Poet Mailson Furtado wins Jabuti Award with independent publication


The month of November of 2015 was an intense period in the life of the poet Mailson Furtado. For 20 days, the writer dedicated himself to the production of the book “À Cidade” (To the City), without imagining that three years later the creative effort would yield him the greatest recognition of the Brazilian publishing market: the Jabuti Award in the categories “Poems” and “Book of the Year” . In addition to the statuette, the author took home the prize of R$ 100,000. Organized by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) for 60 editions, the award contemplates the best titles published each year.

“À Cidade” (To the City) is the fourth book of the author, and presents the vision of a small city in the hinterland and its changes accompanied by the flow of the Acaraú River, located in the Northern Region of Ceará. In the sixty pages of the poem, the city is built, destroyed, goes back and gains countless meanings. The work interweaves historical, political, folkloristic, and geographic elements, among others.  “The poetry was born in a very visceral way and was an experience different from  anything I have ever felt in my life. Even up today, I have never felt anything like it”, said the author.

According to Mailson, his inspiration came after reading the book “Romance da Pedra do Reino” (Novel of the Kingdom Stone), of the writer Ariano Suassuna. “The book brings a very strong matter of the point geography of the hinterlands of Paraíba and Pernambuco States. A few weeks later, I visited this region and I lived something unique, as if I already knew the place just for having read the book. I came back home with the objective of generating the same sensation for those who visited my city. When the person visited the Bridge of Rio dos Macacos, she/he would experience a feeling of already knowing the place simply for having read a literary work”, explained the poet.

After concluding the work, Mailson presented his book to several friends. Among them, his theater group and the “Grupo Literário Pescaria” (Fishing Literary Group), a project of discussion of poetry, philosophy, and other artistic subjects. In 2017, the author printed 300 copies and distributed to journalists, writers, and critics.

The poet lives in Varjota, a small town located in Ceará State with just over 18 thousand inhabitants. As he stepped onto the stage to receive the award, Mailson made a point of remembering it: “This is an all handmade book, even the cover drawing is mine. It is a work that was born over my place in the world and this Jabuti is in my hand because of it”, he said.

During his career, Maílson published other poetry books, such as “Sortimento” (Assortment) (2012) and “Versos Pingados” (Dropped Verses) (2014); and the “Conto a Conto” (Tale by Tale) compilation of prose (2013).

Check out the winning works in the other categories here.