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Al Berto
(January 11, 1948 - June 13, 1997) Portugal

Al Berto

Poet

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Al BertoBorn as Alberto Raposo Pidwell Tavares in the university city of Coimbra but soon moved to the costal town of Sines, south of Lisbon, where he grew up and to which he returned in later life. He attended art school in Lisbn, but in 1967 he left Portugal and went in self-imposed exile in Belgium, where he continued his art education.

Al BertoIn 1971 he finally gave up the idea of becoming a painter and turned to writing. He returned to Portugal in 1975, following the redemocratization of the country, and worked as a cultural outreach worker, writer and publisher dividing his time between Lisbon and Sines.

During the the 1980s he published a series of books on poetry and was recognized as one of the major poets of the decade. Al berto was completely out as a gay man, discussing his sexuality in interviews, and incorporating references to the gay experience in his poetry. He died of linfoma (a form of cancer) for a brain tumor.

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Al BertoBooks:

  • O Medo (Fear, 1980)
  • Trabalhos do olhar (Works of Gazung, 1982)
  • Salsugem (Saltiness, 1984)
  • Lunário (Lunar Calendar, 1988)
  • A sereta vida das imagens (The Secret Life of Images, 1991)
  • Horto de incêndio (Garden of Fire, 1997)

Source: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, Routledge, London, 2001

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