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Tra prosa e poesia, Valerio Magrelli (IPT, Oxford)

Wednesday 2 December, 5,30pm
Italian Poetry Day: Valerio Magrelli

The Queen’s College, University of Oxford and ICI London host an online conversation between poet Valerio Magrelli and Roberto BInetti (St Anne’s College, University of Oxford)

Drawing from his experience in London in 2014, Valerio Magrelli will analyse his transition from poetry to prose, which culminated in a series of sonnets written in English. Along with other prose texts, these sonnets were later included in a volume titled La lingua restaurata e una polemica. Otto sonetti a Londra (Manni, Lecce, 2014).

Basically it’s impossible to trust
in dictionary rhymes: it drives one mad.

So, why sonnets? Because I shall be glad

to build a form, a shape, against the dust.

For which I chose this skeleton of verses:

I think in fact that such a structure saves

our weak voice, our whisper, and braves

demolishing Time and all its reverses.

In poetry, less is more, and if you can’t

control a language, then, as with a horse,

you can just use, as a unique resource,

strong reins, or some other kind of restraint.

Riding without brakes results in trauma.

Ecco. Io salvo immagini, Simona.

(Valerio Magrelli, La lingua restaurata e una polemica. Otto sonetti a Londra, 2014)

Valerio Magrelli (Rome, 1957) is a writer, translator, and full professor of French literature at Roma Tre University. He published his first poetry collection at twenty-three, Ora serrata retinae (Feltrinelli, 1980). His first collection were then followed by other five books: Nature e venature (Mondadori, 1987), Esercizi di tiptologia (Mondadori, 1992), Didascalie per la lettura di un giornale (1999), Disturbi del sistema binario (2006), and Il commissario Magrelli (2018). The first three collections were then included in the volume Poesie (1980-1992) e altre poesie (Einaudi, 1996). Since 2003, he published also prose texts such as Nel condominio di carne (Einaudi 2003), La vicevita. Treni e viaggi in treno (Laterza 2009), Addio al calcio (Einaudi 2010), Il Sessantotto realizzato da Mediaset (Einaudi 2011), Geologia di un padre (Einaudi 2013), La vicevita (Einaudi 2019) e Sopruso: istruzioni per l’uso (Einaudi 2019). In 2002 the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei awarded him the Feltrinelli Prize for Italian poetry. He collaborates with the cultural page of ‘Repubblica’ and writes on the blog il Reportage.

Join Zoom Meeting 
Meeting ID: 981 8162 1350
Passcode: 840461




  • Organizzato da: The Queen's College, University of Oxford
  • In collaborazione con: ICI London