Students attending the course PRT252 PORTUGUESE ISLAND CULTURE at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto were asked to work in small groups and “discover” Azoren writers. Given the difficulty of finding translations, I decided to publish their contribution, aware that this is “a work in progress”. These summaries may be able to contribute to a more detailed study of these authors and may inspire others to translate their work in the future.

Manuela Marujo


Shedding Light on Azorean Culture: From the Perspective of Azorean Writers

In the past few decades, the Azorean community has had the opportunity for their “stories” to be heard through the works of unique Azorean writers and poets. These writers have shed light on the struggles of immigration, Azorean identity, and the challenges of living on an archipelago that originates from a volcano. [read more]

Unknown influences on the West Coast brought by Joe Silvey

Growing up in a small town on Vancouver Island I would frequently pass a store that sells fish called “Portuguese Joe’s”. I never thought anything of it as I knew it was a Portuguese family that owned it. It wasn’t until I would learn in the PRT252 course “Portuguese Island Culture” at U f T about Joe Silvey [read more]

Azorean Authors and Their Role in Shaping Our Understanding of the Islands

We have studied multiple literary works by authors of Azorean descent in the course, ranging from short stories through excerpts from novels to poetry. Each of these writers has a unique and passionate voice, and together, their stories converge to form a kaleidoscopic image of Azorean identity. [read more]


Memória: An Anthology of Portuguese Canadian Writers

This anthology is the first of its kind, and, for the moment at least, unique, though its uniqueness, I predict (and hope), will not last long.  Editorially, it is also a canny book, for it offers glimpses and tastes of excellent writing, with no risk of surfeit.  There is just enough here to make one wish for more. [read more]


(Traduções para a Manuela Vaz Marujo)

Voices in the Dublin Sky

There was a woman sitting by the low stone wall in an early autumn afternoon when I visited the ruins of Howth Abbey.

The tourist guide provided by the hotel front desk had informed us that Howth «has long been a favoured dwelling place for writers», but any mention of a literary life in Dublin will always redundant. Anyway, that morning was taken up by a visit to the Writer’s Museum of Dublin and a leisurely walk through the Martello Tower, also known as the James Joyce Tower, with its hiding and stairs seeming to quiver still inexpectation of a possible Napoleonic invasion. [read more]


On the apparent suicide of my grandfather

When I was born my grandfather was swaying calmly by the neck from the branch of an infertile, naked figtree that he as a child had planted. On that day the north wind was throwing the sea onto the land pushing it always always within the tacitly established limits. [read more]


Urzelina 93

They are still ablaze, the eyes
of the fishes under these blood-red waters
in eighteen-hundred-eight
[read more]


“Nas Lajes, um chá imprevisível” / “In Lajes, an unpredictable tea.” In Que Paisagem Apagarás, by Urbano Bettencourt. Ponta Delgada: Publiçor, 2010, pp. 15-23.
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In Lajes, an unpredictable tea,” by Urbano Bettencourt

Translated into English by Katharine F. Baker & Dr. Bobby J. Chamberlain, Pittsburgh, PA.
For Vera Sabino and Semy Braga

When I arrived on Pico for the first time, a low cloud ceiling reduced the island to a very smooth green-gray bar slightly flattened at the ends. In vain I searched for that mountain that photos taken from São Jorge transformed into the perfect profile of a breast – a breast useless at night, as Chateaubriand would write. [read more]


Interview with Vamberto Freitas: Contemporary Azorean and Luso-American Writing,
by Oona Patrick

Festivals have provided an important arena for debates in anthropology and the social sciences. A focus of these debates has been the characterisation of the links between festivals, social groups and collective identities. While revisiting these debates, this paper argues for a performative view of festivals as instances of group making, remaking and unmaking. Based on Holy Ghost festas in the Azores and among Azorean migrants in North America it shows how festivals can be viewed as contentious sites for the production of new transnational and ethnic socialities and identities. The paper highlights the importance of this view of festivals for a critical assessment of current efforts aimed at the ‘heritagisation’ of festive cultures.
[read more]