Showing posts from 2015

This Year's Poetical Achievements

As this year draws to its end, I look back at this year's achievements and I cannot but be grateful. The year started with the publication of my second American chapbook, Diagnosis, by Kristy Bowen and her magical dancing girl press. This spring my translations of Alejandro Murguia's poems,Offerte di Carta (Paper Offerings) was published by Gilgamesh Edizioni. Another book in translation I am very proud of Nuova Antologia di Poesia Americana (New Anthology of American Poetry), was published by Edizioni Ensemble.

My poems "Crave What Matters" and "Lullaby (for Philip Levine)" have been published in the Anthology Ovethrowing Capitalism Vol. 2 edited by Jack Hirschman and John Curl.

I wish to thank all the Editors who have accepted my poems for publication in their journals:

Thank you to Kelly Boyker Guillemette for having accepted for publication four of my poems in the Spring issue of the amazing Menacing Hedge. Two of the poems, "Unfairy Tale #1 - Almo…

Writing Confessional Poetry

I have been writing a few confessional poems lately. It has not been easy. I guess the reasons are at least a couple. The first one is that I find it difficult to talk about myself. But, I also feel that I have reached an age where I can more easily deal with sides of my past that have left a scar. The second reason is that most of the times I end up writing confessional poems as prose poems. I think I am still mastering the art and do not feel always very comfortable with it. This must also be the reason why I choose it. The topics are uncomfortable, and so must be my writing.
If most of the times I write a poem on the spur of the moment, with little if no editing at all, writing a prose poem becomes a real task. I write many drafts. I cut out so much of what I wrote initially and yet these poems end up being much, much longer than my non-prose poems. 
I have just finshed writing a poem calledUnter den Linden, as the name of the Avenue leading to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. It de…

Persephone, Patti & Me

Long-distance relationships require a lot of patience and love. This is what I tell myself every time John flies back to the States. It is hard and I feel pretty much like Demeter who has to let Persephone head back to Hades. Well California is not exactly Hades, but I hope to have conveyed the message. I am ready to keep myself as busy as I can till next summer. It won't be hard this year. I am currently managing Pandemonium (aka as my translation agency) all by myself since the month of September. It is hard and engaging, but a beautiful endeavor as always. I am also resuming my work on the WIPs. And, getting ready for more reading too. I have a pile of TBR books and two brand new additions I bought in the past few days that I simply cannot wait to read: Toni Morrison's latest novel, God Help the Child, and Patti Smith's M-Train.

And so, John has just left Rome. Jack is in Italy, but not heading to Rome this year. Alas, fall does not tread lightly. Let the winter of our …

10 Books I Have Been Reading This Summer.

Summer comes as a blessing, It is definitely the season in which I manage to come to terms with my creative side. I write, I read, I watch movies and I try to soak in as much art as possible. Since last June I have read more books than I'd thought I might be able to. Here is a list of ten I have been reading or am currently reading. They are all novels or short stories collections. Indeed I love my poetry, but I tend to read more poetry during the rest of the year!

1) John Claude Smith, Riding the Centipede (Omnium Gatherum, 2015)

Riding the Centipede is John's debut novel. I was curious to read it, as I have always enjoyed his writing. John loves his winding tours into the weird and this is indeed a ride, but I strongly encourage you to give it a spin. Here are some of the ingredients: a private investigator, a Hollywood socialite, a ghost choosing to Ride the Centipede to the ultimate experience, William S. Burroughs, Marylin Monroe, Frida Kahlo's lost painting and a nucl…

Writing, again

It seems I am writing poems again after being on a hiatus. I am not one of those writers/poets who sits at the desk and starts writing. I cannot force myself to write, if I do, I will end up writing a poem without "voice." I always "struggle" with my Muse. I realize many consider the Muse unnecessary to write. Many believe that writing comes from hard work only. True, but then I guess I must belong to a different breed of writers. I love the act of creation when it happens, but I also know that I can't open my notebook, stare at the blank page and fill it for the sake of filling it. Writing comes to me. It is a gift. Something triggers my imagination and words pour on the page.  And, I hardly ever edit my poems. When they come to me, they are "perfect." Or, so they seem to me.

Humbert and Lolita made their appearance in the first poem I wrote a few days ago. I was thinking at how, as much as I love Nabokov, I detest his novel Lolita. I must confess of…

Just Like When Hadrian Wrote Poems

Just Like When Hadrian Wrote Poems
hidden in the Maritime Theater - his room of his own - quill in hand on the artificial island surrounded by waters
rich in carps, reflecting the marble colonnade, fighting his sporadic moods and talking in Greek and Latin to his
two Muses, skipping the occasional stone on the pond of his writing, reflecting on life’s end with the lucidity of his ink.
Animula, vagula blandula Hospes comesque corporis Quae nunc abibis in loca Pallidula rigida nudula, Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos…
It’s that flow of his writing I feel today waking in me amidst the yelling cicadas and the twisted olive
trees in his Villa in former Tibur, walking along the statues mirroring themselves in the Canopus. There is Mars on the warpath, shield in
hand and there winged Mercury  almost ready to soar with the local iridescent dragonfly. Headless Venus winks her eye  to Antinous’ head drifting along
the currents of the Emperor’s thoughts. Hadrian writes his best known poem again today over the island for me to…

Best of the Net Nomination!

I was happy to receive an e-mail from NonBinary Review's Editors, Lise Quintana and Allie Marini, this week, informing me that my poem "Bound to Her Father's Spear Hurled Over the River's Current" was nominated for the Best of the Net Award! The poem appeared in Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable's issue published last Spring and it was inspired by the myth of Camilla, a woman warrior I am very fond of. I still own the book where I first read about her aged 8 or 9.

You may admire this issue's amazing cover by MANDEM here below. And, you can get a free copy of the issue by downloading the Lithomobilus app for i-Phone or i-Pad.

This is my second Best of the Net nomination. I was nominated by Cease, Cows two years ago for my poem "Baltic Dream with Dostoevsky." I am very pleased to be nominated again. For a Pushcart nomination there is still hope, I guess! ;)

Artworks from "Belgians: Barbarians & Poets" exhibition at Rome's MACRO

A few stills from a recent visit to the MACRO Museum. As usual there were plenty of artists on show, but the main exhibition was truly stunning and well worth the price paid for it.

6 months, 3 publications

I realized today that my first 6 months of the year have been quite productive. I have had 3 publications coming out and this is more than pleasing. In January, dancing girl press has released my second US chapbook, Diagnosis. In March it was the New Anthology of American Poetry's turn, the book that I have edited and translated, has been published by Ensemble. In May, Offerte di Carta, my translation of the first Italian collection by SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía was published by Gilgamesh.

I have had 12 poems as well as 2 poems by Antonia Pozzi in English translation accepted by journals  I am back to writing poetry lately and I am polishing the biography.

I haven't submitted a lot, given my standards. 41 submissions will have to do. I know I must write more to send out more, but I am not worried. Poetry simply happens!

New Anthology of American Poetry Launch Party #Rome #May29th

I wish to thank the numerous poets and friends who have joined the Nuova Antologia di Poesia Americanalaunch partyat the Caffè Letterario N'importe Quoi, last night. A special thank you to the amazing Brigade poets and Rome poets, Marco Cinque, Ludovica Lanini, Edoardo Olmi, Giovanna Iorio, Maria Desiderio and Enzo Lomanno. A heartfelt thank you to my American friends Jackie Murray and Dan Curley and to 4 of Skidmore's students, Helen Kirk, Kevin Wang, Mary Farrington and Emily Sater who have read so beautifully the poems in their original version. Jackie's reading of "Eurydice is Missing" by Stephen Kessler was brilliant. The way she used her cell phone in the end just had me smile.

And, thank you, thank you, thank you to all my friends and to all those who were there to celebrate American Poetry with me. Grazie Beppe, Stefania, Adelaide, Carolina, Greg, Riccardo, Alan, Marco and all the RomeKids. Thank you also to my publisher Matteo Chiavarone for believing in…

Stroll in Rome

I simply love walking around the city center and, as much as I know it well, it seems there is always something I haven't seen or noticed. Literally every corner hides a surprise. Here below are a few pictures I took after my stroll yesterday. Things old and new. Things I knew and things I have learnt. I hope you will enjoy the photos.

Walking around Rome in the Footsteps of Poets

Sometimes I think I should write a poetical tour of Rome, and get it published. So many poets have fallen prey to the beauty of Rome over time and it would be nice to walk in their footsteps. Many foreign poets have left an indelible mark in our city and many Italian poets should be celebrated too. Let's check a few places.

Keats and Shelley's HouseThis is the house where Keats lived his last months and where he died on February 23rd, 1821. You can visit the room where he died, and enjoy the many relics the museum holds. There are locks of hair of Keats, Shelley and Bryon, handwritten letters and poems (a fragment of "Lamia" that always brings tears to my eyes), funerary masks and one of the most beautiful views of the Spanish Steps. This place is steeped in history and walking in Keats's very footsteps is quite moving.

The Non-Catholic Cemetery (or, Protestant Cemetery) Close to the only surviving Roman pyramid, it is the place to be if you love poetry and cats. I…