LericiPea “Edito” Prize 2014 to Valerio Magrelli
for his book “Il sangue amaro” (Bitter Blood) published by Einaudi
Valerio Magrelli is a witness of our time – his poetry reflects today’s public and private affairs, expressing a strong position of (self)criticism in a nimble and acrobatic yet straight-forward tone. Even the title of his book “Il sangue amaro” (Bitter Blood), reflects both personal and social troubles. The book starts with showgirls becoming parliamentarians and representatives “del sesso sesso sesso sesso sesso” (of sex sex sex sex sex, a verse with a perfect metrics), and with memories of his predecessors Pagliarani and Sanguineti; then Magrelli investigates the consumer Christmas invoking an alternative “Dio delle baraccopoli, Gesù dei clandestini” (God of the slums, Jesus of illegal immigrants), and he finally arrives to personal “terrors and tremors” talking to Death and “Holy Euthanasia”. Then he turns to desolate landscapes of language loss, of “Giovani senza lavoro / con strani portafogli / in cui infilare denaro / che non è guadagnato” (Young people without work / with strange wallets / in which they put money / they did not earn). Without raising his voice and through the refined yet effective tools of the past and present poetic tradition, Magrelli confirms himself as a passionate critic, a poet in love with life’s intermittences as he shows in these lines dedicated to the months: “Ma resta il cielo a ricordarci il tempo / in cui respirerà piena la vita”. (But still the sky reminds us of time / in which life will fully breathe). Thanks to him, Italian poetry can face the small and big disasters of the 21st Century.
Below are some images of the award ceremony. Magrelli competed with the poets Alba Donati and Roberto Mussapi. According to tradition, the voting and the award ceremony were held on Tuesday, July 22nd 2014 in the historic Mentana Square in La Spezia.