Novas Poéticas de Resistência: o século XXI em Portugal


Oficina de Poesia

''Oficina de Poesia'' is a semiannual workshop that takes place in the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra (FLUC), supported by the Center for Social Studies and coordinated by Graça Capinha. 

The project ''Oficina de Poesia'' was created in the 1996-1997 schoolyear and resulted from the interest of a small group of students who then attended the course of English Literature I (Contemporary Poetry), by the experience of the Doctorate Program in Poetics of State University of New York (where some of the major north-american contemporary poets like Robert Creeley, Susan Howe and Charles Bernstein taught).  After about two years of learning in that Program, Graça Capinha (Teacher at the School of Arts and Humanities/Faculty of Letters and researcher at the Center for Social Studies accepts to coordinate a reflection about poetry and poetics, suggesting in the same way some creative writing exercises.  Thus was founded the ''Oficina de Poesia'' workshop, offered by the Anglo-American Studies Department of the School of Arts and Humanities, supported by the Center for Social Studies.  Students come from all knowledge areas: from modern languages and literatures, psychology, sociology to education sciences, engineering, medical sciences, mathematics and physics.

In this workshop the poetic discourse is understood as a marginalized discourse of knowledge and as a citizenship practice: a work of intervention about the language of the common sense and a responsibility of intervening in the order of the world (mainly in the order of the world of those that have never been exposed to the poetic discourse). Public readings and the interest for the exploration for other languages of knowledge are the result of this understanding.


Some of the results are the semiannual magazine Oficina de Poesia. Revista da Palavra e da Imagem currently in its 14th number and a Poetics and Creative Writing course in the School of Humanities/Faculty of Letters (since 2001-2002).

The ''Oficina de Poesia'' group has been doing creative writing workshops and poetry readings in numerous high schools, middle schools and kindergartens, Adult Schooling Programs, hospitals (with children with oncological diseases), penitentiaries and educational centers.  The group has also cooperated with the Center for Art Studies of Belgais, directed by pianist Maria João Pires (from which resulted a protocol with the Faculty of Letters/School of Arts and Humanities).  A sample of this work is published in the magazine Oficina de Poesia nº2 and nº13. 

Various performances are highlighted (sometimes in colaboration, like the one with João Grosso in the IV International Meeting of Poets and the spanish ballerina Cristo Torres) and street events, as well as the creation of websites and blogs, connections to small publishers, representations in numerous international anthologies, poetry awards and many many published poetry in international magazines.

Numerous portuguese and foreign poets have come through Coimbra University, as well as teachers and scholars of various languages and areas of knowledge that wanted to be involved in this project and also alumni from the Poetics Program at SUNY - Buffalo and Trainees Program in the JUSTBuffalo Literary Center. 

More recently, the ''Poets in Residence'' program, under a protocol between Coimbra University and Câmara Municipal de Idanha-a-Nova, has brought to Portugal and Coimbra University, Miro Villar (Galicia, Spain), Márcio-André (Brasil), Anna Reckin (U.K.) and John Mateer (South Africa/Australia).