São Paulo – Natan Barreto, from Bahia, will release the book Bichos – poesias desenhadas (Animals – drawn poetry) this week in Lebanon. The author will take part in an event of Brazilian writers in the Arab country and will launch the book on Friday (15), in the city of Lucy-Sultan Yaacoub, in the Bekka Valley, a place where many Brazilians live.
The book was published in Portuguese and Barreto believes that, due to the large number of Brazilians and people that speak Portuguese in Lebanon, there’s a market for it. The book includes poetry for both the adult and children audiences. “It’s a ludic book, but the poetry are not infantilized,” says the writer, who lives in London, England.
The writer from Bahia wrote poetry on 83 animals. The illustrations were done by children. Students from the 5th year of Middle School of a school in the suburbs of Salvador, Bahia, were invited to draw after listening to the verses. Each child of the class – with 29 students – did 83 drawings and the author selected those more adequate to the poetry. Some students had up to four drawings published and everyone had at least one.
The Model School Eunice Palma was founded by the writer’s mother at the porch of her own house, in 1959, in the district of Periperi. Today, the school, which is private, runs in the same place, but takes up over half of the estate. It’s run by the writer’s sister, Maria Emília, to whom Barreto dedicates the book Bichos. The school is named after its founder: Eunice Palma.
“Bichos is a book not only for children’s audience, neither are its poetry nor its drawings; both talk to those that are human, with grace, understanding and compassion, going beyond the feathers, the fur, the skin, the shell and paws of every animal,” wrote the Brazilian writer Roberto Khatlab in the book’s preface. The author Barreto believes in the success of the book among Lebanon’s readers and says that “the allure of the images opens the pages of the book.”
“The ship of the desert / follows the flow, the edge / not of a river (right course)- / goes crossing the emptiness,” says the poetry of Barreto about the camel, which is published in the book alongside a drawing of the animal in orange. “Bird steps, / alone, in the thread tension, / happens very nice and slow. / To drop is the sky – soft,” wrote the Brazilian writer on the little bird.
The children who did the drawings are Alexsandra Brito, Breno Miranda, Caio Vitor Medrado, Cláudia Pessoa, Camille Ribeiro, Daniel de Sousa, Dimitri de Oliveira, Ester Rodrigues, Felipe Perpétuo, Jenyfer Roberta de Oliveira, João Pedro Lima, João Victor Baraúna, João Vitor Leão, Kamile Vitória Viana, Leonardo Paixão, Lorena Azevedo Soares, Luisa Carvalho, Maria Clara Carvalho, Maria Elionora Santana, Maria Luiza Timotheo, Mariana de Castro, Natália Spinola, Nicolas Caldonho, Raissa de Oliveira, Rafael Lima, Sandro Alex Filho, Thiago Souza, Vinicius Eduardo Santos and Yasmin Vitor Lima.
Currently, Natan Barreto has five books and a translation published. The majority of them is of poetry, but the author also wrote other books, such as the biography of his mother, “Among mango trees: the life of Eunice Palma.” The book “Bichos” is the second of a trilogy, which started with “Motionless Movement.” The later has poetry based on the art of great artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Candido Portinari. Barreto already received many awards for his literary work.
The author lives in London for 25 years already and has lived also in Paris and in Rome. He graduated in Drama Interpretation at UniRio and abroad he graduated as a translator and interpreter at the Institute of Linguistics and as a primary school teacher at the London South Bank University. Initially working as an actor, the inspiration for the poetry came when he used to pose as a living model for art students in Paris.
The writer will be in Lebanon for the 5th Global Meeting of Brazilian Expatriate Writers, which takes place from September 13 to 15. The first two days will be held at USEK main campus, in Kaslik, and the last day will be at the city hall of Lucy-Sultan Yaacoub. Barreto will launch his book in the city of Lucy-Sultan Yaacoub, but will also present it during his participation in the writers meeting on September 14 at USEK.
The writer will take with him to Lebanon copies of Bichos to donate to libraries and to be sold during the launching. The public or bookstores from Brazil and Lebanon can purchase the book via the website of publishing company Kalango (https://www.editorakalango.com.br/) or directly with the author via his website (http://www.natanbarreto.com/).
Barreto already launched the book in Minas Gerais, in Rio de Janeiro and in Bahia in August. In addition to Lebanon, he will launch the book also in London, where he lives. The presentation of the book in Lebanon is part of the actions of the Center for Latin America Studies and Cultures (CECAL), from USEK, where Khatlab is the director.
*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani