Ticiele de Camargo is in her final year of a BA in English Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
In 2015, she published Vontade de Escrever (Will to Write), a book of her early poetry, which has since gone on to huge success in her native Brazil. She has recently published the second edition in both Portuguese and English.
In December 2017, Ticiele visited schools in São Paulo and Minas Gerais to read her poems to pupils.
I spoke to her as she begins preparations for the trip, by the end of which she is expecting to have performed to nearly 15,000 children.
Chris Smith: Can you explain what the books are about?
Ticiele de Camargo: Each poem and story from my books display interesting explorations of human agency. Through the characters, I explore the importance of respecting people’s freedom and not judging them by their appearance and choices in life. I also aim to empower readers to overcome their fears and frustrations, and to see the best in every opportunity.
In the first book, I expose readers to words in Spanish, and in the second book, to Italian. All of these are presented through poetry and prose under the theme of human values. Also, in the second book, I added an English poem which I wrote for my cats, that also happens to be a song that play on my guitar.
CS: What was your inspiration for the book?
TdC: When I composed these books at 10 years old, I was tired with the bullying, prejudice and disrespect at my school. That’s why I started writing. I remember getting home upset having been bullied when I was younger. Gladly my mother was always there for me.
I thought it was really important to tackle these points through this book because, unfortunately, this happens everywhere and many people can relate to it. So, I write to remind people/young readers about their value and encourage them to overcome whatever distresses them and whoever oppresses them.
CS: How popular has it been back home in Brazil?
TdC: Since the first publication in 2015, I have been invited to perform in different schools in São Paulo State and around Europe. In Brazil, around 3,000 children have seen the performances on my first book and it was also displayed as part of the International Book Fairs in Rio, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
It’s also done well in Europe – in 2016 I performed pieces from it in France and Liechtenstein and earlier this year it was displayed at the Frauenfestival in Liepzig.
CS: Had you always planned to have it translated into English?
TdC: Yes, and into every possible language! I think translating is extremely important if you want to reach other audiences. In December 2017 I visited schools in São Paulo and Minas Gerais to perform in both English and Portuguese, which will hopefully continue to grow the book’s audience.
CS: Do you have any further plans for the book after you've graduated next summer?
TdC: I do. There are some invitations and ideas in the pipeline, but I’ve just been focused on working on these upcoming performances recently. I just want to keep bringing the characters from my second book to life!