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Tribute to a Poet, Teacher, Friend

Former colleagues, friends, and students gather to remember and celebrate the life and work of Alberto de Lacerda, renowned Portuguese poet


Alberto de Lacerda, a renowned Portuguese poet, whose life and work was commemorated by the BU community on March 3, 2008.

Click here to watch the tribute to Alberto de Lacerda on BUniverse.

Former colleagues, students, and friends gather to remember and celebrate the life and work of Alberto de Lacerda, a renowned Portuguese poet and a University Professor emeritus of poetics and comparative literature, who died in London in August 2007. As well as publishing more than 12 volumes of poetry, many translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Bengali, de Lacerda was a collage artist, a collector and connoisseur of the arts, a critic, and a broadcaster and linguist. Organized by Lacerda’s former student and longtime friend Jhumpa Lahiri (GRS’93, UNI’95,’97), a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, the event is part of the ongoing University Professors Program Poetry Series.

Poets and writers William Corbett and Isabel Pinto-Franco, Rosanna Warren, BU’s Emma Ann MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities, and Christopher Ricks, BU’s William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities — all friends of Lacerda’s — read both Portuguese and English translations of Lacerda’s poetry. Other contributors, including Boston University President Emeritus John Silber (Hon.’95), offer personal recollections of Lacerda, who was known for his fiery temperament, demanding teaching style, and love of art and literature during his 24 years at BU.

Lahiri concludes the tribute by reading “Alberto de Lacerda: A Remembrance,” a narrative account of her relationship with Lacerda. “Listening to him was always an intense pleasure, a voyage to a consoling world where books, paintings, and pieces of music were all that mattered,” she recalls.

March 3, 2008, 6 p.m.
College of General Studies
Katzenberg Center

About the Speakers:
William Corbett is an instructor and a writer-in-residence in the Program of Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT. He has published two memoirs, several collections of poetry, and a book on the sculptor John Raimondi. He lives in Boston, where he edits the small press Pressed Wafer.

Isabel Pinto-Franco, a native of Portugal, holds a degree in modern languages and literatures from the University of Coimbra. She is a senior instructor at the Cambridge College Medical Interpreter Program in Cambridge, Mass., and a staff interpreter and trainer at Cambridge Health Alliance.

John Silber was the seventh president of Boston University, having served from 1971 to 1996, when he became chancellor; he is now president emeritus. He is a University Professor, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of philosophy, and a School of Law professor of law. His scholarly work focuses on ethics, the philosophy of law, and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

Rosanna Warren is a University Professor and the Emma Ann MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University. The author of several award-winning books of poetry, she is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Scott Laughlin (COM’92, CGS’90) is a poet, an English teacher, and a former editor of ZYZZYVA, a San Francisco–area literary journal. A former student of Lacerda’s, he holds a master’s degree in English from New York University.

Christopher Ricks is BU’s William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities and a codirector of the Editorial Institute at Boston University. A well-known literary critic, Ricks has written on English poets, among them Tennyson, Milton, and Eliot, as well as the importance of American folk singer Bob Dylan. He holds a dual appointment as the University of Oxford’s Professor of Poetry.

Luis de Souza, a Portuguese poet and longtime friend of Alberto de Lacerda’s, is the executor of his estate.

Marc Widershien (CAS’68, UNI’79) is a poet, a writer, and an educator. He has published four volumes of poetry and is the publisher of the independent press Poplar Editions. He hosts a local poetry venue in Boston and runs writing workshops throughout New England.

Jhumpa Lahiri (GRS’93, UNI’95,’97) is the author of two works of fiction. Her first book, the collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies (1999), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; her second, The Namesake (2003), was adapted for the screen in 2007. Her next work, the volume of short stories Unaccustomed Earth, will be published in April 2008.


One Comment on Tribute to a Poet, Teacher, Friend

  • Bill Sinclair on 02.08.2010 at 4:27 pm

    We are in possession of an original plate and sketch of an art piece signed by Alberto de Lacerda. Need more information on. Unable to track anyone down who can help.
    Please reply to e-mail

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