Ana Paula Inácio was born in Oporto and currently lives on the island of Terceira, in the Azores, where she teaches philosophy. She has thus far published two books of poetry, both in the year 2000, as well as a book of short stories. Other poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies. On first reading her poetry appears to be an inexpressive account of banal, everyday events in mostly rural settings. The account tends to be elliptical, however (e.g. in ‘tomorrow i’ll buy some red trousers’), creating a poetic tension that lures the reader to participate, though this discreet poet does not actively reach out to her readers.
The rural atmosphere is earthy but also spare, even a little ghostly. We feel like we’re in an ancient or primordial space, and that certain of the objects inhabiting that space have symbolic import. In ‘i look around’, the tree and the crowing cock and the narrator’s father all read like symbols, while her triple bath in the river is clearly a ritual, whose meaning is not so clear. But whatever it means, if it means anything, the ritual of bathing is doubtless more important than the bather’s psychology. In this poetry places and things take precedence over people. People come and go, while the world and how it runs remain the same. But no, I’ve misstated the case. People are of the essence, but it is the relationships between them (as in ‘i’d like you to go with me’ or ‘Acrobatics’, an atypical poem) or between them and the land, between them and things, that matter. It is our “imperfect presence” in the world (from the poem ‘what do you have to say’) that this poetry celebrates, not in a congratulatory way but as a not too solemn rite of human affirmation.
what do you have to say
tomorrow I’ll buy some red trousers
let time do the rest
i’d like you to go with me
i look around
Poetry in Portuguese
As Vinhas de Meu Pai, Quasi Edições, Vila Nova de Famalicão, 2000.
Vago Pressentimento Azul por Cima, Ilhas, Oporto, 2000.
Short Stories in Portuguese
Os Invisíveis, Quasi Edições, Vila Nova de Famalicão, 2002.
Um Buraco na Sombra
Biographical information, poems