“When reading her poems, prose poems, narratives and personal essays, we are compelled to face up to the hypothesis that our true home is not, or not only, the here-and-now. And that our true form, or at least one of our true forms, is equally the previous one and the next one, both of which we can attempt to picture. This is why death, when it is invoked by Mancinelli, is not morbid, tragic, or dramatic. Non-being can be viewed as an “origin.” So can non-hereness and non-nowness, that is, our prior and future “non-presence” in time and space as we know them. Personally, and not just as the translator of her clearsighted and deep-probing prose and poetry, I would like to say that Mancinelli’s writings have helped me to open my own eyes to “the invisible” in a different way. Whatever intimidating darkness might have initially “inscribed” the words in her body, these texts often have a luminous and calming effect. “Staying close to the origin,” she observes in “The Invisible as the Facing Page,” “leaving room for the invisible as the facing page. Every time we hold a pen we must remember this ancient branch with which we wrote as children, when we were translating from the invisible (our own body, our presence, was a recent translation from the invisible).”
Fiction. Poetry. Essays. Translation.
John Taylor (b. 1952) has translated many key French, Italian, and Modern Greek poets, including, for The Bitter Oleander Press, books by Jacques Dupin, José- Flore Tappy, and Pierre Voélin. He is the author of several volumes of short prose and poetry, including IF NIGHT IS FALLING and REMEMBRANCE OF WATER & TWENTY-FIVE TREES.
Franca Mancinelli (b. 1981), known for her acutely crafted and existentially incisive poems and poetic prose, is considered to be one of the most original poets to have emerged in Italy during the past fifteen years. The Bitter Oleander Press has published her prose poems in THE LITTLE BOOK OF PASSAGE (2018) and her verse poetry in AT AN HOUR'S SLEEP FROM HERE (2019). THE BUTTERFLY CEMETERY gathers her most important autobiographical stories, personal essays and writings about poetics or landscape.