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In Adolescence and Night, Luigi Fontanella entrusts his imagination with wresting the years of his youth from an inevitable destiny of oblivion. His poetic idiom combines sharp terseness and a metaphysical dimension, where simple occurrences of a faraway time and place come alive again and transcend their historical specificity to assume universal significance. 

A conversation with the author and translator

(Introduction first, conversation starts at 6:55)

About the Author

Luigi Fontanella is a poet, literary critic, novelist and translator. John S. Toll Professor of Italian at Stony Brook University, he has published numerous books of poetry, several books of fiction, and others of literary criticism.  His publications include Il surrealismo italiano (Roma: Bulzoni, 1983); La parola aleatoria (Firenze: Le Lettere,1992); Storia di Bontempelli (Ravenna: Longo, 1997) and Migrating Words. Italian Writers in the United States (New York: Bordighera Press, 2012). His novels are Controfigura (Venezia: Marsilio, 2009) and Il dio di New York (Firenze: Passigli, 2015).  His most recent collections of poetry are L’azzurra memoria (Bergamo: Moretti & Vitali, 2007, Laurentum Prize); L’angelo della neve (Milano: Mondadori, 2009); Disunita ombra (Milano: Archinto-Rizzoli, 2013, Frascati Prize); L’adolescenza e la notte (Firenze: Passigli, 2015, Pascoli Prize, Viareggio-Giuria Prize); and Monte Stella (Firenze: Passigli, 2020). His poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, English and Russian. President of I.P.A. (Italian Poetry in America), Fontanella is the Senior Editor of the international journal Gradiva, and Chief Editor of the publishing house Gradiva Publications. He lives in Mount Sinai, Long Island, NY, and spends part of the year in Florence, Italy.  

About the Translator

A translator, poet, and critic, Giorgio Mobili was born in Milan, Italy, in 1973. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Washington University, St. Louis (MO). He currently teaches at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of several academic essays on (Post)modern literature and film, and of the book Irritable Bodies and Postmodern Subjects in Pynchon, Puig, and Volponi (Peter Lang, 2008). His Italian poetry has appeared in several journals, five published collections (starting with Penelope su Sunset Boulevard, Manni, 2010), and has been included in the bilingual anthology Poets of the Italian Diaspora (Fordham UP, 2013). His first Spanish book (Última salida a Ventura (Mago, 2013) came out in Santiago, Chile. His English poetry has appeared in The Tipton Poetry Journal, Pank Magazine, The Hiram Poetry Review, Ariel, and Gradiva. He has translated, for the first time into Italian, the Brazilian poet Narlan Matos (La provincia oscura, Fili, 2016), the American poet Christopher Merrill (Necessità, Fili, 2017), and the Chilean poet Ennio Moltedo (Ruta silenciosa).