João de Jesus Paes Loureiro was born in a small town in Pará, in the eastern Amazon region, and is a poet and professor of aesthetics, the history of art and Amazonian culture at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). His first collection Tarefa was published in 1964, just before the military coup that brought a dictatorship to Brazil. Tarefa was confiscated and Paes Loureiro imprisoned for months.
A prolific poet, his collections include the trilogy Cantares Amazônicos which has been translated into German and Italian. The focus moves from the Amazon’s indigenous culture and history in the first book Porantim (1979), via increasing rural and cultural devastation in Deslendário (1981) to a large Amazonian city, Belém, and the many dispossessed who end up there, in Altar em Chamas (1982), the collection from which the poems featured in MPT 3/10 ‘A Criminal Recipe’ and ‘Workers’ are taken.
– from Stefan Tobler’s introduction in MPT 3/10 The Big Green Issue