Antonio Porta, “Piercing the Page: Selected Poems 1958-1989”

JUST OUT. Antonio Porta, “Piercing the Page. Selected Poems 1958-1989”
Edited and with an introduction by Gian Maria Annovi. And an essay by Umberto Eco
(Los Angeles: Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2012).
Translations by Anthony Baldry, Rosemary Liedl, Paolo Martini, Anthony
Molino, Lawrence R. Smith, Paul Vangelisti and Pasquale Verdicchio


Piercing the Page: Selected Poems 1958-1989

Translated from the Italian by many hands. Edited with an introduction by Gian Maria Annovi and with an afterword, “Porta: Rhythm and the Poetic List,” by Umberto Eco. PIERCING THE PAGE is an extensive selection of Antonio Porta’s poetry, from 1958-1989, representing one of the highest and most intense achievements of postwar Italian Literature. One of the five original members of the Novissimi (anthologized in the groundbreaking 1961 volume I Novissimi: Poetry for the Sixties), Porta remains one of the most important figures in the literary movement known as the Neo-Avant-garde; his work exhibiting a relentless desire for change and articulation. Porta wrote for several major newspapers in Italy, as well as having a more than thirty-year career as an editor for publishing houses in both Milan and Rome. Although several collections of Porta’s work have been published in the US since 1978, PIERCING THE PAGE represents the culmination of a lifetime in poetry.


Antonio Porta, pseudonym of Leo Paolazzi, was born in Vicenza in 1935, but lived in Milan most of his life. In addition to his noteworthy career as a member of the Italian Neo-Avant-garde, specifically a founding member of Gruppo 63 and the Novissimi, he wrote literary criticism for various newspapers and magazines, and taught literature at the Università di Bologna, the Università di Pavia and the Università di Roma, La Sapienza, as well as Yale University. He died of a heart attack in Milan in 1989.

Pure concept: Color. Sound. Line

Our conceptual exhibition concerns main ingredients of the essense of art. Art as such.
To look closely, to discern, to disclose. The matter is dense, but it is opened towards one who scrutinizes.
Life is predicate. Unpredictable in all its diversity.
Evidently, literal meaning is not THE SAME.
But the implying is not always evident.
At the same time, what would cost our efforts, if all we create would be piled in a heap, the same heap that is growing before our eyes by every minute.
Ordering is necessary if you wish not to choke, not to drow in unstoppable flood of works.
Explanatory remarks are just another essential compound of this collection, for every series by each participant. 

Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Alexander Ocheretyansky