Maria Brás Ferreira

Portugal

Maria Brás Ferreira (Lisbon, 11/25/1998) has a degree in Portuguese Studies from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences from Nova University of Lisboa. She now attends the homonymous master's degree at the same college. In King’s College London she studied the courses “19th Century Fiction in Brazil and Portugal”, “Modernism: Outside in and Introduction to Film Studies”. Founder, director and editor of the literary magazine Lote, which also features poetry and essays from the autor. In 2019, Maria attended the literary festivals Folio and Correntes d’Escritas while also participating in the film cycle (partnership of Medeia and the Portuguese Psychoanalytic Society) “Mulheres do Avesso”. She was a member of the film club As Gaivotas, and is currently part of the programming department of the CINENOVA film festival. Recently, Maria participated in the colloquium “Encontros Imprevistos” (NOVA, FCT, IELT), with a paper on the Portuguese writer Nuno Bragança. In November 2020, her first book, Hidrogénio — Manual de Desoxidação, was published in the elemeNtário collection from Flan de Tal editions. After representing Portugal in “Alguén que respira!” literary festival as a new poetic voice, Maria is now coordinating the independent editions stand of the MAP Festival, where she coordinated and promoted debate sessions between poets and translators. The second book of the author is schedule for publishing this year.


Hidrogénio condenses, in a fragmented manner, certain themes that cannot be disassociated. Memory, materialised in the photographs displayed throughout the book, “give us back the dead”, making way for a poem like “Sea to Sea”, where childhood and death circle back to each other from God. God, or the systematic remembrance of finitude,  is the opposite place of the poem “I prefer the secluded places, where God won’t wander and from where one can just imagine, infinitely”. The poem, a weapon both mortal and for mortals, that doesn’t exist, like the house, constantly returning, condenses, with the use of images, the parts of a body which, beyond disappearing in the/white room, exist in the feminine: Tearing the virgin,/Requiring virginity./ Two tough times — there can only be three.. There is, undoubtedly, in the poems of Hidrogénio, a critical interest, which does not seize to be raw and voracious in The submissive Little women[that]/talk a lot amongst themselves,/or rather,/to themselves. and that, between more hearts, carry the weight of reminiscence (“What I don’t know: the body,/What I most remember: the voice.”)

“To the reader”, which purposefully interrupts the content flow of the book, defines Hidrogénio as “a book of life”, that “some generous, avid readers, will consider as poetry”. The limits of what Hidrogénio is, which does not serve another purpose aside from deviating us to inquiry, for what it is definitely not, proposing there forth the second part of the book, linear and quotidian. Here, in comparison to those that came before it, the photographs that surge intermittently between the texts not only become clearer in terms of light, as they transport us to the physical and concrete place of the city and of love. Lisbon, Berlin: “from two to be both”.

Patrícia Lino in Concretas como Frutos, Nítidas como Pássaros II: Regina Guimarães, Margarida Vale de Gato, Maria Brás Ferreira. Escamandro: 2020.

 

Tradução de Diogo Albarran.