José Craveirinha

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José Craveirinha

José Craveirinha (28 May 1922 - 6 February 2003), was born in Maputo, Mozambique (then Lourenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique) and is today considered the greatest poet of that country.

The child of a Portuguese father and a black mother of the Ronga ethnicity, Craveirinha was raised in the language and culture of Portugal. His poems, written in Portuguese, address such issues as racism and the Portuguese colonial domination of Mozambique. He was one of the African pioneers of the Négritude movement.

As a journalist, Craveirinha contributed to numerous Mozambican magazines and newspapers, including O Brado Africano, Notícias, Tribuna, Notícias da Tarde, Voz de Moçambique, Notícias da Beira, Diário de Moçambique, and Voz Africana. He also played football and coached other athletes. He arranged an athletic scholarship in the United States for Maria de Lurdes Mutola, who won a gold medal in track and field at the Olympics in 2000, and his son Stelio also held the national long jump record.

Craveirinha also wrote under the pseudonyms Mário Vieira, José Cravo, Jesuíno Cravo, J. Cravo, J.C., and Abílio Cossa. He was imprisoned in solitary confinement by the fascist Portuguese PIDE régime from 1965 to 1969 for his membership in a cell of FRELIMO, the leading movement for the liberation of Mozambique from Portuguese rule. When FRELIMO seized power in 1974, Craveirinha was freed from prison and appointed vice-director of the national press.

Craveirinha was awarded the Prémio Camões, the world's highest honour for lusophone literature, in 1991. He was considered several times for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 2003, Craveirinha was declared a "national hero" by President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, who praised Craveirinha's literary contribution to the fight against colonialism.

Prizes[edit]

  • “Prémio Cidade de Lourenço Marques”, 1959
  • “Prémio Reinaldo Ferreira”, Centro de Arte e Cultura da Beira, 1961
  • “Prémio de Ensaio”, Centro de Arte e Cultura da Beira, 1961
  • “Prémio Alexandre Dáskalos”, Casa dos Estudantes do Império, Lisbon, Portugal, 1962
  • “Prémio Nacional de Poesia de Itália”, Italy, 1975
  • “Prémio Lotus”, Associação de Escritores Afro-Asiáticos, 1983
  • Nachingwea Medal” of the government of Mozambique, 1985
  • Medalha de Mérito, Secretaria de Estado da Cultura de São Paulo, Brazil, 1987
  • “Grau de Oficial Grão-Mestre”, Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Brasil, 1990
  • Prémio Camões”, Associação de Escritores Afro-Asiáticos, 1991
  • “Prémio Vida Literária”, AEMO - Associação de Escritores Moçambicanos, 1997
  • “Grau de Comendador da Ordem Infante Dom Henrique”, Portugal, 1997
  • “Ordem de Amizade e Paz”, Moçambique, 1997
  • “Prémio Consagração Fundac - Rui de Noronha”, Moçambique, 1999
  • “Prémio Voices of Africa”, Ordfront/Leopard Publishing House - Suécia, 2002
  • “Grau de Doutor Honoris Causa”, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane - Moçambique, 2002
  • “Medalha de Ouro da Comuna de Concesio (Brescia)”
  • “Medalha de Ouro do Município de Aljezur”, Portugal
  • “Medalha de Ouro do Primeiro Grau do Município de Sintra”, Portugal

Books published[edit]

  • Chigubo (poetry). Lisbon: Casa dos Estudantes do Império, 1964; 2d ed. Maputo: INLD, 1980.
  • Cantico a un dio di Catrame (poetry, bilingual Portuguese–Italian). Translation and preface by Joyce Lussu. Milan, Italy: Lerici, 1966.
  • Karingana ua karingana (poetry, “Era uma vez”). Lourenço Marques [Maputo]: Académica, 1974; 2d ed. Maputo: INLD, 1982.
  • Cela 1 (poetry). Maputo: INLD, 1980.
  • Izbranie (selected works, in Russian). Moscow, USSR: Molodoya Gvardiya, 1984.
  • Maria (poetry). Lisbon, Portugal: ALAC (África Literatura Arte e Cultura), 1988.
  • Voglio essere tamburo (poetry). Venezia, Italia: Centro Internazionale della grafica di Venezia - Coop, 1991.
  • Babalaze das Hienas (poetry). Maputo: AEMO, 1997.
  • Hamina e outros contos (poetry). Maputo: Njira, 1997.
  • Contacto e outras crónicas. Maputo: Centro Cultural Português, 1999
  • Poesia Toda (poetry). Lisboa, Portugal: Caminho, 2000.
  • Obra Poética (poetry). Maputo: UEM, 2002.
  • Dikter (poetry). Stockholm: Ordfront, 2002.
  • Poemas da Prisão (poetry). Maputo: Njira, 2003.
  • Poesia Erótica (poetry). Maputo: Texto Editores, 2004.