I was born in a small village in the interior of Portugal. I don’t have any memories of the place where I was born, because I left it as a baby, but whenever I visit it, I get very emotional. I happened to be born there due to the professional life of my father who worked as a driller in the local uranium mines in Rosmaneira and Bica and a little further afield in the Urgeiriça mines. Later in the copper mines of Mavóio in Angola, where I keep fond memories. I think it’s the happiest time in my life, despite my young age, 8 years old.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
The place I call home is also a small village near where I was born. I went to Angola when I was 6 years old and I came back here when I was 8 years old because of the colonial war. Let’s say this is where I grew up, where I spent my adolescence. It wasn’t happy adolescence, but the land was not to blame. I got used to seeing it with affection and great pride. I still keep my best friends here today. Friends of the heart, I call them brothers. After twists and turns, I returned to savour the sweetness of my old age. I remember the tastes and smells of my childhood. It even seems that the smell of wet earth is different and peculiar. I live surrounded by trees and the air is clean. Here there is no pollution. May God allows me to enjoy this sacred peace, disturbed only by the knowledge of the calamity that is taking place all over the world. Had it not been for that disturbing fact, I could have said that everything was perfect.
I enjoyed living everywhere I’ve lived, but life’s trajectory changes and you have to embrace new challenges with the same vigour and the same zest.
What turns you on creatively?
What turns me on creatively? All! Depends on my humour. I can write nostalgically about a wheat field rippling in the wind, with sweetness and tenderness about flowers, old people and children, or enthusiastically about the vicissitudes, loves and heartaches of life. I particularly enjoy writing reflective texts about human behaviour, causes and consequences, making people think and reflect.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
My favourite word is without a doubt love. But love is a very broad word, so I’m going to choose a branch that I consider essential for a good balance between people and the planet – Respect.
We have to respect ourselves, to the other and the planet we live on. It will repay us with non-pollution and well-being.
What is your pet peeve?
I hate it when people act bad, shake the water from their coats and blame others. I hate people who won’t admit their mistakes and think they’re the last cookies in the package. I can’t stand falsehood, unscrupulous people, dishonest people, without character. I hate greedy, lying people who don’t look for a means to an end. I hate people who are cold, calculating, lacking in good feelings and emotions, who only work for money.
What defines Maria Dulce Leitao Reis?
What defines me is the straightness of character, the love and passion that I put in everything, my tastes and my “pet hates”.
Reading, writing, music, sudoku, crosswords, photography, gardening, brisk walking are some of the things I like the most, being part of the occupation of my time. I am also a heart and soul caregiver. I am a nature lover, I fight against injustice, inequality, discrimination and violence in every way. I don’t like liars and greedy people. I believe in love and peace, vehicles to make the world more balanced, more attractive, where we all have the right to be happy.
Sometimes we hear it said, whoever does wrong to me, they will pay. I don’t agree with this expression, because it sounds like revenge and revenge is synonymous with mediocrity, badness, poverty of spirit.
But if someone attacks me unjustly, because they’re moved by anger, hatred, envy, greed, revenge, I will move heaven and earth to restore the truth and defend justice. It’s not revenge, it’s a right that helps me.
I’m meek and I’m wild, depending on the situation.
I was born in Portugal, in the centre of the country. I have two children. I’m retired. I worked in accountancy and I was Businesswoman of Restoration and Fashion. I am living in England since 2006. I am a co-author of 56 Anthologies of Poetry, Prose and Children's Stories and 7 solo books in Portuguese, translated to English. The dream of publishing solo became true. Reading, writing, sudoku, photography, gardening are some of the things I love most. I'm a lover of nature. I fight injustice, inequality, discrimination and violence in every way. I believe in love and peace, vehicles to make the world more balanced, more attractive, where everyone will live joyous and happy. Poetry is an amazing and wonderful force! And it is in this force that I seek the breath to move on and it gives me joy and serenity to live life with sweetness! Poetry is the soul and prolongs me in the dream and draws me closer to God! Poetry is the air I breathe! It is the sap that circulates in my veins and brings fire and passion to every corner of my being! Poetry is love! Poetry is life! Poetry is my bread and my stick!