Victoria Surliuga


Translated from the Italian
by Alessandro Carrera & Giorgio Mobili
Artwork by Ezio Gribaudo

Xenos Books in collaboration with Chelsea Editions


ISBN: 978-1-879378-95-7
Bilingual Italian-English
136 pages, $15.


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Shadow is Victoria Surliuga's new book of poetry in bilingual Italian-English format. The fragmentation of the self and a divided attention towards life are the main themes addressed. Surliuga's poems reflect on existence and death, the shortcomings of childhood's happy memories, and the inability to accept one's body as the sole identity bearer. Surliuga moves freely from descriptions of the world's surface down to the depths where life and dreams cannot be told apart. Hers are poems of hope, aiming to reassemble one's voice in life, find the center for consciousness within the body, and give a new foundation to one's perception of the world. Five artworks by Italian artist Ezio Gribaudo enhance the abstract contours of the poems while accompanying the reader though a journey of reflection about the value of one's past and its impact on the present. "The choir of children abandoned / in the woods yells, 'leave us here'," Surliuga writes, while "at night powder grains / floated in the chiseled air."

VICTORIA SURLIUGA is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on contemporary Italian literature, art and cinema. Her publications include Ezio Gribaudo: The Man in the Middle of Modernism (New York-London: Glitterati, 2016) and five books of poetry.



"Victoria Surliuga's poetry wanders through the woods of childhood memories, not so much to bring them to light as to uncover their secrets."

~ Letizia Modena, Vanderbilt University.





From Ombra / Shadow




Poetess Victoria Surliuga


bambini in pantaloncini blu
volteggiano lame d'acciaio

nell'aria primaverile
le buttano e le riprendono

prestigiatori occulti
questi tagli sono sentieri

senza via di ritorno
dal buio bottiglia
di notti senza fine

children in blue shorts
are twirling steel blades

in the spring air
they throw them and they catch them

occult illusionists
these cuts are paths

without return
from the bottle-blackness
of nights without end

cinque bambine con la salopette rossa
salutavano a mano aperta il corteo funebre

salpava in una fila indiana di navi
nella upper bay davanti a wall street

le navi portavano feroci statue e bassorilievi
di sirene draghi giganti nani pronti all'attacco

le limousine erano ferme sulla riva
aspettavano un segnale per galleggiare

five little girls in red overalls
waved open-handed at the funeral procession

as it sailed off in a single file of ships
into the upper bay south of wall street

the ships carried fierce statues and bas-reliefs
of sirens dragons giants dwarves poised to attack

the limousines were idling at the shore
awaiting a signal to float

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