Alberto de Lacerda’s literary and personal estate were inherited by his life-long friend Luís Amorim de Sousa. Since Alberto de Lacerda’s death in 2007, his legacy continues with public readings of his poetry, the publication of books focussing on his poetry, life, and friendships, and exhibitions based on his vast archive.
The following publications and events are the result of personal and collaborative efforts on Alberto de Lacerda’s behalf.
2020 – 2016
2020 – Portugal
This year’s plans for a 10th year celebration of the annual Disquiet International literary program honouring Alberto’s memory have been postponed due to the coronovirus pandemic. However, he is the subject of a richly documented online publication Oh, Vida, sê bela! released by the National Library of Portugal. This follow-up album-catalogue of the exhibition “Oh, Life, be beautiful!” held at the Library in 2017-18, documents Alberto’s life, poetry, and cultural friendships.
2019 – Portugal
Alberto de Lacerda, to whom Disquiet International is dedicated, provided the launching point for a discussion about contemporary Portuguese poetry. Scott Laughlin of Disquiet coordinated the session with the participation of Portuguese poets Pedro Mexia and Tatiana Faia.
2018 – Portugal
On the 10th of January an evocation of Alberto’s life and work was held to close the exhibition “Oh, Life, be beautiful!” at the National Library of Portugal. A guided tour of the exhibition was conducted by Luís Amorim de Sousa. This was followed by presentations by Pedro Mexia and Eugénio Lisboa.
On the 5th of February Alberto de Lacerda’s poetry was the subject of a special public reading in Lisbon. This took place at the library of the National Printing Office with the participation of the actors Jorge Silva Melo and Nuno Rodrigues.
A display entitled “Nureyev no espólio de Alberto de Lacerda” (Nureyev in Alberto de Lacerda’s archive) was on show at the National Library of Portugal from 8 February to 14 April. Dedicated to the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993), it featured photographs, posters, programmes and books from Alberto’s archive.
In March Alberto’s collection of just over 700 dance photographs was donated to the National Theatre and Dance Museum in Lisbon.
In June a comprehensive anthology of Alberto’s poems, Labareda (Sheet of Flame), was published by Tinta da China, Lisbon, under the coordination of Pedro Mexia. The poems are introduced by Luís Amorim de Sousa.
The National Museum of Theatre and Dance held an exhibition entitled The Ballets Russes: Modernity After Diaghilev to celebrate the centenary of the appearance of Diaghilev’s company in Lisbon. The exhibition included a selection of materials from the Alberto de Lacerda collection. Among them, two drawings by Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Gontcharova acquired by the Mirpuri Foundation, which are now part of the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition was held from 27 July to 18 November.
The Portuguese writer and critic Eugénio Lisboa reviewed Alberto de Lacerda’s posthumous anthology Labareda for the bi-weekly literary journal Jornal de Letras, Artes e Ideias (Number 1255, 7-20 November 2018).
2017 – Portugal, Spain
Apesar de Tudo was commissioned by the Lisbon publisher Labirinto de Letras to convey in Portuguese the narrative and exchanges that Luís Amorim de Sousa originally described in In Spite of All.
A Luz que se Escondeu no Escuro (The light that hid in the dark), was published in a special edition as a supplement to the magazine Delphica, released by Crescente Branco. It is a small gathering of loose poems found in Alberto de Lacerda’s apartment following his death. This edition includes a cover drawing and frontispiece by Jorge Martins and an introduction by Luís Amorim de Sousa.
An exhibition commemorating the 10th anniversary of Alberto de Lacerda’s death was inaugurated on the 12th of October in Lisbon at the National Library of Portugal, and it ran until the 13th of January 2018. This exhibition, entitled Oh, Vida, sê bela! (Oh, Life, be beautiful!), covers Alberto’s personal trajectory from his infancy in Mozambique to the end of his life in London, after significant stays in Brazil and the United States. Poems, manuscripts, inscribed books and works of art, as well as samples of Alberto’s own work as a collage artist are on display. The inaugural event featured presentations by Inês Cordeiro, Director of the National Library; Luís Amorim de Sousa, as curator of the exhibition; poet José Manuel de Vasconcelos; and poet and critic Fernando JB Martinho. Alberto’s book Sonetos, printed at his expense in Venice in 1991, but never commercially released, was made available for purchase by the National Library at the inaugural session.
A collage by Alberto de Lacerda included in this exhibition was chosen to illustrate the National Library’s Christmas card.
A second Portuguese-Spanish bilingual edition of Alberto’s poems, Elegias de Londres, translated by Luis María Marina and published by Olifante, is being be made available to Alberto’s growing Spanish-reading public.
2016 – London
An exhibition entitled Enchantment Will Find Me was held at The Poetry Library in the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre from 17 March to 8 May. The exhibition, focussing on Alberto de Lacerda’s relationship with the South Bank of London and the poets he knew, traced his life through fragments, letters, artworks and ephemera that he left behind. Included were works by Manet, Jacques Villon, Ceri Richards, Rory McEwen, Arpad Szenes, Vieira da Silva and Paula Rego. The opening event on 17 March featured an introduction by the Poetry Librarian Chris McCabe and readings from poets Christopher Reid, Anthony Rudolf and Luís Amorim de Sousa.
2015 – 2012
2015 – UK, Portugal, Columbia, US
During the month of May a commemorative exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of the publication of 77 Poems was held at the Taylor Institution in Oxford. The exhibition included photographs, letters, books and a few works of art indicative of Alberto de Lacerda’s friendships and main cultural interests. The inauguration of the exhibition featured talks by Claudia Pazos-Alonso and Luís Amorim de Sousa and a poetry reading by Alma Prelec.
Also in May, a donation was made to the Bodleian Library of Oxford. This consisted of a volume of 19th-century copies of ancient Mexican manuscripts, from the library of Lucien de Rosney; and (four leaves, unbound) hand-drawn facsimiles of selected pages of Codex Tellurian-Remensis, 19th-century.
Written by Luís Amorim de Sousa, with front and back covers by Paula Rego and Samuel Lock, In Spite of All deals with the last days and legacy of Alberto de Lacerda.
This book is available at Shearsman Books.
Um Sol Esplendente nas Coisas – Cartas de Mário Cesariny para Alberto de Lacerda (A Shining Sun Everywhere – Letters from Mário Cesariny to Alberto de Lacerda), organised by Luís Amorim de Sousa, was published in Lisbon by Documenta in October 2015. This book documents a literary friendship of nearly four decades.
Delphica Letras & Artes, vol. 2 includes three articles about Alberto: “Alberto de Lacerda e Jean Hugo” (Alberto de Lacerda and Jean Hugo) by Luís Amorim de Sousa, pp 56-60; “Lacerda por descobrir” (Lacerda to be discovered) by Vasco Rosa, pp. 62-67; and “Súbitas Iluminações Lacerda vs Cesariny” (Sudden Illuminations Lacerda vs Cesariny) by Vergílio Alberto Vieira, pp. 182-187.
Alberto de Lacerda’s “Second Elegy” from his Elegias de Londres was translated by Jerónimo Pizarro and included in a bilingual Portuguese-Spanish anthology, Escribiré en el piano – 101 poemas portugueses, published in Columbia by Colección la Cruz del Sur, Editorial pre-textos, in 2015. This anthology was edited by Manuela Júdice and Jerónimo Pizarro.
George Monteiro, Professor Emeritus of Brown University, Rhode Island, published “Towards a Bibliography of Alberto de Lacerda (1928-2007)”. This extensive bibliography is in the “Projectos/Projects” section, which identifies new areas of research (in progress or future) of the Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses/Journal of Anglo-Portuguese Studies, No. 24, Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies, Faculdade de Ciências e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Lisbon, 2015, pp. 13-35.
2014 – US, UK, Portugal
Scott Laughlin’s article on Alberto de Lacerda The Strange Question of Alberto de Lacerda appeared in Issue 25 of Post Road Magazine in 2014.
A poem entitled “i.m. Alberto de Lacerda” written by the English poet Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016) was published in Literary Imagination, Volume 16, Number 1, Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, 1 March 2014.
At Paula Rego’s request, Alberto’s role in her life, both as a cultural presence and a close personal friend, was evoked in an exhibition “1961: Ordem e Caos” (1961: Order and Chaos), held at Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais.
A richly illustrated book documenting Alberto’s friendship with American poet Robert Duncan and his partner, the artist Jess, was published in the US by BlazeVOX. Entitled Such Conjunctions, it was appreciatively reviewed in London by the Times Literary Supplement. This book is available at BlazeVOXbooks.
2013 – Portugal
March: a large part of the Alberto de Lacerda estate was donated to the National Library of Portugal. It consisted of approximately 21,000 books, 12,000 documents and 300 posters. A folder containing a series of collages by Alberto that were in clear need of conservation was also included in the package.
Four gouaches by the Portuguese surrealist Fernando Azevedo were lent for a tribute exhibition at the Gulbenkian Modern Art Centre.
2012 – Portugal, Spain
May: Due mostly to space and financial considerations, the Alberto de Lacerda estate was removed from the Mário Soares Foundation. The LP collection of 9,000 records was donated to the Foundation in gratitude for the work done on the estate. A few representative pieces from the art collection were also presented as a departure gift.
July: The literary program Disquiet, organized by Dzanc Books and the Centro Nacional de Cultura, returned to Lisbon and was attended once again by 60 American writers. This year’s tribute to Alberto was held at the Lisbon headquarters of the British Council. A brief sampler of Alberto’s writings was compiled for the occasion and presented to the audience. Additional information is available at the Disquiet International website.
“Alberto de Lacerda e o Brasil” by Luís Amorim de Sousa, was published in the Gulbenkian Foundation Colóquio Letras magazine, no. 180, May/August 2012, pp. 100-115. This article discusses Alberto’s friendships with Brazilian poets.
The book Lisboa e os Ballets Russes by Maria João Castro, includes an illustrated section with items from Alberto’s dance collection, reflecting his passion for the world of dance.
Alberto’s own text “Impromptu para Manuel Baptista”, written in 1981 but never previously published, appeared as an introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition “Manuel Baptista no CAMB”, a modern art centre in the Lisbon area.
Two prints by Paula Rego from Alberto’s art collection were lent for the exhibition “Riso” (Laughter) at the Electricity Museum in Lisbon.
An exhibition entitled “David Hockney and Alberto de Lacerda – There”, included in the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, was held at Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais. The exhibition reflected Alberto’s interest in the personality and work of David Hockney, whom he met in the mid-sixties.
The first Portuguese-Spanish bilingual edition of Alberto’s poems, entitled El Encantamiento (Enchantment), was published in Spain by Olifante. The anthology was translated and introduced by the Spanish poet Luis María Marina, who continues to work on Alberto de Lacerda’s poetry.
2011 – 2008
2011 – New York, Portugal
April to June: The exhibition “Insolent Grace – The Transatlantic Life of Alberto de Lacerda”, hosted by Poets House in New York City, featured manuscripts, inscribed books, photographs and works of art belonging to the estate.
A catalogue, Insolent Grace – The Transatlantic Life of Alberto de Lacerda, published by Assírio & Alvim, with a cover photograph by Fernando Lemos, was printed to accompany this exhibition.
The inauguration featured a panel discussion presented by Stephen Motika with the participation of Luís Amorim de Sousa, David Wevill, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Christopher Middleton.
A videoclip about this exhibition is available at the Poets House Exhibition.
June: The inaugural year of Disquiet, hosted by the Centro Nacional de Cultura in Lisbon and the Dzanc Books International Literary Program, was dedicated to the memory of Alberto de Lacerda. A “Tribute to Alberto de Lacerda”, hosted by the Mário Soares Foundation, featured talks by Alfredo Caldeira, Luís Amorim de Sousa, and Scott Laughlin, and poetry readings by Scott Laughlin and Kim Addonizio.
2010 – Portugal
February: A Poetry Recital featuring Jorge Silva Melo reading poetry by Alberto de Lacerda with concert pianist João Aboim playing Mozart was held at the Teatro S. Luiz in Lisbon as part of their Poetry and Music Cycle.
May: During the “Noite dos Museus” at FASVS, Jorge Silvo Melo read poems written by friends of Vieira da Silva, including those of Alberto de Lacerda.
June: Three new books, published by Assírio & Alvim with the collaboration of the Mário Soares Foundation, were simultaneously launched. O Pajem Formidável dos Indícios was the first posthumous collection by Alberto de Lacerda. The Sea that Lies Beyond My Rocks, fully illustrated, documents Alberto de Lacerda’s literary friendships in London and the US. Às Sete no Sa Tortuga (At Seven in Sa Tortuga) is written as a personal memoir of Alberto de Lacerda by Luís Amorim de Sousa.
The launching, featuring a poetry reading of Alberto’s poems by Maria Barroso and Luís Lucas, took place in the auditorium of the Mário Soares Foundation.
July: Luís Amorim de Sousa discussed his own writings as well as Alberto de Lacerda with Paula Moura Pinheiro during a one-hour interview on Câmara Clara, RTP2. A shorter version of this interview was later repeated on the same programme.
September: Works from the Alberto de Lacerda art collection were lent to Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais for two different exhibitions: “The Victor Willing Retrospective” and “Paula Rego in the 70’s”.
November: A large edition of a small promotional booklet containing images and diary entries from Alberto de Lacerda’s estate about the Portuguese modernist José de Almada Negreiros, was published by Assírio & Alvim. Entitled Se lá estivesse iria a Bicesse – Alberto e Almada e Cascais and coordinated by Luís Amorim de Sousa, it was commissioned by FNAC booksellers in Cascais to be presented as a 10th anniversary commemorative gift to their customers.
2009 – Portugal, London
March to May: The exhibition “Colecção Alberto de Lacerda – Um Olhar” (Alberto de Lacerda’s collection – A Glimpse), sponsored by the Mário Soares Foundation, provided an overview of the Collection as a whole.
To close the exhibition, in May 2009 the Fundação Mário Soares sponsored a poetry reading, “Leitura de Poesia de Alberto de Lacerda”, featuring the actress Maria Barroso (Mrs Mário Soares) and the actor, writer, stage and film director Jorge Silva Melo.
April to July: The exhibition “Alberto de Lacerda – Encontros com Vieira da Silva e Arpad Szenes” (Alberto de Lacerda – Encounters with Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes), sponsored by the Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation (FASVS) in Lisbon, featured pictures, letters, diaries and photographs mapping the friendship between Alberto and the two painters.
A fully illustrated book, Alberto de Lacerda – Encontros com Vieira da Silva e Arpad Szenes (FASVS, 2009), was printed. In April the radio station RDP2 conducted an interview about the exhibition with Luís Amorim de Sousa.
May: “Noite dos Museus” (Museum Night) at FASVS featured a poetry reading of Alberto de Lacerda’s poems by Jorge Silva Melo and a guided visit of the “Encounters” exhibition by Luís Amorim de Sousa and the FASVS Director Marina Bairrão Ruivo.
December: Alberto de Lacerda’s memorial stone was placed over his grave at Brompton Cemetery, Chelsea. The inscription on the blue granite stone reads “Alberto de Lacerda, 1928-2007, Poet”, and his one-word poem “paraíso” (paradise).
2008 – US, Portugal
January: Jhumpa Lahiri’s article on Alberto de Lacerda Closing the Circle was originally published by Poetry magazine on 2 January 2008.
March: A tribute “Remembering Alberto de Lacerda”, hosted by The University Professors Program and the Humanities Foundation at Boston University, featured readings of his poetry and personal tributes by William Corbett, Luís Amorim de Sousa, Jhumpa Lahiri, Scott Laughlin, Isabel Pinto-Franco, Christopher Ricks, John Silber, Rosanna Warren and Marc Widershien. A video view is available at Remembering Alberto de Lacerda.
June: The estate of Alberto de Lacerda arrived at the Mário Soares Foundation in Lisbon, and a protocol was signed between his heir and literary executor Luís Amorim de Sousa and former President Mário Soares on behalf of his Foundation.
June: A “Recital de poesia de Alberto de Lacerda” (Poetry reading) was held at the Fundação das Casas de Fronteira e Alorna as part of their “Ciclo de Poesia Portuguesa do Séc. XX – Geração de 40”.
August: A radio programme “Os Sons Fértais – Alberto de Lacerda” (Fertile sounds), featuring Alberto’s musical tastes, was coordinated and presented by Paulo Rato on Antena 2 FM 94.5.
September: A homage to Alberto de Lacerda in celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday, “Alberto de Lacerda – Um poeta entre duas linguas” (Alberto de Lacerda – A poet between two languages), was sponsored by the Luso-American Foundation in Lisbon. This event, coordinated by Filipa Melo, included a small exhibition, a poetry reading by João Grosso, and presentations by Eugénio Lisboa and Luís Amorim de Sousa.