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by Antonella Anedda, translated from the Italian by Susan Stewart and Patrizio Ceccagnoli

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Tacitus, the brooding historian of the Roman Empire, supplies the title of Antonella Anedda’s Historiae, in which she grapples with a legacy of Mediterranean displacement and violence that stretches from antiquity to the present day. In this bilingual edition, Anedda writes about the aftermath of centuries of colonization, about the ongoing European immigration crisis, and about the wild Sardinian archipelago of La Maddalena and the teeming Roman neighborhood of Trastevere—places between which she has divided her life—in a wonderfully various collection where poems of community frame poems of private life, among them a moving elegy for her mother. With wit, insight, and economy, Anedda reminds us that history is plural and that our perspectives, too, are constituted by pluralities—by events both present and past, both world-shaking and exquisitely mundane.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781681376967
Pages: 160
Publication Date:


Ceccagnoli and Stewart have preserved the terseness of her idiom, which aspires, as she says in “Annales,” to the austerity of Latin…Much of the prosodic force of Anedda’s writing comes from the tension that builds between her rhetorical economy and what she calls the “dripping” of modern Italian, a word that, in its benign sense, suggests the viscous, hypersaturated sound of the language and, more darkly, the water and blood that hug its history and coastline.
—Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review

Antonella Anedda challenges us to confront the mystery that lies at the heart of existence.
—David Cooke, The High Window Press

These beautiful poems by Antonella Anedda illuminate the correspondences between the flora, fauna and material substance of our mortal, temporal world—birds, bedsheets, constellations, “moonlight scratches along the wall”—and the psyche’s dreamscapes. Historiae is precise, inquiring, and urgent, a timely introduction to the work of a major poet of our time.
—Cynthia Zarin

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