Mauro Ramos da Mota e Albuquerque was born in Recife on 16 August 1911, to José Feliciano Mota Albuquerque, a lawyer, and Aline de M. Albuquerque. He was married to Marly Mota, with whom he had 4 children: Maurício Mota, Eduardo Mota, Sérgio Mota and Tereza Alexandrina Mota. With Hermantine Cortez, his first wife, he had 2 children: Roberto Mota and Luciana Mota. He spent his childhood in Nazaré da Mata, Pernambuco, in the sugarcane region, where he completed part of his primary education. In 1924, he returned to Recife, staying in the house of his grandfather. After first enrolling in the secondary school Ginásio do Recife, two years later he changed to Colégio Salesiano, beginning a friendship with Álvaro Lins. At Colégio Salesiano, priest Nestor de Alencar taught him to recite in public and published his first works in “O Colegial”, the newspaper run by the priest.
In 1928, he returned to Ginásio do Recife, in order to prepare for the university entrance exams with Alvaro Lins. There he met the Condé brothers, José and João. The three entered into journalism, writing for “A Pilhéria” and the “Revista da Cidade”. For a long time he belonged to the Silogeu Pernambucano de Letras and, later, entered the Recife Academy of Letters. In 1937, he graduated from the Recife Law Faculty. As a graduate, he continued in journalism. He worked at the old “Diario da Manhã” (Morning Daily), and rose to become secretary and chief editor.
In 1941, he entered to the magistrate and to “Diario de Pernambuco”, taking on the direction of the paper from 1956. As secretary, in 1948, he reformed the supplement of the oldest newspaper in Latin America, opening it up to new Northeast Brazilian values and beginning a half-page section of commentaries and information about books and authors.
In 1952, he published some poems collected in the volume “Elegias” (Elegies), edited by the “Jornal de Letras”. With a preface by Álvaro Lins, the book received prizes from the Brazilian Academy of Letters and from the Pernambuco Academy of Letters. He published other works, among them: “A Tecelã” (poems), 1957; “Os Epitáfios” (The Epitaphs) (poems), 1959; “O galo e o cata-vento” (The Rooster and the Windmill) (verses), 1962; further consolidating his position as a poet each time. In 1955, he became professor, through a public exam, of the Brazilian Geography paper at the Pernambuco Institute of Education. He presented a thesis entitled “O cajueiro nordestino” (The Northeastern Cashew Tree). On 15 March 1956 he was nominated by the President of the Republic, Juscelino Kubitschek, for the role of Executive Director of the Joaquim Nabuco Institute Social Research, an organ of the Ministry of Education and Culture, which he occupied until 1970.
He also held the positions of Director of the Department of Culture at the Secretary of Pernambuco and Director of the Pernambuco State Public Archive. On 5 January 1970, he was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters, in the position of Gilberto Amado, taking his position on 28 August 1970. He was a member of the Pernambuco State Council Culture and of the Pernambuco Academy of Letters and a correspondent member, in Pernambuco, of the São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraíba and Alagoas Academies of Letters. He received countless honours, among which are: the Pernambuco Medal of Merit (Medalha Pernambucana do Mérito) (1963), Commendation of the Manuel Bandeira Cultural Foundation (Comenda da Fundação Cultural Manuel Bandeira) (Campina Grande-PB, 1971), and the Joaquim Nabuco Medal (Medalha Joaquim Nabuco), from the Pernambuco State Legislative Assembly. He died in Recife on 22 November 1984.
The catalogue registers of the textual documents of Mauro Mota can be consulted on the PERSONA database.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.
DEPOIMENTOS/comunicação pessoal: Teresa Mota e Roberto Motta, Recife, março, 2011.
MOTA, Mauro. Itinerário. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1975.
MOTA, Mauro. O cajueiro nordestino. 3. ed. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1982.
REVISTA DO ARQUIVO PÚBLICO. Recife, v. 37-38, n. 39-40, 1983-1984. Edição especial em homenagem a Mauro Mota.
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Source: GUSTAVO, Paulo. Mauro Mota. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009