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Austro Costa

Date Born.:

Poet, Journalist

Austro Costa

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 27/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Austriclínio Ferreira Quirino, the poet and journalist known as Austro-Costa, was born on 9May 1899, in the city of Limoeiro in Pernambuco.

Fatherless and abandoned by his mother, he was raised by an uncle, a Portuguese merchant who put him to work at the counter of his fabric store. Austro-Costa was also employed as the janitor of Limoeiro’ssmall library of.

He published his first poem on 15February 1913, in the Limoeironewspaper O Empata.

In 1915, he definitively adopted the pseudonym of Austro-Costa. He moved from Limoeiro to Recife in 1917, when he was only 17 years old.

He worked at the VecchiCompany, a distributor of books in fascicles (1918), and workedin the Recife press as a reviewer, reporter and columnist (under the pseudonym of João-da-Rua Nova), having worked at the newspapers A Luta, Jornal do Recife, Jornal do Commercio, A Notícia, Diário da Tarde and the Diario de Pernambuco, where he wrote regularly from 1922 to 1929. When writing social chronicles,he used the pseudonym João da Rua Nova orJoão-do-Moka.

At the Diário da Tarde, he maintained a section of humorous and satirical sonnets entitled De Monóculo, from 1933 to 1935, which resulted in the posthumous book of the same name, organised by writer Luis Delgado and published in 1967 by the Pernambuco AcademyofLetters and the Pernambuco State Government.

He published his first poetry book,Mulheres e rosas(Women and Roses), in 1922, containing 52 poems, which had remarkable effect. In that same decade, influenced by JoaqumInojosa, in a pioneering spirit, hejoinedthe Modernist Movement in Pernambuco in 1924,adhering to free verse and to the quest of bringingevents of everyday life to poetry.

He was part of the Modernist Movement in Pernambuco (1924), participated in the fight against the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932, and in 1934 became clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco. He said she had three “cachaças” (meaning addictions): press, politics and poetry.

In 1945, he published his second book, with 102 poems, which he namedVida e sonho(Life and Dream), which won the Othon Bezerrade Melo prizefrom the Pernambuco Academy of Letters.

He married HelenaLins de Oliveira in 1948, and in 1949 took over the Chair No. 5 of the Pernambuco Academy of Letters, sponsored by NatividadeSaldanha and whose founder was the poet and law professor,GervásioFioravanti.

Austro-Costa was also the lyricist of several hymns, like the Hino da Rádio-Patrulha de Pernambuco(Hymn of the Radio Patrol of Pernambuco), the Marcha-canção dosLegionários de Princesa(March-song of the Princess Legionnaires) and the Hino do Congresso Comemorativo do Cinqüentenário do Apostolado da Oração da Paróquia de Casa Forte(Casa Forte [Recife] Parish Prayer Apostleship’s Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Congress Hymn).

He died on 29October 1953, on his way home from work, the victim of a bus accident on União St.

One of the most popular and beloved Poets of his time in Pernambuco, as reflected in newspapers and magazines from the time, Austro-Costa left a humorous and romantic character – “one of the best romantic poets that Pernambuco has given to Brazil”, in the opinion of Gilberto Freyre – body of work. This lyrical and existential aspect led Luiz Nascimento, his friend and historian of the Pernambuco press, to write that Austro was a kind of “revived Castro Alves” since “many female hearts trembled upon seeing him walk by”. His most famous poems are:Capibaribe, meu rio(Capibaribe, My River); Salomé Toda de Verde(Salome in Green); O Recife da Madrugada é um Poema Futurista(Recife in the Dawn Is aFuturist Poem); Tartufo-mor; andO Último Porto(The Last Port), the latter a sonnet considered by critic Fausto Cunha as one of the top twenty in Brazilian literature.
In 1994, the Pernambuco Foundation of Historical and Artistic Heritage (FUNDARPE) published a poetry anthology of Austro-Costa, organised by writer Paulo Gustavo and with a preface by Mauro Mota. Nevertheless, many of his poems were published only in magazines and newspapers, and remain unpublished in book form.

Recife, 24 july 2003.
(Updated on 20 august 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.


sources consulted

AUSTRO-COSTA. Meio-dia Eterno: antologia poética de Austro-Costa. Recife: Fundarpe, 1994.

LOPES, Waldemar. Austro-Costa no centenário de seu Nascimento. Recife: Ed. Livros de Amigos, 1999.

SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Governo de Pernambuco, Secretaria de Educação, 1982.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Austro Costa. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.