Join poets Elisa Biagini and Alicia Suskin Ostriker for a poetry reading tonight at St. Mark’s English Church in Florence.
Waiting for the Light
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
What is it like living today in the chaos of a city that is at once brutal and beautiful, heir to immigrant ancestors “who supposed their children’s children would be rich and free?” What is it to live in the chaos of a world driven by “intolerable, unquenchable human desire?” How do we cope with all the wars? In the midst of the dark matter and dark energy of the universe, do we know what train we’re on? In this cornucopia of a book, Ostriker finds herself immersed in phenomena ranging from a first snowfall in New York City to the Tibetan diaspora, asking questions that have no reply, writing poems in which “the arrow may be blown off course by storm and returned by miracle.”
ALICIA SUSKIN OSTRIKER is a major American poet and critic. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, including, most recently, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979–2011; and The Book of Seventy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors. Ostriker teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Drew University and is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
“Ostriker so loves the world, its griefs, traumas, praises, mysteries, and joys, that she teaches us to love the world with her—sometimes desperately, heartbrokenly, never despairingly. Ostriker is an essential poet, writing at the height of her powers.”—Daisy Fried
The Planet of Dreaming
by Elisa Biagini
By disrupting the paths of language, Elisa Biagini creates destinations that are only apparently domestic. Her poems often map cosmic dislocations. You may dive into water and come up in the palm of a hand wondering if you have drowned. Biagini pulls you inside of pain arising from angles festering in light and life. Like the title of one section, From a Crack, dark material and some healing emanate from fissures and small openings. With fearless lucidity, she probes the unimagined weight of human communication before she has made the links. How this weight affects and is absorbed by our physical existences is experienced page after page — Wallis Wilde-Menozzi
ELISA BIAGINI lives in Florence, Italy, after having taught and studied in the US for several years (Ph.D. Rutgers University). She has published seven poetry collections, most recently Da una crepa (2014; Xenos books, 2017). Her poems have been translated into many languages and she has published editions of her poetry in Spain and the US (“The guest in the wood”, Chelsea editions, NY 2013 – “2014 Best Translated Book Award”). A translator from English (of Alicia Ostriker, Sharon Olds, Lucile Clifton among others), she has published an anthology of contemporary American poetry, Nuovi Poeti Americani (Einaudi, 2006) and she has been invited to the most important international poetry festivals. She teaches Writing at NYU-Florence.