East Somerville Main Streets Presents (de Cordel-String Literature)

My name is Leonina Heringer, a native of Brazil, and I gave three workshops on Literatura de Cordel (String Literature), a kind of poetry that printed in booklets and recited or chanted by the authors (called cordelistas) in order to get attention from potential customers.

I wrote my own cordel called “Contestado”, the story of a village.

I have spent part of my childhood at. That village was called Itabira and belonged to two states at the same time, as well as about ten more…

One of the workshops was videotaped by SCATV and is going to be shown on Chanel 3.


Laureate poet and writer, Leonina Fortunato Heringer was born in Brazil in 1953 and immigrated to the US in 1986. She’s the author of “Contestado” (1985), a genre called String Literature, peculiar to the Northeast of Brazil, in which stories are writen in verses and the brochures hung on strings in the streets. She also has participated in several anthologies of poetry, including “Poetas de Hoje”, Editora Shogun Artes, Rio de Janeiro, in 1983; Vozes Submersas, a collection of poetry by poets of Portuguese speaking living in New England, from Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and Cape Verde, published in Boston in 1990 and “City River of Voices” with American poets, published in Cambridge in 1991.
For many years she had a literary column in the Brazilian Times in which she published famous poets, her own and readers poems, besides having a little corner called “Essa Vida Americana”, a collection of immigrants experiences, mostly humorous stuff, many years before the starting of “This American Life” on NPR. She’s won several awards in her native country and was the recipient of a “2005 Cultural Heritage Grant Award” of the Somerville Arts Council for her autobriographical stories of a Lawyer and Teacher turned into a housecleaner in the United States.
She has also been very participative in community causes. She has worked with the Somerville Board of Health in the campaign against bedbugs, a growing problem in the community nowadays and is now in the process of making a four language educative video about “Bedbugs” with other members of Greater Boston Bedbug Task Force, in collaboration with Somerville Commmunity Access Television.
Nowadays, she’s working on her childhood memoir called “Cidade dos Vagalumes” and contributes to Bate Papo Magazine, a Brazilian montly publication with her column “Essa Vida Americana”. Her vignettes were featured on an online literary journal called The Tower Journal (http://www.towerjournal.com/spring_2013/index.html).

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