Anny Ballardini

Anny Ballardini lives in Bolzano, Italy. She grew up in New York, lived in New Orleans, Buenos Aires, Florence. A poet, translator and interpreter (simultaneous interpreter for English, French, Italian), she received her MFA in Creative Writing from UNO, University of New Orleans, Chair and Director Bill Lavender. She teaches high school; edits Poets’ Corner - Fieralingue, an online poetry site; and writes a blog: Narcissus Works. Besides various full length publications of translations, to be mentioned are her two collections of poems, Opening and Closing Numbers, published by Moria Editions, Editor Bill Allegrezza, 2005; and Ghost Dance in 33 Movements published by Otoliths Press, Editor Mark Young, 2009. She is the recipient of a scholarship for a PhD. at the University of Verona. For a detailed CV see here.

What is (or has been) your favorite editing project and why?

The Four Seasons! Why? Because I had Vivaldi in mind all the time and his violin playing.

Sometimes hard earned projects reside with you longer, and this is one of them. An entire year, season after season. One poem after another. And Vivaldi’s music along with it.

Jerry McGuire asked me: “Do you maybe have homophonic poems on one of the anthologies?” Centered on Vivaldi, I do not have one poem that celebrates his music with written sounds, which – if you think of it – is quite interesting to notice.

I have edited several anthologies:

Ekleksographia : The Translation Special for Jesse Glass of Ahadada Books, a collection worth mentioning because of the incredible variety of work and of the range of interpretations within the field of translations. I also enjoyed the warm partaking of those who submitted their work.

In a fruitful collaboration with Obododimma Oha, probably to be extended to further topics, there are two projects: the first on the occasion of the American Elections: While the He/art Pants; and the HEALTH & ILLNESS issue which has just been published.

I think that the answers to What is poetry? gathered from spontaneous answers forwarded to the New-Poetry Mailing List can be accounted for as an anthology in its own right.

Two anthologies to be found on the Poets’ Corner are the ones dedicated to the father and the mother. Although I feel that I was much younger as an editor at the time when I collected the material, even if it was probably not longer than three years ago.

I could define an Anthology as being a reality, and within this context Philip Dick’s definition of reality can explain at best what I mean: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away” (How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, 1978). An Anthology has its momentum. It starts with enthusiasm. I usually send a general invitation to a couple of private Poetry Mailing Lists, and private invitations to those poets I know are active, who are intelligent, sensitive, and I think interested in taking part in the project. That is how I protect myself from unwanted submissions, as I try to keep my potential work from negative interferences, let alone harassment of any kind.

The Corner has been a pozzo di San Patrizio ["Saint Patrick’s well", an Italian saying to indicate an inexhaustible source] from which I have drawn. I know my team, invaluable friends and committed scholars, that is why it is difficult to be disappointed. And then the time of ‘surprises’ stars / starts.

Finally the Editorial, the toughest part of the Anthology. It is through the editorial that an editor values the work of his / her collaborators. You do not have to try to overwrite the work you are introducing, but accompany it the best you can. I usually postpone writing my introduction till the very end.

When I translated for the magazine WORK edited by the Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna in Trento, I always received the editorial late at night on the last day; on the following morning the magazine had to go to print. I think I am not the only one who feels burdened by the responsibility of an Editorial.

The Four Seasons Anthology started in Autumn 2008 and ended in Summer of the following year. This commemoration of Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece The Four Seasons has gone beyond all expectations. I would like to underline that it was Ezra Pound, together with Olga Rudge who revived Antonio Vivaldi. The composer would have disappeared from the scene had it not been for the geniality of the Poet and the sensitivity of the Violinist to discover his music. Olga Rudge played from the original scores archived in Turin and tried to organize the Vivaldi Society in Venice but she did not succeed. Finally in 1938 she founded the Centro di Studi Vivaldiani at the Accademia Chigiana. Mary de Rachewiltz forwarded a quotation by Pound that I used in my Spring Editorial. We can only be grateful to Pound and Rudge’s work, and to Mary de Rachewiltz’s enthusiasm in keeping the memory of the great Poet alive whose work was not limited to poetry.

The Four Seasons

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