to belém & back


goiás interiors III

“Due, maybe, to the fatalistic roads or to the shimmering quality of light in the high, semi-dry savanna of Central Brazil, we were quickly entering a mystic nation within a nation.  The first premonitions were in Pirenópolis, another historic gold-boom town like Goiás Velho, only more spiritual.” – To Belém […]


goiás interiors II

“When we departed Minas Gerais for Goiás that day, we left the more developed Southeast for the wild Central West which used to be called Mato Grosso, or Dense Forest.  Dense forest it is no longer, but then a good part of Goiás was always a relatively treeless grassland called […]


goiás interiors I

“If the state’s major tourist attraction was just a little too tacky, the economy of robust pink alligators too up and coming, the state of Goiás itself was fast growing on me.  I felt as though I had found an older and simpler Brazil, untouched and undisturbed by oceans and […]


mineiro backroads

Minas Gerais is famous for its rolly-polly tropical highland hills and extensive number of backroads, many in dirt. The state is the size of France or Texas, after all, and a country unto itself: with different landscapes, accents, customs, and cuisine. In Minas “what developed was a distinctly Brazilian (as […]


signet society reading, cambridge, ma

You’re cordially invited to the first post-Rio Olympics reading of To Belém & Back, recently given one of Publishers Weekly’s coveted ★ Star reviews. Author Ben Batchelder intends to give a brief reading, present the short film “Tiradentes2Belém,” and answer any questions at the Signet Society, in Cambridge, Mass., on […]


miami beach book & film event

The first public reading of To Belém & Back in Miami Beach, one of the cradles of the book’s creation, was a hoot, with 23+ people packing into my old friend Russell’s mid-beach apartment.  Novelist Ben Batchelder read a darker passage than usual, about the change in his relation with […]


miami beach reading & screening

You’re cordially invited to a book reading of To Belém & Back with a view, at my dear friend Russell’s top-floor apartment in mid-beach. When:       Friday, June 17th, 7-8pm Where:      4035 N. Meridian Ave., Apt. Ph How:         use *5712 front door code […]


santa fe, nm reading & q&a

The first reading of To Belém & Back west of the Mississippi was a success, with over 20 people attending.  (Twice the turnout of my last book reading in Santa Fe.)  My black Lab Zeno stole the show, of course, and the 20′ video “Tiradentes2Belém” was well received.  The author wishes […]


santa fe, nm reading

You’re cordially invited to a book reading of To Belém & Back, which just won a coveted Red Star ★ from Publishers Weekly, by author Ben Batchelder in Santa Fe, NM. Ben plans to read an excerpt, present a slideshow/film titled “Tiradentes2Belém,” and to take questions at The Travel Bug, […]


publishers weekly review gives coveted star ★ to “belém & back”

“An insightful and poignant account… As in the very best travelogues, the author seamlessly combines the personal, the political, and the cultural…[along with] the philosophical, via thought-provoking reflections…” See the full review at Publishers Weekly booklife page; and, if you’re fast, see the book positioning in their weekly reviews here. […]