Artist Catalog

José Carlos Ary dos Santos

Born: December 7 1936
Born in: Lisbon, Portugal

José Carlos Ary dos Santos

José Carlos Ary dos Santos, GCIH or just Ary dos Santos (Lisboa, December 7, 1937 – Lisboa, January 18, 1984) was one of the most relevant names of the Portuguese popular poetry of the 20th century.

Born of a bourgeois family, Ary dos Santos soon developed several skills for poetry. At only 14, the family published some poems, against his will - (he thought the poems were not good enough). In 1954, at the age of 16, Ary saw some of his poems being selected for the Anthology of the Almeida Garrett prize. After that, Ary fell out with his father and left his family home, working on several jobs, like errand boy, bubblegum and machines seller, tutor, docker, clerk and finally publicist. His poetic work continued to develop and in 1963 he published his first book, A Liturgia do Sangue [Liturgy of Blood].

1969 was the year that changed Ary's life, as he liked to say. He became a member of the Portuguese Communist Party and quickly developed his revolutionary vein.

Meanwhile, Ary participated, under a pseudonym, in the RTP Song Contest, writing the lyrics of two songs to be performed by Simone de Oliveira and Fernando Tordo.

During his career, Ary also wrote several revolutionary poems, for political intervention, about the Estado Novo regime's anti-democratic policies, the need for freedom and celebrating the post-revolutionary conquests, which led him to be called the poet of the revolution.

Ary dos Santos died at age 46 from cirrhosis.