João Cabral de Melo Neto


João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920–1999) was a Brazilian poet and diplomat. After moving to Rio de Janeiro in 1940, he published his first collection of poems, Pedra do Sono. In 1945 he was assigned to his first diplomatic post in Spain, where he continued to write. Most of Cabral’s life was spent as a diplomat, which afforded him the opportunity to travel the world. Through all of his travels, he continued to write poetry, and at the end of his life, he had published more than fifteen collections. He is considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time. Cabral’s body of work includes O Engenheiro (1945), O Cão sem Plumas (1950), A Educação pela Pedra (1966; Eng. Education by Stone, 2005), and Sevilha Andando (1990). His most famous work, “Morte e Vida Severina,” was translated into English in part by 1976 Neustadt laureate Elizabeth Bishop and reprinted in Selected Poetry, 1937–1990 (1994), ed. Djelal Kadir. In addition to the Neustadt Prize, Cabral was honored with the 1990 Camões Prize.


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