Daniel Jonas, Portugal. Translation: Michał Lipszyc.
“Passageiro frequente” (2013) is Daniel Jonas’s six poetic book. Critically acclaimed and deemed one of the strongest poetic voices in Portugal, the collection confirms Jonas’s exceptional position on the Portuguese literary scene. The author, having mastered formal virtuosity and erudition, draws inspiration from various western and eastern motifs and styles while maintaining his discrete, personal and revelatory style. “Passageiro frequente”, impossible to categorise and pigeonhole as belonging to a specific literary era or tradition, openly stays away from the mainstream and manifests its inalienable right to artistic freedom of speech and existential reflection of an individual who fights for his own autonomy and voice in the maize built from traditions and modernity.
A selection of poems
About the poet
Born in Porto in 1973, poet, playwright, translator. Jonas has published six volumes of poetry. He was awarded the Portuguese PEN Club award for “Sonótono” ( in 2007 and the Europa – David Mourão-Ferreira Award of the University of Bari Aldo Moro in 2012 for collective works. He has translated works of John Milton, Evelyn Waugh, Luigi Pirandello, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Wystan Hugh Auden, John Berryman, William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth. He also co-directed a Portuguese adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” and Milton’s “Paradise Lost” for the National Theatre in São João. He debuted as a playwright with “Nenhures” (“Nowhere”) written for Teatro Bruto. Other plays include “Reféns” (“Hostages”), “Still Frank” and “Estocolmo” (“Stockholm”). He is an active participant of international literary festivals, conferences and poetic projects. He was a writer in residence at Stanford University (2009-2010). He lives in Porto where he works as a teacher.
Daniel Jonas is nominated for the European Poet of Freedom Literary Award for “Passagerio frequente” (“Częsty przechodzień”) from 2013.
Photograph: Teresa Sá
About the translator
Fabulist, Hispanist, translator and propagator of English and Portuguese speaking cultures. As an editor of “Literatura na Świecie” he presents new or unacknowledged phenomena in the literature of Luso-Brazilian and lusophone African cultural landscape. He translated and edited Fernando Pessoa’s “Livro do Desassossego” (“The Book of Disquiet”, Polish edition “Księga niepokoju”), Gonçalo M. Tavares’s “Jerusalem”, Ondjaki’s “Avó Dezanove e o segredo do soviético” (“The Soviet Secret”, Polish edition “Babcia 19 i sowiecki sekret”), José Eduardo Agualusa’s “As Mulheres de Meu Pai” (“My Father’s Wives”, Polish edition “Żony mojego ojca”), Mia Couto’s “Terra Sonâmbula” (“Sleepwalking Land”, Polish edition “Lunatyczna kraina”), and Drauzio Varella’s “Estação Carandiru” (“Carandiru Station”, Polish edition “Ostatni krąg. Najniebezpieczniejsze więzienie Brazylii”). Michał Lipszyc perfected his knowledge of languages and cultures during the Univerisity of Warsaw’s linguistic team’s ethnographic expedition to Mozambique in 2007 and Polish Radio 2 journalists’ ethnomusicologist expedition to Brazil in 2010. He is a frequent guest on the radio and often participates in meetings with his readers. He is an author of lusophone essays and four children’s fables: “Wielkie poziomkowe oszustwo (“The Great Wild Strawberry Swindle”), “Klęska czarnych mamutów” (Black Mammoths’ Calamity”), “Podwodny sen smoka” (“Dragon’s Underwater Dream”) and “Wyprawa w Mordęgi” (“Expedition to Hassles”).
Photograph: B.P. Joanna Rutkowska