Yesterday, November 18th, took place the presentation session of the collection “Portuguese Communities”, followed by the award ceremony of the Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro 2020 Award, in a celebration of the Portuguese language and diaspora.

The event took place at the National Press Library, in Lisbon, at 6 pm. Duarte Azinheira, director of publishing and culture, opened the session, which was attended by Luís Filipe Castro Mendes, president of the collection’s editorial board; Berta Nunes, Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, Carlos Reais, President of the Jury of the Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro Award, and Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, who closed the session recalling that “the Portuguese Diaspora should be increasingly valued, especially as a place of creation”.

The “Portuguese Communities” collection aims to bring to the public testimonies, documents, essays and works of literary creation concerning the Portuguese who live, work and create outside of our country. Besides Luís Filipe Castro Mendes, Ivo Castro, Margarida Calafate and Onésimo Teotónio Almeida are the other members that make up the collection’s editorial board.

“Portuguese Communities” is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, and has already featured the following titles: Não Viajarei por Nenhuma Espanha, by Monica Vieira-Auer, Cânticos sobre uma Gota de Água, by Eduardo Bettencourt Pinto, Romanceiro Português dos Estados Unidos, by Manuel da Costa Fontes, Romanceiro Português do Canadá, also by Manuel da Costa Fontes, No Fio da Vida: Uma Odisseia Açor-Americana, by Francisco Cota Fagundes and A Porta Aberta, by Laurinda Andrade. The last five titles are published in a digital version and are available for free reading and downloading on Imprensa Nacional´s website at www.imprensanacional.pt.

Mónica Vieira-Auer, winner of the Award’s 2nd edition, highlighted, during the ceremony, the importance of the award and of this collection: “they’re two initiatives that strengthen the bonds and feelings of belonging to our country and our language”, also adding that “working the language is a way of giving continuity and not wanting to let go of our roots and culture.”

In addition to a five thousand euro cash prize, Mónica Vieira-Auer just saw her work Antes Ontem que Amanhã published in the “Portuguese Communities” collection, from which the jury highlighted the “representation of a personal universe with authenticity, tempered by a certain restraint and, at times, discrete notes of irony (…) in sync with the remembrance of a daily life imbued with a poetic dimension.”

Mónica Vieira-Auer was born in Silvalde, Espinho. In 1990, she graduated from the University of Porto in Modern Languages and Modern Literature  in the variant of Portuguese and German Studies, having taught Portuguese in primary and secondary schools, as well as translating in a German company. In September of 1992, she moved to Germany, where she taught at several universities in Bavaria, as well as in adult education and training institutions. She has been teaching Portuguese as a Foreign Language at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nuremberg.

The Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro Award, awarded jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, aims to strengthen the bonds of belonging to the Portuguese language and culture of Portuguese citizens residing abroad and Portuguese descendants, while paying homage to Ferreira de Castro.

The event was recorded and is available on the Facebook pages of INCM_Livros and the MNE.

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