OUR POETRY ARCHIVE FEATURED
POET OF THE MONTH
july 2017 by https://ourpoetryarchive.blogspot.com/2017/07/talking-with-claudia-piccinno.html
OPA How long have you been writing Poetry? We would like to know the early stories about your growing up as a poet or writer in general. Who are your favorite Poets? What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? Had they inspired you a lot, do you believe in inspiration as a guiding force behind writings at all?
CLAUDIA I have been writing poetry since I was 15 years old, but I never published my works before 2011. I was very jealous of my intimate reflections; when I was teenager I loved Leopardi poems and my schoolmates made fun of me because I had a melancholy vein, but I loved Dante Alighieri and Montale too, after when I studied at University I discovered Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmè, lately I’ve read all works of Szymborska that inspired me in my first collection “La sfinge e il pierrot” and in “Potando l’euforbia”, I’ve read something of Achmatova, Neruda, Puskin, Borges and I realized how their writing has influenced my soul. I love reading greek mithologic tales and historical novels too. Anna Karenina for example, the heroine of War and peace of Tolstoj inspired my poem “Stay there”.
OPA What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you write? What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?
CLAUDIA Giorgio Barberi Squarotti, a famous Italian literary critic wrote about me both a warning and a compliment:
The poetry of Claudia Piccinno alternates a lively and luminous lyrical contents to reflections and thoughts of life with effective judgments about the actuality of the pain in history. If there is a limit, it is the very private of his poetic discourse with the risk of sentimental and romantic fullness.
He suggested me to read Goethe and Rilke too, he died some months ago, but I’ll honour his suggestion soon. The strangest thing a reader asked me was if, after The ceiling I was ready to write something about my cellar.
OPA What is your favorite poem you have ever written? Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
CLAUDIA I think any poem is sacre to the poet, but the most awarded is “Davide is your name”, it’s about a children affected with autism, it has been translated into 20 languages thanks to writers all over the world and I hope one day it can become a book, whose incomes can help some no profits or onlus associations dealing with special children. I think my writing style has changed compared to my literary debut, life, study and reading improved it.
OPA What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?
CLAUDIA I prefer to be a poet, a poet can be a poet even if he doesn’t publish his work, a poet needs also the space of words that cannot be said, he needs sonority and silence at the same time and in an equal amount. An author sometimes is slave of marketing logics and he loose his judgment independence, the poet has a moral duty: to look for the truth.
OPA Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and or author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
CLAUDIA I’m a teacher since I was 21, and I’ll always be a learner too. The ancient latin poet Oratio said “Carmina non dant panem”, which means Poetry doesn’t give a poet the bread, so we need to work to live. Anyway I love my job; sometimes I become tired of bureaucracy and formal fulfillment but I need young children in my daily routine. They help me to preserve my amazement and enthusiasm.
OPA Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? What genre are you most looking forward to explore during your writing career? Why?
CLAUDIA I like travelling and walking, I think any journey, even a trip can teach us something new. I love cats, I believe nature is our first teacher. I’d like to become a storyteller because I’ve lots of oral memories in my mind, when I was a child I used to sit at old people’s feet and listen their tales. But I need peace and silence, free time and quiet to sit and write.
OPA Do you think literature or poetry is really essential in our life? If so why? How does it relate to the general history of mankind?
CLAUDIA Literature and poetry are really a soul therapy you know, In Italy some associations are trying to build literary pharmacy, giving freely books to clochards, drug addicted, alcohol addicted, prisoners. Someone else is promoting high voices reading in the hospitals for example. Yes I think reading and writing is essential, furthermore in war times we have had great poets and writer, I can think about Ungaretti, Levi, Svevo, Anna Frank and many others.
OPA Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.
CLAUDIA When I was a child I was fascinated by an enormous bookshelf in my great-grandfather’s house, so I was an early reader. Books have always been my faithful friends in my life, my ink wings to leave and land everywhere. Writing is my magic glass in the world.
OPA Do you think people in general actually bother about literature in general? Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?
CLAUDIA Yes I fear so, the average man often prefer to buy the last item of mobile phone, rather than a book. In Italy a recent poll underlined that the best selling genres are esoteric stories or cooking books…
OPA Do you think society, as a whole, has a factor in shaping you as a poet, or your poetry altogether?
CLAUDIA Neruda and Quasimodo taught me the role of a poet was to sow doubts and questions, poetry can make a new man, creativity is a basic ingredient to make a whole man. So I’ve never been indifferent to this society.
A Serbian critic and poetess Milica Lilic writes about my poems: “What comes out from its “rails in verse” is a meaningful world that arises from reflection from the logos, from the conscious and creative effort that overcomes the fragmentation of the creatures, the alienation of the nations, the moral depravity, the hypocrisy, the loneliness of the individual in front of the screen, the fear of this “civilization” that ignores the feelings, the pain, the intimate tragedy and the civil rights.
Alone, without love and compassion, the man is helpless and defenseless, Claudia calls for a new time made for sharing, real contact with others and with life. In the absence of the authenticity the poetess draws on the myth to survive the drama of urban chaos”.
OPA We would also like to know; How do you relate the present literary trends with the literary heritage of your own country?
CLAUDIA The father of Italian literature Dante Alighieri, in the 13th century with his book “The Divine Comedy” brought about a sort of globalization because none before him had never tried to write in “volgare”, the language spoken by all social classes, but never written until then. That was a great achievement, because it made easier for the masses to study in vulgar. Today globalization has increased the availability of information, but sometimes it happens at the expense of quality and depth. Paradoxically in Italy the greater dissemination of texts corresponds to a lower percentage of readers.
OPA Are you a feminist? Can literature play any decisive role in feminism at all?
CLAUDIA I believe it’s necessary to ensure equal opportunities between the sexes, that should mean a complementary path where any abuse is forbidden. Literature can play a decisive role in any extremism, I think.
OPA Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle in becoming an international writer?
CLAUDIA All writers are the product of their cultural or intimistic experiences which do not always depend on nationality. For me it’s a great incentive the comparison with writers from all over the world. On November 2016, I was a honor guest at a poetry festival in Istanbul and I met poetess from Greece, from Serbia, from Iraq… we instantly felt sisters in poetry and we discovered so much affinity among us and our mores.
OPA What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
CLAUDIA Self supporting, impulsive, sociable, ironic, gipsy, passionate, cheerful.
OPA Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?
CLAUDIA Our Poetry Archive is for me like a huge box of wonders, it makes me happy. Thanks to the editorial board for this chance to learn and grow.
CLAUDIA PICCINNO: Scholastic referent land for education at reading. She has received awards in major national and international competitions of poetry, including an honor mention in the Paris 1st Word Literary Prize and a 3rd prize in Lugano, Switzerland, 3rd prize in Albania; She has been the first italian poetess to be awarded with The Stelae of Rosetta, World Literary Prize in Istanbul on November 2016. She will be conferred with the most prestigious award “World icon for peace” for Wip in Ondo city, Nigeria, on April 2017 . Her poem “In Blue” is played on a majolica stele posted on the seafront in Santa Caterina di Nardo (Le).Last June 2016, she was art director in an art & poetry international exhibition called June in Italy. She is italian editor for the international literary magazine Rosetta World Literatura in Turkey and for Atunis Magazine in Albania.She has also written numerous reviews and critical essays or prefacess about other poets’books.She has traslated from English into italian lots of authors.She has published“La sfinge e il pierrot”, Aletti Editore, 2011,“Potando l’euforbia” in Transiti Diversi, Rupe Mutevole Edizioni, 2012,“Il soffitto, cortometraggi d’altrove”, La Lettera Scarlatta Edizioni, 2013,With english version also “Il soffitto, cortometraggi d’altrove” La Lettera Scarlatta Edizioni maggio 2014, in serbian “Tabahnha” ed.Majdah luglio 2014.“Ragnatele Cremisi”- La Lettera Scarlatta Edizioni, settembre 2015Tavan Baska Yerlerdeki Kisa Filmier,Artshop, Istanbul 2016