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The Contagion of Matter

Valerio Magrelli, translated by Anthony Molino
The Contagion of Matter
ISBN: 978-08419-1399-8
ISBN: 978-08419-1400-1
2000/160 pages
Distributed for Holmes and Meier Publishers

"I used to read a great many Italian poets. Nowhere near as many in recent years...though I've seen things by a young poet which I like very much. His name is Magrelli..."—Joseph Brodsky

"In an era with few dominant poetic voices, he reminds us of the reach, the command, the surprise of the real thing."—Rain Taxi

"This is a 'now you see it, now you don't' kind of magical, mystical, clever and tricky writing ... it is as vivid and as orgininal as any poetry I have read for many a long day. For the delight, one owes a great debt to the work of the translator, Anthony Molino .... Valerio Magrelli is an Italian writer whose grasp of the nuances and subtleties of language is a delight."—John Fielding, Collages & Bricolages 2001


His works having already been translated the world over into as many as six different languages from their original Italian, Valerio Magrelli is one of the most innovative and exciting poets writing today. Hailed by figures as diverse as Octavio Paz and Dana Gioia, Magrelli is widely regarded as the foremost Italian poet of his generation. This latest collection of his poetry, translated into English by Anthony Molino, reflects a dazzling kaleidoscope of genres—including poems, prose pieces, reportage, translations, and anagrams—and reinforces the poet's talent as a writer.

Magrelli's writing often employs word plays and classical rhythms to adorn and enhance his poetry. Molino carefully retains the precision of Magrelli's words as he deftly carries these linguistic games across the language barrier.


Valerio Magrelli, born in Rome,has won the Mondello Prize, the Viareggio Prize for poetry, and the Montale Prize. A his currently a professor of French literature at the University of Pisa.