Poetry. Fiction. Translated by John Taylor. Alfredo de Palchi, in his 93rd year, has produced another stunning book after the cosmic obliteration of NIHIL (Xenos Books, 2017). As in that book, THE AESTHETICS OF EQUILIBRIUM leaps from a realistic setting into a fantastic panorama, this time revealed in sixty-four prose poems arranged in four sections. "The Fall" presents the author losing his balance, falling backward on the sidewalk, breaking his hip and feeling his "animal heart" and "porcine valves" respond to a life threat. "Destination Apocalypse" throws the reader back into the lush forests of Africa after the reptilian extinctions of the Jurassic, where mammals originate and a vicious herbivore-carnivore emerges. From primitive Ardipithecus to sophisticated Homo sapiens, prehistoric man passes in review, killing all the other creatures and raping the Earth. In "The Genesis of My Death," the story of this new species and his assault on feline forms splits the consciousness of the author into narrator and lion point of view. All themes, including medical and religious, converge in the last section, "The Anthropoid," which damns the anomaly for his pretense of divinity and his lust for blood.
Alfredo de Palchi was born in Legnano (near Verona) in 1926. His most recent book of poetry is THE AESTHETICS OF EQUILIBRIUM (Xenos Books/Chelsea Editions, 2019), translated by John Taylor. After sojourns in Paris and Barcelona in the 1950s, he moved to the United States in 1956. He first became known in Italy when his poetry collection Sessioni con l'analista (Sessions with My Analyst) appeared in 1967 at Mondadori. In the United States, Xenos Books has published four bilingual editions of de Palchi's work: NIHIL (2017), ADDICTIVE AVERSIONS (1999), ANONYMOUS CONSTELLATION (1997), and THE SCORPION'S DARK DANCE (1993). In 2013, Chelsea Editions issued his PARADIGM: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1947-2009 (2013), which includes the translation of much recent poetry previously available only in Italian. His work has been widely analyzed by critics and fellow poets, notably in Giorgio Linguaglossa's La poesia di Alfredo de Palchi (Edizioni Projetto Cultura, 2017), Plinio Perilli's Il cuore animale. Vita/romanzo e poesia/messaggio di Alfredo de Palchi (Impería, 2016), Guiseppe Panella's The Poetry of Alfredo de Palchi: An Interview and Three Essays (Chelsea Editions, 2013), A Life Gambled in Poetry: Homage to Alfredo de Palchi (Gradiva Publications, 2011), and several special issues of journals. He lives in Manhattan.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA
John Taylor (b. 1952) is an American writer, critic and translator who lives in France. His most recent books are a translation of Alfredo de Palchi's THE AESTHETICS OF EQUILIBRIUM (Xenos Books/Chelsea Editions, 2019) and AT AN HOUR'S SLEEP FROM HERE (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2020). Taylor is the translator of Franca Mancinelli's THE LITTLE BOOK OF PASSAGE (Bitter Oleander Press, 2018) and Alfredo de Palchi's NIHIL (Xenos Books, 2017). In 2013, he won the Raiziss-de Palchi Translation Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets for his project to translate the Italian poet Lorenzo Calogero. This book was later published as AN ORCHID SHINING IN THE HAND: SELECTED POEMS 1932-1960 (Chelsea Editions, 2015). Taylor has translated many other French and Francophone poets, including Philippe Jaccottet, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Louis Calaferte, Georges Perros, José-Flore Tappy, Catherine Colomb, Pierre Chappuis, and Pierre Voélin. He is the author of several volumes of short prose and poetry, including THE APOCALYPSE TAPESTRIES (Xenos Books, 2004), Now the Summer Came to Pass (Xenos Books, 2012), IF NIGHT IS FALLING (Bitter Oleander Press, 2012), THE DARK BRIGHTNESS (Xenos Books, 2017), Grassy Stairways (The MadHat Press, 2017), and REMEMBRANCE OF WATER / TWENTY-FIVE TREES (Bitter Oleander Press, 2018). Author City: FRA