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About this poet

Stephen Sartarelli was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on July 5, 1954. He holds a BA in literature and languages from Antioch College and an MA in comparative literature from New York University.

Sartarelli is the author of three books of poetry: The Open Vault (Spuyten Duyvil, 2001), The Runaway Woods (Spuyten Duyvil, 2000), and Grievances and Other Poems (Gnosis Press, 1989). He has translated over forty books of fiction and poetry from the Italian and French, including The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini (University of Chicago Press, 2014), which received the 2016 Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize.

About Sartarelli's winning translation, judges Antonello Borra and Alessandro Carrera write: “Thanks to Stephen Sartarelli’s magnificent volume, flawless translation and sound scholarly apparatus, the English-speaking readership will now be aware that Pier Paolo Pasolini was as great as a poet, and possibly even greater, as he was a filmmaker. Not only does Sartarelli intelligently select and elegantly translate from Pasolini’s poetic opus, he also gives us a clear, informed introduction, a useful, concise set of notes, and an essential bibliography. This book is a must have for both scholars and lovers of poetry alike.”

Sartarelli's other honors include the International Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain, the John Florio Prize from the British Society of Authors, and the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize for Songbook: Selected Poems of Umberto Saba in 2001. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the ongoing translation of Horcynus Orca by Stefano D’Arrigo, originally published in 1975.

Sartarelli currently lives in the Périgord region of South West France with his wife, the painter Sophie Hawkes.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry

The Open Vault (Spuyten Duyvil, 2001)
The Runaway Woods (Spuyten Duyvil, 2000)
Grievances and Other Poems (Gnosis Press, 1989)

from Poem in the Shape of a Rose

June 10, 1962

. . . Take a few steps and you’re on the Appia
or Tuscolana, where all is life
for all. But to be this life’s
accomplice, better to know
no style or history. Its meanings
deal in apathy and violence
in sordid peace. Under a sun
whose meaning is also unfolding,
thousands and thousands of people,
buffoons of a modern age of fire,
cross paths, teeming dark
along the blinding sidewalks, against
housing projects stretching to the sky.
I am a force of the Past.
My love lies only in tradition.                                   
I come from the ruins, the churches,
the altarpieces, the villages
abandoned in the Apennines or foothills
of the Alps where my brothers once lived.
I wander like a madman down the Tuscolana,
down the Appia like a dog without a master.
Or I see the twilights, the mornings
over Rome, the Ciociaria, the world,
as the first acts of Posthistory
to which I bear witness, by arbitrary
birthright, from the outer edge
of some buried age. Monstrous is the man
born of a dead woman’s womb.
And I, a fetus now grown, roam about
more modern than any modern man,
in search of brothers no longer alive.

From The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, edited and translated by Stephen Sartarelli. Published by University Of Chicago Press. Translation Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Sartarelli. Used with permission of the author.

From The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, edited and translated by Stephen Sartarelli. Published by University Of Chicago Press. Translation Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Sartarelli. Used with permission of the author.

Stephen Sartarelli

Stephen Sartarelli

Stephen Sartarelli has translated over forty books of fiction and poetry from the Italian and French, including The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini (University of Chicago Press, 2014), which received the 2016 Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize.

by this poet

poem

It would be so easy to unveil
this light or this shadow . . . One word,
and the life that lives alone in me,
beneath the voices every man invents
to get closer to fugitive
truths, would be expressed at last.
But no such word exists.
If, however, in the din rising up
from the