Marcia Theophilo's Biography

 

Márcia Theóphilo was born in Fortaleza, Brazil.

She studied in Brazil and in Italy where she graduated in Anthropology.

The Amazonian forest is the topic of Marcia's life and work: its river, people, myths, the animal and vegetal beings, the effort and persistence, to save its natural and cultural heritage.

Her father and paternal grandmother, who lived in Acre, in the Amazonia, influenced her childhood. It was from them that she first heard the magical storytelling on the myths of the forest, the great visions of the river, the voices of the wind, the metamorphosis of the moon, stories that turned Márcia into the rich polyphony of nature sounds, textures, motions and colors that is the Amazon. Through her father and grandmother's lively narrations, she learned respect and love for its culture. She began to understand a deeper meaning between the relationship of people and forest. It was then that she became interested in the theme of Amazonia and its Indian culture. She wanted to comprehend more profoundly why humanity-so pure in its origins-was being threatened by contemporary society. In her work, she searched for a blend between emotions and cultural memory, between poetry and documentation, between the archaic and the contemporary worlds.
She once said in an interview: "I believe that without poetry one cannot reach the forest's soul. Anthropology is a subject, which ends up giving privileges to objects and to the material culture. I took a more illuminating subject: the soul, the poetry."

From 1968 to 1971 she worked as a cultural journalist. During these years she developed a collaborative relationship with painters and artists - such as Maria Bonomi, Saverio Castellani, Tomie Otake, Otavio Araújo - by writing essays on their work and poetry, for their catalogs. The interaction between poetry and visual art has always been a constant in her work.

In 1971 she published her first book, a collection of short stories entitled "Os Convites" (Invitations).

Márcia Theóphilo left Brazil in 1972. She chose exile instead of military repression; a dictatorship that prevented people from the freedom to express themselves, to write and study was not for her.

In the same year, she met with Brazilian poet Murilo Mendes in Rome, who introduced her to the literary critic Ruggero Jacobbi and also to the exiled Spanish poet Rafael Alberti with whom she established an important work relationship and friendship.
The liaison with Rafael Alberti gave birth to the unique art of combining their illustrious master's capacity into painting and poetry by animating verses with images and colors. But what united them was mainly their quest for creative freedom.
Another important aspect of that intellectual partnership, that lasted for over ten years until Alberti's return to Spain, was the participation in poetry recitals around Europe where Márcia discovered her gift for communication with large audiences.
During these meetings - such as "Poetry International" (Rotterdam, 1977) ; "The International Convention of Poetry" (Struga, Yugoslavia, 1978); "The European Poet's Congress" (Florence, 1978) - she got acquainted with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Evgeny Evtushenko, Mario Luzi, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others.

From 1973 to 1979 she published more poetry books in Italy: "Siamo pensiero" (We are Thought); Basta! Que falem as vozes/Basta! Che parlino le voci (Enough! Let the voices speak); Canções de Outono (Songs of Autumn); the essays "Il massacro degli indios nel Brasile d'oggi" (The slaughter of Indians in Brazil today); "Gli indios del Brasile" (The Indians of Brazil) and the theater piece "Arapuca".

When the democratization process began in Brazil in 1979, Márcia Theóphilo returned to São Paulo, where she participated in the Democratic Movement. She worked as a correspondent for the Italian magazine "Noi Donne" .

In 1980 she published in the Italian newspaper "Avanti!" an article on Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the trade union fight for democracy.

She came back to Rome in 1981 where she continued with her work in a cultural exchange between Brazil and Italy. She organized poetry and painting meetings such as the exhibit of Italian and Brazilian artists "For the democracy in Brazil" (Sant'Egidio Museum, Rome, 1981) as well as the poetical gathering "The poet's word" Latin-American section (Rome, 1982) - She also translated for Italian-Brazilian poets and Portuguese-Italians ones.

Since 1983 up to 1991 she published in Italy the poetry books: "Catuetê Curupira" that won the "Minerva" prize in 1983 and "O Rio o passaro as nuvens/Il fiume l'uccello le nuvole" (The River, the Bird, the Clouds) and the theater piece "Dica a quelli che è da parte di Dulce" (Tell them it's from Dulce).
She participated actively in the Italian cultural life by contributing to the foundation of the magazine "Minerva" and by directing for five years at the cultural center "Donna Poesia" ("Mrs. Poetry").

She participated in various Poetry Festivals - such as in the "International Poet's Festival of Piazza di Siena" (Rome, 1983 and 1984), the "Literary Festival of the Botanical Garden", (Rome, 1988) and the poetry meeting of the National Library of Rome "Voices of Life" (Rome, 1989).
Since 1986 she represents the "Brazilian Writers Union" (U.B.E) at the Italian Writers Trade-Union.

From 1991 to 2003 she published in Italy the poetry books: "Io canto l'Amazzonia/Eu canto a Amazonas" (I sing the Amazon); that won the Città di Roma prize in 1992; "I bambini giaguaro/Os meninos jaguar" (The Jaguar Children) sponsored by the W.W.F Italia, this book won the Fregene Prize in 1996; "Kupahúba Albero dello Spirito Santo" (Kupahúba, Tree of the Holy Spirit) published by Talone Editore, won the Sant'Egidio prize in 2000; "Foresta mio dizionario" (Forest My Dictionary) won the Histonium prize and the "Parco Majella" prize in 2003.

Marcia has also won prizes for her career: Nuove Scrittrici" 1997 "Carsulae" 2001 and "F.I.Te.l Naziolale" 2002.
Hers poems were published in various anthologies - such as "Quel dio che non avemmo. 20 poeti dell'Europa e del mondo" (God didn't have. 20 poets of Europe or the world) Rome 1999; "Poesie d'amore. In segreto e in passione" (Love poems. In secret and passion) Rome 1999; "Antologia de Poetas Brasileiros" (Anthology of Brazilian Poets) Lisbon, 2000; "Antologia da Poesia Brasileira" (Brazilian Poetry Anthology); Santiago de Compostela, 2000; "Per Amore" (For Love) Rome, 2002; "La poesia salverà il mondo" (Poetry will save the World).
Marcia has participated as a poet in various cultural manifestations - such as "Poetry Concert for a Culture of Peace" (Rome, 1994), Poetry Recital in the Frankfurt Book Fair, (Frankfurt, 1994), a manifestation at the Municipal Library of São Paulo "Writers in the Library" (São Paulo, 1994), a "Manifestation at the Feronia Prize" (Roma, 1999) "March 21, 2000: First Poetry World day. Festival of Poetry"(Rome, 2000), "Human Rights Week" (Region of Umbria, 2001); "The Night of the Poets" (Nettuno, 2001) "Poetry International Festival of Palazzo Ducale" (Genoa, 2002), "First Exhibition, Parks and the Environment"(Cosenza 2002) "Inaugural Manifestation at the World day of the Book" by the U.N.E.S.C.O (Year of the Fluvial Water) (Rome, 2003); "Poets' Caravan for Peace" (Italy, 2003), Festival Letteratura Mantova(Mantova's Festival of literature), 2006 and 2009, "Knjizevnost Uzivo-Literature Live", Croatia 2006, Giornata Mondiale della Poesia (World Poetry Day), Verona, 2009.

Publications abroad:
"Pjesme/Poemas" - Croatian P.E.N. CENTRE, Zagreb,Croatia 2006
"Amazonas världens andetag" - 2 Kronors förlag, Höör, Sweden 2009


Since 2003 she is a member of the jury for the "Fregene" international prize.
Since 2007 she is a member of"Foreste per sempre" (Forests forever)
Since 2009 she is an Onorary Membof the Accademia Mondiale della Poesia (World Poetry Academy)

Márcia Theóphilo is listed as a candidate for the Nobel Prize.

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She received the prizes:

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