The Italian Professor's Wife

Product Details
Press 53
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.14 inches | 0.22 pounds

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About the Author
Ann Pedone is the author of The Medea Notebooks (Etruscan Press, Spring 2023), as well as the chapbooks The Bird Happened (Leave Books), perhaps there is a sky we don't know: a re-imagining of sappho. (Cup and Dagger Press), DREAM/WORK, and Everywhere You Put Your Mouth (Halas Press). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including American Journal of Poetry, Narrative Magazine, Juked, Carve Magazine, Abralemin, JuxtaProse, and Menacing Hedge. Ann graduated from Bard College, and earned an MA in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The poems in The Italian Professor's Wife move with a quiet intensity, the pitch rarely rising above the level of a deeply internal heartbreak, its pecked phrases seeming to "leave a lot out" in the manner of the New York School, but which can at times be startlingly revealing-mentally and sexually vulnerable-before inviting the reader to take a stance on an unfolding tale of betrayal: "His lies, I should add, have always been very poetic." Most remarkably, perhaps, is how Pedone often allows images to abandon us, her readers, such that the book escapes the bounds of literary narrative and becomes more the shot-list of a short, quasi-Surrealist film: "The husband looks up at the sky / and opens his mouth twice." This is a lovely, engaging little book! -Brian Stefans, author of Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Rimbaud

To experience is to catalog, to archive, to totemize. What better a place for making sense out of senseless things than in poetry? Here we have Ann Pedone's book, The Italian Professor's Wife, where the small compounds and becomes largess. Here we have computers that die and speakers who fall asleep. We have linings that get torn from pockets. We have careful ticking of numbers-times, dates, locations-in the maelstrom of memory. Events as cast-aside things, or extras on a movie set-"Did you see in the paper this morning / something about / sea levels rising in Venice"-all things that seem to be of little importance until you realize-startlingly, resonantly, familiarly-that they are everything. "[T]hat / constant click / of his tongue / the one that is / all the years of my life." And all the years of ours, too, dear reader. -July Westhale, author of Via Negativa

The Italian Professor's Wife plays out in the flat, liminal spaces of hotel rooms, trains stations, and restaurants. These are objectivist psychosexual vignettes-imagine Carl Rakosi doing erotica-but also meditations on time. Pedone's poetry is full of odd charm and engaging particularity. -Drew Gardner, author of Defender

Pedone's supreme inventiveness caught me off-guard, and sprang on me fully formed. I was on page one of The Italian Professor's Wife when I realized Pedone's deeply intimate and erotic poems had convinced (consumed?) me, that they would keep on doing so--and that they were totally made up. These poems are not fragments; they are episodes, poems that even individually dare to satisfy an entire life, a life no less lived for being invented. These poems happened, and I have an absolute faith in their verity. "Fiction forms what lives in us..." and gives us the only kind of truth worth knowing, a truth that Pedone speaks with such finesse and mysterious integrity. "Why would I lie?/ Same reason why you would tell me the truth." I love it when Pedone lies to me, that's how I know when I'm in the hands of a serious poet. -Tamas Panitz, author of Toad's Sanctuary