The Portuguese in the Americas Series aims to contribute to the growing field of Portuguese-American Studies. The Series documents the variety and complexity of the Portuguese-American experience by publishing works in the social sciences, history and literature.
The Marriage of the Portuguese
University of Massachusetts Press
The Marriage of the Portuguese
Expanded Edition
Sam Pereira; Frank X. Gaspar, fwd.

Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth

2012 . 104 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Portuguese American Literature

$14.95 Paperback, 978-1-933227-34-4


“From the haunting title poem to the hard-won wisdom of the concluding section, we see Pereira as a consummate word magician whose easy banter and fresh language constantly defy our expectation with deft leaps and risks.”
- David Oliveira

Offering the dilemma of the hyphenated American, these poems speak from a place of beauty between two worlds, the old and the new

In this newly expanded edition of The Marriage of the Portuguese, first published in 1978, Sam Pereira encounters the world as it exists now, three decades later, and weaves poetry around his signature realization of sometimes painful, sometimes joyous experience. Often cynical and at times somewhat risqué, this is the work of a man who has lived fully those three additional decades and survived them handily, having learned to accept life’s uncertainties—indeed to embrace them—even as he recognizes that knowledge is at best fleeting.

In poems evocative of times past, The Marriage of the Portuguese?is replete with images of seas both literal and metaphorical—the earth’s oceans and the troubled waters of the emotions. Throughout, he maintains the dignity his ancestors demanded, while intentionally courting risks that are inescapable. This is the work of someone fully experiencing what it means to be human in a society that continually threatens that humanity. Caught up in familial complexities inherent in being third-generation Portuguese in America, Pereira’s theme remains one of positive belief—even if not strictly the belief of his ancestors, nevertheless belief true to his rich Portuguese heritage.


“The poems, original and new, are fresh, timely, and subversive-noir adventures set in whiskey-light and bloodlust, measured by deft moments of surrealism and surprising, focused imagery. . . . Sam Pereira is an essential voice in American poetry.”
- M. L. Williams

Praise for A Café in Boca:
“I’ve been an admirer of Sam Pereira’s poetry for thirty years now, marvelling constantly at his intelligence and humor, his bravado and high style. Sam Pereira’s poems are often both disarming and alarming, or perhaps, first alarming, and then tenderly disarming.”
- David St. John

From the Book

Villanelle for an Old Man

The cross means nothing right now;
The world insists on shadows at 10 paces.
No one here seems to know how.

Father, for instance, with wrinkled brow,
Always wearing the saddest of faces;
The cross means nothing right now.

His childhood was spent tending cows
In the valley’s open, clean spaces.
No one here seems to know how,

But his mother watched from a window,
As he fed corn, with molasses traces.
The cross means nothing right now.

He’d often walk with the plow,
Wet cow shit staining his laces;
No one here seems to know how.

He’d craved standing on a ship’s bow
In the Atlantic’s holiest graces.
The cross means nothing right now.
No one here seems to know how.

The Collection