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Poems and Letters
Antonia Pozzi; Lawrence Venuti, ed.; Lawrence Venuti, trans.

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2002 • 224 pp. 5 illus. 5 1/2 x 9 1/4"
Poetry / Literary Criticism - Italian

$18.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6544-0

Bilingual Italian-English ed.

Rediscovery of a stunning achievement in modern Italian poetry.

At the start of a promising career, Antonia Pozzi (1912-1938) committed suicide, leaving behind several hundred poems known only to her closest friends. The posthumous publication of this work led Eugenio Montale to praise Pozzi's "desire to reduce the weight of words to the minimum." Her Modernist verse is lyrical and experimental, pastoral and erotic, powerfully evoking the northern Italian landscape and her personal tragedies amid the repressive climate of Fascism. Breath contains a representative selection of Pozzi's poems in an Italian/ English bilingual format along with a number of her letters. In an introductory essay, editor-translator Lawrence Venuti documents her tormented life, considers her sophisticated thinking about her writing, and sketches the rich literary traditions that she inherited, creating a detailed context in which her poems can be more fully appreciated. The translations affiliate Pozzi's poetry with the work of comparable English-language writers such as H.D., Mina Loy, and Lorine Niedecker, establishing in translation what Pozzi lacked in Italian: a tradition of Modernist women's poetries.

CONTRIBUTORS: Lawrence Venuti.

Reviews / Endorsements

"A thoughtful, elegant and very much needed volume. Pozzi is one of Italy's most accomplished women poets. Venuti's excellent introduction and sensitive translations will finally bring her art to a wider readership."Rebecca West, Professor of Italian and Cinema/Media Studies, University of Chicago

"Antonia Pozzi is a modern Italian woman writer of extraordinary lyric gifts. This elegant translation brings her poignant, precise work into English, and helps to place it in traditions of modernist women's writing."Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice


Short-Listed for the PEN American Center's Award for Poetry in Translation (2003)

Lawrence Venuti is Professor of English at Temple University. His latest books include The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (1998) and the translation of Juan Rodolfo Wilcock's The Temple of Iconoclasts (2000).

Fri, 2 Mar 2018 13:20:47 -0500