TRANSLATING A LIFE: FORTY YEARS OF LIVING AND WRITING IN ITALY. A talk by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi at the Keats-Shelley House
TRANSLATING A LIFE: FORTY YEARS OF LIVING AND WRITING IN ITALY
A talk by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi at the Keats-Shelley House/ Thursday 31 March at 16.00
WWM first came to Italy in the 1960s for a taste of Mediterranean life to round out her education. She arrived by hitchhiking from Norway, with her writer-dreams in a backpack. Years later, and living in Oxford while needing a place to recover from an unhappy marriage, Italy, like a nurturing presence, seemed to call her back. How many countless people have reached out for the humanity of Italy, when they are searching for transformation, not of the will, but of the spirit?
WWM will invite discussion about ways that living in Italy has allowed her to approach identity beyond country or language. Positing the transformation that John Keats called “soul making,” she will suggest how the writing life rooted outside of one’s mother tongue is a path to new language, new freedom, forged from migrating into several points of view. Reading from various books she has written - Mother Tongue, An American Life in Italy, The Other Side of the Tiber, Reflections on Time in Italy, Toscanelli’s Ray, a novel - she will trace a journey that all people must make, and that writers are drawn to: the journey of becoming and how it translates a life.
WWM has lived in Parma for thirty-five years. In 2015, she taught at Columbia University in the Narrative Medicine Program and the graduate school of Creative Writing in 2014. She has taught for Boston College and Sarah Lawrence College, lectured widely, and run writing groups in Parma and Geneva. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many publications from Granta to Kenyon Review. Her books are published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, North Point Press, Cadmus Editions and Moretti e Vitali (L’Oceano è dentro di noi).