Olimpio Bonald Neto da Cunha Pedrosa, a lawyer, journalist, folklorist, writer, poet and painter, was born in Olinda on 7 October 1932. He graduated in Law and Social Sciences from the Recife Faculty of Law in 1957. In the 1960s, he studied Fine Arts, and in 1974 he studied Tourism Development Planning at the Centre for Inter-American Tourism Capacitation (CICATUR-OAS), Mexico. In 1980, Bonald Neto completed a post-graduation in Political Journalism from the Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP).
In 1957, he received the Commendation of the Order of Guararapes Literary Prize from the State of Pernambuco for his short stories. He also participated in the Ribeira Arts Movement in Olinda in the 1960s, with various exhibitions. In 1966, he received the award for Poetry from the Brazilian Union of Writers, and in 1976 was awarded with the essay prize by the Pernambuco Academy of Letters.
He also received the award for Cultural Anthropology from the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation (FUNDAJ) for research on ‘blunderbussers’ in 1960, later published in book form under the title Bacamarte, pólvora e povo (Blunderbuss, Gunpowder and the People), by FUNDAJ.
Bonald Neto also worked as a Federal Attorney and as a civil and labour lawyer until the 1990s. He was a founder and teacher of the UNICAP Tourism Course and of the Olinda Foundation for Higher Education (FUNESO).
Versatile and always involved in cultural issues, Bonald Neto is a founding partner of the Centre for the City History Studies of the former FIAM (now incorporated into the CONDEP/FIDEM Agency); of the Olinda and Recife Academies of Letters, of the Northeast Academy of Arts and Letters and of the Live Poets Society of Olinda.
In addition to promoting regional culture, Bonald Neto is recognised for his literary relevance as a member of Pernambuco Academy of Letters and Brazilian Union of Writers, Pernambuco Section, an institution for which he was president in 1990. He is also a member of the Olinda Historical Institute and of the Goiana Historical Institute.
He is currently vice president of the National Folklore Commission and member of the Pernambuco Press Association (AIP). He also participated in the UNESCO International Committee of Folklore Festival Organisations and chaired the Recife Foundation of Culture.
He has published several short stories, poetry and literary, technical and didactic essays. Some of his publications in the field of cultural anthropology are: Os bacamarteiros (The ‘Blunderbussers’), 1965; Bacamarte, pólvora e povo (Blunderbuss, Gunpowder and the People), 1976; A arte do entalhe, tradição artística olindense (The Art of Carving, Olinda Artistic Tradition), 1985; Os caboclos de lança-azougados guerreiros de Ogum (The ‘Caboclos de Lança’ – Lively Ogum Warriors), 1987; Gigantes foliões de Pernambuco (Pernambuco Giant Revellers), 1992; A ideologia dos Anos Trinta (The Ideology of the 1930s), 1996.
Short stories: Um negro volta ao mangue (A Black Man Returns the Swamp), 1957; O homem que devia ter morrido há três anos (The Man Who Should Have Died Three Years Ago) (1966), Uma noite no castelo (One Night in the Castle), 1985; A loba e os faisões (The Female Wolf and the Pheasants), 1992; Seresta em tempo de caju (Serenade in the Time of Cashews), 1996.
He is a contributor to the anthologies: Violão de rua II (Street Guitar 2), 1963; Presença poética do Recife (Recife Poetic Presence), 1969, O urbanismo na literatura (Urbanisation in Literature), 1976; Poética olindense (Olinda Poetics), 1981; Carne viva (Open Wound), 1984; Poetas da Rua do Imperador (Imperador St Poets), 1986; Seleta de autores pernambucanos (Pernambuco Authors Compilation), 1987; Álbum do Recife (Album of Recife), 1987; Contos de Pernambuco (Tales of Pernambuco), 1988; Presença acadêmica (Academic Presence), 1993; Poésie du Brésil (Poetry from Brazil), Paris, 1997; Antologia dos poetas nordestinos e contemporâneos (Anthology of North-eastern Contemporary Poets), 1998; Antologia do conto nordestino e contemporâneo (Anthology of Northeast Contemporary Tales), 1998; and Poesia e vida - Antologias da Sociedade dos Poetas Vivos I, II e III (Poetry and Life – Anthologies of the Living Poets Society – 1, 2 and 3), 1999, 2000 and 2001; Antologia do conto nordestino (Anthology of Northeast Tales), 2000.
Poetry: Dura e breve historia da Ilha do Maruim (The Hard and Brief History of Maruim Island), 1961, Tríptico (Triptych), 1965; Hinapino, 1974; Estudo de cor na Zona da Mata Sul pernambucana (Study of Colour in the Pernambuco Southern Forest Zone), 1975; Cantoria (Singing), 1980; Balada bacamarteira no Alto do Bom Jesus (Blunderbuss Ballad at Alto do Bom Jesus), 1983; Praxis Amandi, 1984; O livro da poesia (The Book of Poetry), 1990.
Works and technical essays: Que é turismo? (What is Tourism?), 1973; Introdução ao estudo do turismo (Introduction to the Study of Tourism), 1975; Cultura, turismo e tempo: a fruição do intangível (Culture, Tourism and Time: the enjoyment of the intangible), 1983; Turismo tropical: vocação regional e estratégia internacional capitalista (Tropical Tourism: regional vocation and international capitalist strategy), 1984; Elementos do Plano e do Projeto de Turismo (Elements of the Tourism Plan and Project), 1999.
Recife, 24 February 2010.
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2012.
SOUTO MAIOR, Maior; VALENTE, Waldemar. Antologia pernambucana de folclore. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1988.
OLÍMPIO Bonald Neto. In: PORTO das Letras. Autores pernambucanos. Disponível em: <http://www.recife.pe.gov.br/portodasletras/paginas/php/autores.php?id=98>. Acesso em: 10 fev. 2010.
OLÍMPIO Bonal Neto [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <http://www.ube-pe.org.br/olimpiobonald.htm>. Acesso em: 1º out. 2012.