Vitor Vicente was born in Barreiro, Setúbal in Portugal and currently resides in Ireland, having lived abroad since 2006. Vitor has had more than a dozen works published and has travelled extensively. He told The Portugal News that he mostly writes about travel and his experiences as an expatriate and that it was a big step when he left Portugal, 17 years ago.
Travel writer with a twist
Vitor told The Portugal News “I consider myself mostly a travel writer but probably not in the classical sense. What I mean by this is that not all of my books are about my trips and what happened on those journeys. I tend to use my trips to write fiction, poetry, theatre and other things so I cover different aspects whilst travelling.”
He then shared “I was 16 years old and my first interest in the domain of arts was actually music. I was really into Rock music and I wanted to be a singer but unfortunately, I was not successful with it. However, I had to compose lyrics to the songs and the lyrics were not that bad so I really enjoyed that aspect of it. Eventually, I focused my attention on my writing abilities and I left my music dream behind and went on to travel extensively.”
For those who do not know Irish painter Harry Kernoff, he was a painter born in London and moved to Dublin in 1914 having shown an early interest in art he enrolled at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Harry Kernoff depicted the streets of Dublin as well as landmarks, landscapes, pub scenes and even portraits including those of Dublin’s literary figures Joyce and Yeats.
When it comes to his latest bilingual book, Vitor shared a short synopsis “Most of the writing, along with Kernoff's paintings, is about everyday life in Dublin. Nevertheless, the scope is wide, the texts are mostly about everyday life in Dublin: pubs, beaches, urban landscapes and the people who make the capital of Ireland one of the most charismatic cities in the world. The exercise may evoke Baudelaire and his flâneur’s habit of wandering the cityscape and simultaneously reflecting on the human condition. The book also features colour reproductions of Harry Kernoff’s paintings.”
In his book, Vitor explains that he shares many similarities to Harry Kernoff and told The Portugal News that “I created this book over a period of seven months whilst I was unemployed and it was a really tough time because of my situation with housing. I ended up having to move seven times in seven months and that definitely influenced my writing. Harry Kernoff is someone I admire and the poems came to me naturally, his work just spoke to me and it was my way to feel at home. He has that ability to communicate to a part of you and it was powerful when I discovered his work, whilst I was writing about his work and even know his paintings speak to me.”
Dublin steals hearts
It was interesting to learn that Vitor has actually lived in Dublin twice, when asked what brings him back to Dublin, he said that “I get asked this question a lot and I still don’t have a concrete answer. To answer simply, I feel so integrated and so welcome by the Irish people. Life is just effortless here and I can build my life and work well so it definitely has that practical side.”
Vitor also added “There is plenty of beautiful aspects about Dublin, one is the people; they just have such a great sense of humour and you just feel like you are part of the community and I really like the pop-culture here. Then there is nature in Ireland, it is just stunning, both at the seaside and the countryside. One of the other things I care about when choosing a place to live is what I can access from being there. Living in Ireland allows me to visit other places very easily.”
Book launch event
On the 30th of April, Vitor will be hosting a book launch event at the Irish Jewish Museum in Dublin so readers can purchase a physical copy there and it will be available at https://jewishmuseum.ie/. “I will be giving a talk about the book along with writer Gary Powell.
Vitor shared “I am trying to keep busy and I am putting a lot of effort into promoting the book and I plan to film some videos of me reading the book in different parts of Ireland.” Vitor also started a collaboration with Irish newspaper Echo where he writes about Cork City Football and plans to start a podcast.
For more information, please visit https://avacinadoviajante.wordpress.com/. Alternatively, to keep up to date with the author you can follow him on Instagram @_vitor.vicente/ or at https://www.facebook.com/IamVitorVicente/.
Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.