Artist Catalog

João Cabral de Melo Neto

Born: January 9 1920
Born in: Recife
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João Cabral de Melo Neto

João Cabral de Melo Neto(Portuguese pronunciation: ['ʒwɐ̃w ka'bɾaw dʒi 'mɛlu 'nɛtu]), (January 9, 1920 – October 9, 1999) was a Brazilian poet and diplomat, and one of the most influential writers in late Brazilian modernism. He was awarded the 1990 Camões Prize and the 1992 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the only Brazilian poet to receive such award to date. He was considered until his death a perennial competitor for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Melo Neto's works are characterized by a staunch formal righteousness that was present in several layers of his poems, something that distinguishes his oeuvre from that of any other Brazilian poet. His style ranges from the surrealist tendency that marked his early poetry to the use of regional elements of his native northeastern Brazil, including the traditional form of the cordel. In Morte e Vida Severina, the only of his works that have come to be widely read by the general public, both these later aspets are found through Melo Neto's addressing the culture and the harshness of life in arid Pernambuco.
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