Inspiring Thursday : Natália Correia (1923 – 1993)

Natália Correia was born in 1923 (in Azores, Portugal) but moved to Lisbon at the age of 11. She was a poet, novelist, essayist, journalist, writer, scriptwriter, translator, and editor, and always a strong advocate of human rights, more specifically of women’s rights.

She was a charismatic woman with a very intense social life, and also a woman of passions, having married four times over her seventy years. She was a political activist and publicly disagreed with the Portuguese dictatorial regime, being sentenced to prison with a suspended sentence, in 1966, for the publication of the work “Antologia da Poesia Portuguesa Erótica e Satírica” (Anthology of Erotic and Satirical Portuguese Poetry), and accused of offending the “decency”, “public morality” and “good customs” of the time. She was also tried for editorial responsibility for Novas Cartas Portuguesas (New Portuguese Letters) written by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Velho da Costa and Maria Teresa Horta. Natália was responsible for coordinating the publications of Editora Arcádia, one of the important Portuguese editors at the time.

After the revolution, in 1974, she was a member of the Assembly of the Republic and participated in several television programs such as “Mátria”, which featured the matriarchal side of Portuguese society. Throughout her life, Natália made the difference and rendered a great service to freedom, generating immense controversy through her irreverent and bold character. In 1971, with colleagues Isabel Meireles, Júlia Marenha and Helena Roseta, she started the Bar Botequim, where during the decades between 1970 and 1980 she met with a great part of the Portuguese intellectual community.

In 1991, Correia received the Grand Prize in Poetry from the Associação Portuguesa de Escritores (Association of Portuguese Writers), for her book Sonetos Românticos (Romantic Sonnets). In the same year, she was conferred the Ordem da Liberdade (Order of Liberty); she was already the holder of the Ordem de Santiago (Order of St. James). Natália Correia died in the early morning of 16 March 1993 in Lisbon, of a heart-attack. Most of her literary work can be seen at the permanent exposition in the Public Library and Regional Archive in Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal), that celebrates her literary history. Natalia Correia is truly an inspiration!

Written by WAVE Intern: Mariana Cunha