Diadem: Selected Poems

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5.9 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author
Marosa di Giorgio was born in Salto, Uruguay, in 1932. Descended from Italian immigrants of Tuscan origin, she and her sister Nidia were raised as Catholics in the countryside. She published her first book, Poemas, in 1953. In the 1950s and 60s she worked in the theater and participated as an actress in almost thirty productions. Later, drawing on her background in theater, she gave dramatic recitals of her poems. In 1978, after the death of her father, the family relocated to Montevideo, where she lived until she died of cancer in 2004. She never married or had children.

Like Walt Whitman, di Giorgio expanded the same work throughout her career: Los Papeles Salvajes (The Wild Papers, 2008), her collected poetry, which unites fourteen books. Since her poems inhabit the same imaginative world, they can be read as one long meditation, which di Giorgio described as a forest in which she planted more trees. In 2008, Adriana Hidalgo, an editorial house in Buenos Aires, published the collection in one single volume.

di Giorgio also composed three books of erotic tales--Misales (1993), Camino de las pedrerías (1997), Rosa mística (2003)--and a novel, Reina Amelia (1999). Her final book, La flor de lis (2004), which combines prose poems with longer narratives, completed shortly before her death, synthesizes her life's work. She received several awards throughout her career, including a Fulbright Scholarship and First Prize in the International Poetry Festival in Medellín in 2001, and was invited to travel as far as France to give recitals of her poetry.

Translator Adam Giannelli is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Virginia, where he was a Hoyns Fellow. His poems and translations of Spanish and Italian poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Kenyon Review, Field, Southwest Review, Quarterly West, Colorado Review, Two Lines, Pleiades, The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the editor of a book of critical essays: High Lonesome: On the Poetry of Charles Wright (Oberlin CP, 2006). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ucross Foundation, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

"Since the publication of her first books in the mid-1950s, Marosa di Giorgio has introduced a seemingly indefinable element into Uruguayan literature. Angel Rama and Roberto Echavarren regard her as one of the most original and brilliant descendants of the Uruguayan-born Lautreamont. Other commentators portray her as an eccentric whose poetic prose is virtually synonymous with the idiosyncratic ... She is therefore a writer who has been praised but also marginalized - insofar as she is repeatedly held up as the 'mad woman' of contemporary Uruguayan letters - because of a critical tendency to theorize negatively the very aspect of di Giorgio's surrealist practices for which she has become most famous: her visionary escapism."
-KATHRYN A. KOPPLE, the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

Diadem: Selected Poems is full of "earthy celebrations of pastoral Uruguay and semi-surreal moments of magical realism...[within a] bucolic landscape that evokes both the nostalgic innocence of childhood and the disturbing thresholds of sexual awareness." -Double Room Journal

"di Giorgio's poems are written in a lucid prose that suits the quite dreamlike and ultra-real landscapes described,"

"...somehow in di Giorgio's luminous, hypnotizing prose, each poem comes to seem like a carefully cast spell, a precise intoxication that lingers uneasily at the edge of consciousness. To read a poem by di Giorgio is to encounter the exquisite beauty of an exotic plant that may or may not prove lethal... to enter a dark house with a leg hidden in it, knowing all the while the Soul is out there somewhere, with its hundred-fingered hands."
-The Kenyon Review

"Uruguayan poet Marosa di Giorgio succeeds beyond expectation as rendered in this first extended English translation of her work chosen to represent the full range of her poetic expressionism. A sensitive and poetically vibrant translation by Adam Giannelli provides a compelling context to experience the rich tapestry of her work as it extends over a lifetime of writing in her distinct poetic idiom." -Rattle

"...these poems could be read as a novel, cover to cover, or on their own as individual pieces, and they would still have the same power and depth. The poems themselves blend and blur the lines between each other, in effect recreating an idea of recalling memories of the past; sometimes fantasy, sometimes all too real, and always fleeting and hard to properly pin down ... What is here, in print, is the distillation of memory, stories, and 'real life', into something moving and beautiful ... That is the true essence of these pieces; that they feel natural, real, meaningful, despite incorporating fantasy and surreal images." - HTML Giant