Guerrilla Blues is Here to Stay

The story behind my chapbook, Guerrilla Blues, that has just been released is kind of amusing. In a way, it starts with SF poet laureate Jack Hirschman giving a reading in writer Olga Campofreda's living room last May here in Rome. (I'd met Jack in SF the previous Summer in Caffé Trieste. It was a cathartic encounter. It changed me in so many ways). So, that night I met several roman poets/writers who read their poems there: Marco Cinque, Marco Lupo, Angelo Zabaglio aka Andrea Coffami, Roberto Mandracchia, Olga and more. It was a lively experience. But, at that time, I could hardly imagine what that evening would lead to.

In September, Jack was back in Rome for a few days on his way to Sarajevo for a poetry reading, as we, the poets who had met in May, were organizing a reading for the World Poetry Movement's planetary event "100,000 poets for Change". Jack wished to involve those of us who had read the former May in his second international Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology. So, we started collecting our poems and sent them his way and, once he chose the ones he wanted to include in the anthology, I begun translating them.

When this work was completed, I realized that I had particularly loved the poems I had been translating and thus begun my quest for finding a publisher interested in publishing our poems as Rome's Revoltionary Poets Brigade. One day in November, as I was surfing the internet, I discovered that the same publisher who had just released Angelo Zabaglio's poetry book Serio F'Aceto, i.e. Edizioni Ensemble, were interested in reading new manuscripts.

I met Matteo, the publisher, just a couple of days before Christmas in a club where they were presenting their books for a Christmas sale. It was incredible to find somebody so in love with poetry as I am. Literally on the same wavelenght. I talked to him about the project and about Jack and he seemed very interested. I gave him some of my poems to read. And, well, just a couple of weeks later he told me that he was interested in publishing my work in the first place. It seemed so incredibly amazing to me.

Even more amazing is that Guerrilla Blues will hit the shelves next week. It has been released yesterday only, that is less than 3 months after I'd met the publisher. Thanks to Jack Hirschman for writing such a heartfelt introduction and thanks to fellow poet Marco Cinque for the book cover photo. The book is bilingual since I mostly write poetry in English.

So, here I am, talking about a book that I still need to touch with my very hands, but that is real now. Time for me to market it now, but also time for the to complete the translations for Rome's Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology.

As Gogol once said, "there is no time to get bored in Rome". Indeed!


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