Camilo Castelo Branco
The geography of his life and work is umbilically linked to various locations in Portugal, particularly the North Region. In the last 26 years of his life, while residing in the village of Seide, in Vila Nova de Famalicão, the novelist regularly visited the city of Póvoa de Varzim, where he met important cultural and political personalities, including Francisco Gomes de Amorim, Father Sena Freitas and Bernardino Machado. He wrote some of his works in the city, indulged in nightlife amusements and lost money at the roulette wheel.
The final phase of his life was marked by his poor state of health. Blindness and the gradual inability to read and write caused him great dismay and he ended up committing suicide on 1 June 1890.
Committed to valuing Camilo's life and work, Póvoa de Varzim is now a member of the Association of Camillian Lands, which promotes strategies to promote and preserve the Camillian architectural and literary heritage of the lands where the novelist lived and about which he wrote.
FRANCISCO GOMES DE AMORIM
He was a friend and confidant of Almeida Garrett, who he considered his father and master. The Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon awarded him the Dom Fernando Prize for having published the best work on the life and work of Almeida Garrett.
Some of his main works are "Ódio de Raça", "Aleijões Sociais", "Contos Matutinos" (1858), "Efémeros" (1866) and "Memórias Biográficas de Garrett" (1881-84).
In the house where he was born, still preserved, Póvoa de Varzim Municipal Council marked the centenary of his death with a commemorative plaque.
EÇA DE QUEIRÓS
He studied law in Coimbra and lived with many of the representatives of the 1870's generation, with whom he discovered the European ideological and literary currents, such as Positivism, Socialism, Realism and Naturalism. He founded the newspaper "O Distrito de Évora" (1866) and contributed to the "Gazeta de Portugal" newspaper. In 1872 he began his diplomatic career and despite being outside the country, his collaboration with newspapers and magazines was maintained through the publication of chronicles and short stories. In 1889, he founded the "Revista de Portugal" magazine, which focused on criticising the upper classes of Portuguese society.
His works include "O Primo Basílio" (1878), "O Crime do Padre Amaro" (1880), "A Relíquia" (1887) and "Os Maias" (1888).
In Póvoa de Varzim there is a monument of Eça de Queirós in the town square. Other locations pay tribute to him, namely the secondary school, which appear on the local literary tour.
ANTÓNIO AUGUSTO DA ROCHA PEIXOTO
He was responsible from an early age for supporting his family, so he began to write for newspapers. Themes such as ethnography, folklore, colonial life, Portuguese art and industries, and history regularly appeared in his articles, as well as his critical opinions on the scientific, cultural and educational institutions of the time.
Rocha Peixoto was an avid defender of the interests of the Póvoa de Varzim people. The author dedicated himself to the study of the life of fishermen and intended to publish a work on the fishermen of Póvoa de Varzim. The subject of fishermen is, however, addressed in other works. The work "O Poveiro" by António dos Santos Graça was motivated by the writings of Rocha Peixoto about the people of Póvoa de Varzim.
In 1880 the Municipal Library of Póvoa de Varzim was founded, which was enriched with 2794 volumes bequeathed by Rocha Peixoto. In 1966, in a solemn ceremony, the Library took on the name "Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library". Several locations of Póvoa de Varzim, namely the secondary school, pay homage to the intellectual, marking the city with a literary presence.
ANTÓNIO DOS SANTOS GRAÇA
He founded the newspaper "O Comércio da Póvoa de Varzim" in 1903, he contributed to the newspapers "O Primeiro de Janeiro" and "República", and was manager and a driver of the "A Povoense" Mutual Aid Association. In 1936, he promoted the 1st Maritime Exhibition, which gave rise to the creation of the Poveiro Folklore Group and the Municipal Museum of Ethnography and History of Póvoa de Varzim, of which he was the director for almost 20 years, until his death.
He developed important cultural and scientific work, with particular focus on knowing the characteristics of the Póvoa de Varzim fishing community. His study of this subject is reflected in his works, among which stand out "O Poveiro" (1932), a book that consecrates the culture of the Póvoa de Varzim fishing class, portraying the main characters that mark the cultural identity of the city of Póvoa de Varzim; "A Crença do Poveiro nas Almas Penadas" (1934); "A Canção do Berço" (1945) and "A Epopeia dos Humildes" (1952).
CAETANO VASQUES CALAFATE
In addition to being a teacher, writer and journalist, he dedicated much of his life to defending the fishing class. He conducted, through the daily press of Lisbon and Porto and in local newspapers, an intensive campaign for the construction of the fishing port of Póvoa de Varzim and for raising funds for the construction of the Fishermen's House of Póvoa de Varzim.
He was appointed a Full Teacher of Secondary Education in 1914 and Ordinary Professor of the Higher Institute of Sciences, of Porto, in 1933. He was also a teacher in Eça de Queirós National Secondary School (Póvoa de Varzim) for several years. Mr. Luís Rainha characterises Vasques Calafate as "the indefatigable fighter, the idealist, the man of Póvoa who would rather break than bend, the honest intellectual".
His main works were "Moral e Religião" (1920), "Acção Social do Carácter" (1922), "A Vocação Colonizadora dos Portugueses" (1961) and "Verbo, Vigor e Acção" (1966).
He was known for having founded the magazine "Presença", in Coimbra, together with Branquinho da Fonseca and João Gaspar Simões. The magazine was published over 13 years. It marked the second phase of Portuguese modernism and featured huge names of national arts, such as Miguel Torga. He wrote for magazines and newspapers, such as "O Democrático", "República", "O Comércio do Porto" and "Diário de Notícias".
Diana-Bar, in Póvoa de Varzim, was the place where Régio wrote part of his work, and even today, we can find the table and chair that the writer used, in the same place where he used to sit to work. In addition, it was in Diana-Bar that José Régio, already in the final years of his life, started literary workshops along with other notable persons of Portuguese culture, such as the writer Agustina Bessa-Luís and the filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira.
His first book, "Poemas de Deus e o do Diabo" was published in 1925 and the last one, "A Velha Casa V - Vidas são vidas" in 1966.
Flávio Gonçalves graduated in Historical-Philosophical Science. He was a secondary school teacher and he taught in the Fine Arts and Arts faculties of Porto.
His printed scientific work focused on various areas of study, but the major focus was on art. In addition, he published two books of poetry: "Arco de Passagem" (1954) and "Mãos de Lis" (1955).
His dedication to Póvoa is marked by his work published in the "Póvoa de Varzim" cultural bulletin, which he directed between 1964 and 1987, the year of his death.
She chose Póvoa de Varzim as her home, along with other cities in the north of the country, such as Gaia, Porto, Maia and Vila do Conde.
She published her first novel in 1948, "Mundo Fechado". After that, she published more than fifty works, including novels, plays, screenplays, children's books and essays. In 1953, the novel "A Sibila" made the author one of the main personalities of Portuguese fiction. Some of her titles, such as "Fanny Owen", "Vale Abraão" and "Terras do Risco", were adapted to the big screen, by the hands of filmmakers like Manoel de Oliveira and João Botelho. Some of her works have been translated into German, Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Danish and Romanian.
She contributed to several periodicals, was director of the daily "O Primeiro de Janeiro" newspaper (Porto) and director of the D. Maria II national Theatre (Lisbon), and a member of the High Authority for the Media.
Agustina wrote about Póvoa de Varzim several times - which she considered a space of "pure gold" - and she participated in the literary gatherings at Diana-Bar, with José Régio.
She began her literary production under the pseudonym Luísa Dacosta in 1955, when she published a book of short stories called "Província". In 1970 she began to write children's books. The writer was one of the leading feminist figures at national level. She also translated works by other names of feminist literature, such as Nathalie Sarraute and Simone de Beauvoir.
Her bibliography includes more than 30 titles, both fiction and children's and youth literature, often on the subject of women, reflecting a modern feminist perspective. The women of Aver-o-Mar (Póvoa de Varzim) "who wither at the age of thirty", "without pay and under the heavy yoke of the brutality of men" were often the subject of her chronicles.
She contributed to several periodicals, such as "Colóquio/Letras", "O Comércio do Porto" and "Jornal de Notícias", as a literary critic.
In 2004, the Municipality of Póvoa de Varzim awarded her the Poveira Citizen Medal. The Mayor stressed that the author "is deeply connected to Póvoa de Varzim - a place of leisure and writing and it is, therefore, very present in her work. Her association with Póvoa de Varzim for many years is a circumstance that, through this award, the municipality values as a factor of high prestige for the City." In 2011, she was honoured by the "Correntes d'Escritas" festival of Póvoa de Varzim.
VALTER HUGO MÃE
In 1999 he co-founded the publisher Quasi. He co-ran the "Apeadeiro" magazine between 2001 and 2004 and in 2006 he founded the Objecto Cardíaco publisher.
In 2007, he was awarded the José Saramago Literary Prize and during the award ceremony, Saramago himself referred to Valter Hugo Mãe's novel, "O Remorso de Baltazar Serapião" as a "real literary tsunami". The writer currently enjoys undeniable media and general recognition in Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil.
The author's relationship with Póvoa de Varzim began early on. During his childhood, he often visited the city during the summer holidays, accompanied by his paternal and maternal grandparents. Years later, as a writer, he continues to visit Póvoa, either as an emblematic figure of the Correntes d'Escritas Literary Festival, as an artist residing at the Casa Manuel Lopes or, every day, as a regular visitor to the Diana-Bar library, the place of choice for reading and writing or, even, to "eat the francesinha dish under the sun shade, alone, at my grandmother's table".