1-901776-00-x
price €18 stg£12