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Edições Pirata

In the beginning, the books were produced in secret, that is “pirated”, in the printer of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco (Fundaj), and that’s where the movement got its name from.

Edições Pirata

Article available in: PT-BR

Last update: 11/10/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

[...] Pirata wasn’t just an editorial movement, but also a cultural animator of the city of Recife. [...]. (MENEZES, 1997, p. 103).

The Pernambuco editorial movement known as Edições Piratas was created in 1979, lead by poets Jaci Bezerra, Alberto Cunha Melo, members of Geração 65, and writer Eugênia Menezes.

Other people were part of the initial group, such as Maria do Carmo de Oliveira, Nilza Lisboa, Amarindo Martins de Oliveira, Andréa Mota, Vernaide Wanderlei, Ednaldo Gomes, Myriam Brindeiro and Celina de Holanda.

In the beginning, the books were produced in secret, that is “pirated”, in the printer of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco (Fundaj), and that’s where the movement got its name from. Afterwards, the editors acquired a secondhand printer and rented a place to install the equipment.

[...] Once the machine was paid for and regulated, we rented a house on rua Silvino Lopes, 120, in Casa Forte. I took advantage of my dad, subversive by nature, and he lent us his joiner in order to build a terrace to collect the books. We started operations, the neighbors didn’t like the noise and reported us to the City.

We ran out of there to a dairy farm in the back of the house of journalist Fernando Ricardo Menezes, on the Luiz Guimarães street, also in Casa Forte. Because the place was very damp, the paper used to wrinkle, get cold, and not work in the machine. We rented, then, a house on Rua Dois Irmãos, 14, across from the Fundaj in Apipucos, that we called our headquarters, where Jadson Bezerra, known as Perunga, and his apprentice Grafite lived. From there, we carried the book, initially very thin, to a big table, inside the Foundation, where we collected them at the end of the working day. Someone told on us and we moved to Myriam and Alberto Vasconcelos’ house, on rua Apipucos, 452, to a terrace on the first floor, our safe retreat. (MENEZES, 1997, p. 98).

Pirata operated in Myriam and Alberto’s house, from November 1979 to March 1984. According to Brindeiro (1997, p.109), in the beginning, the only work done was collecting the pages. Afterwards, the whole process – creation, assembly, packaging, the planning of the books and publications, meetings and promotion – were all done there.

The original pieces were addressed or taken personally by the authors to the house of poetress Celina de Holanda, on Rua Betânia, n. 10/102, on Derby. (MENEZES, 1997, p. 99).

The writers took part of the editing costs and were invited to collaborate in the production, assembly, promotion and sales process for the books. There were difficulties in the distribution and marketing of the books. (BRINDEIRO, 1997, p.109).

Edições Pirata edited over three hundred titles. The first book published with their seal, Pomar, by Arnaldo Tobias, was published on July 7, 1979, on Livro 7. The publishing work (fifteen individual and twelve collective, including one in Rio de Janeiro) also took place in the restaurant O Pirata, in Casa Forte, and on the Saint Peter Courtyard, in the neighborhood of Santo Antônio. The collective ones were festive and were usually done in the middle of the street, where people stopped, browsed the book, listened to the concert and participated with applause and smiles, according to the testimonial of Eugênia Menezes (1997, p. 104).

From the twelve collective publishing works, three were from the Piratinha Collection, with books targeted at children.

Below there is a list of books published under the Pirata seal , in chronological and alphabetical order per title:


Dez Poemas Políticos, Alberto Cunha Melo;
Inventário do fundo do poço, Jaci Bezerra;
Noticiário, Alberto Cunha Melo;
Pomar, Arnaldo Tobias (1979);
Sobre esta cidade de rios, Celina de Holanda;
Sonâmbulos, Domingos Alexandre.


Folclorerotismo, Mário Souto Maior;
O ignorado, Ângelo Monteiro;
Livro de versos, Rubem Braga;
Pernambucânia dois, Mauro Mota;
Poesia reunida, Gilberto Freyre;
O soldado raso, Lêdo Ivo.


A cor da onda por dentro: poesia para crianças de trinta autores brasileiros contemporâneos, Maria de Lourdes Hortas;
Hipopocaré: o rei da galhofa, Antonio Guinho;
Os pastos da minha lembrança, Jaci Bezerra;
Poemas a Mão Livre, Alberto Cunha Melo;
Quase contos, Walkirio Gadelha;
Signo de estrelas, Jaci Bezerra.


Auto da renovação, Jaci Bezerra;
Cacimbas, Alberto Lins Caldas;
Clarear, Natanael Lima Junior;
Emílio Madeira, O Galo, Jaci Bezerra;
Livro de Olinda, Jaci Bezerra;
Nóis sofre... mas nóis goza!, Jaci Bezerra, organizador;
A questão racial negra em Recife: a necessidade e os impasses de uma ação política organizada, Sylvio José Barreto da Rocha Ferreira.


Balada bacamarteira no Alto do Bom Jesus, Olimpio Bonald Neto;
A intromissão do verbo, Luiz Alberto Machado;
Clave provisória, Myriam Brindeiro;
Rota Batida: escritos de lazer e de ofício, Frederico Pernambucano de Mello. 1985
O mundo maravilhoso dos brinquedos: as aventuras do escravo Zelâo, Walkirio Gadelha.

The promotions of Edições Piratas were not done separately. They sought to interact with other cultural segments, involving several institutions, public and private. The movement managed to always have the support of the media and several artists, through granting illustrations, book covers and presentations without any charge. The brand of the Piratinha Collection was created by Cavani Rosas. 

Besides from the support to ten pre-publishing works and republications of several authors, they edited three catalogs (1981, 1982 and 1984(; the newspaper Cultura e Tempo (no. 4 to 7, 1982) and three installments of the magazine Pirata Edições, in 1984 and 1986. Number 1, from 1984, organized by Maria de Lourdes Horas and Zuleide Duarte, features and interview with Pedro Nava; no. 2, organized by Alberto Cunha Melo and Carlos Daconti, also from 1984, published an interview with João Cabral de Mello Neto  and the last one, no.3, from 1986, an interview with the folklore expert Mário Souto Maior. The magazine was very praised by the critics.

Pirata even had correspondents in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Goiás, Paraíba, Sergipe, Argentina and the University of Colorado, in the United States.

The movement lasted until 1985, when they published their last book, and ended.

[...] I said that Pirata came to an end due to excessive feelings, and we talked a lot about the collective sense that led our actions. It is natural that we take other paths, care for other things. But it is all vain philosophy, because actually the movement, just like us, would have to fade out one day. (MENEZES, 1997, p. 104-105).

Recife, August 16, 2013. 

sources consulted

BEZERRA, Jaci (Org.). Geração 65: o livro dos trinta anos. Recife: Fundarpe, 1997.

BRINDEIRO, Myriam. Uma das melhores experiências da minha vida. In: BEZERRA, Jaci (Org.). Geração 65: o livro dos trinta anos. Recife: Fundarpe, 1997. p. 107-110.

MENEZES, Eugênia. A Geração 65 e as Edições Pirata. In: BEZERRA, Jaci (Org.). Geração 65: o livro dos trinta anos. Recife: Fundarpe, 1997. p. 97-106.a

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Edições Pirata. Pesquisa Escolar Online,Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at: <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 August 2009.