Poetry. California Interest. MOTIVE AND OPPORTUNITY is principally located in Los Angeles, where the poet has lived and worked since 1968. The five pieces collected here are various attempts at poetic language trying to settle in this metropolitan sprawl of contradictions. Or as Carey McWilliams called it in his seminal Southern California: an Island on the Land, "very much a city that refuses to know itself." From "Driving Platitudes" and "The Grid," both written while driving across the seemingly endless metropolis, to the most recent "Motive & Opportunity," a detective poem, this book moves around Vangelisti's almost native city, leaving a trail of affections and casual encounters.
Paul Vangelisti is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, as well as a noted translator from Italian. His most recent title is LIQUID PRISONER (Lithic Press, 2021). His book of poems, MOTIVE AND OPPORTUNITY, was published in fall 2020 by Shearsman Books in the U.K. In 2015 he edited Amiri Baraka's posthumous collected poems, S.O.S.: Poems, 1961-2014, for Grove Press. In 2006, Lucia Re's and his translation of Amelia Rosselli's War Variations won both the Premio Flaiano in Italy and the PEN-USA Award. In 2010, his translation of Adriano Spatola's The Position of Things: Collected Poems, 1961-1992 was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. From 1971-1982 he was co-editor, with John McBride, of the literary magazine Invisible City and, from 1993-2002, edited Ribot, the annual report of the College of Neglected Science (CONS). He lives in Pasadena.Author City: LOS ANGELES, CA USA