The British poet Caroline Maldonado has reviewed Franca Mancinelli‘s The Butterfly Cemetery (The Bitter Oleander Press, translated by John Taylor) for the journal Mayday.
« This volume by the Italian poet, Franca Mancinelli, is made up of selected prose written between 2008 and 2021 and follows her bilingual collection of poems At an Hour’s Sleep from Here (2019) and her prose poems in The Little Book of Passage (2018), all published by The Bitter Oleander Press and translated into English by John Taylor, who has also written an insightful postface about her work and themes. The book is made up of intense, lyrical passages, fables, fragments of childhood memories, landscapes, reflections and, in the second half, thoughtful explorations of Mancinelli’s own poetics. They are not separated by section headings in the contents page but by gaps, reflecting the porousness between life experiences and writing, as child, adolescent and adult negotiate the world around them and discover how writing and ‘the magical value of the word’ can be a healing, transformative and necessary power existing in time (through rhythm and silence) and space (on the white page): poetry as “an act of continuous salvation.” »
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