The Dragonfly: A Celebration in Entirety
Experience Italian poet Amelia Rosselli's The Dragonfly (Entre Rios, 2023) in a new translation by Deborah Woodard and Roberta Antoginni— presented in its entirety by many of Seattle's experimental writers and musicians. Deborah Woodard, Eli Briskin, Josh Foman, Tanya Holtland, Brian Dang, Serena Chopra, Peter Nelson-King, and Susan Payne O’Brien present this troubled and troubling text in word, music, and song— a tribute to Roselli, who was an accomplished musicologist.
La Libellula (The Dragonfly) is Amelia Rosselli’s acknowledged first major work and contains all the elements of her mature vision: trilingual wordplay, musicality, and political engagement. With its vertiginous propulsion and rotational structure, this single-long poem, a canto, hovers on the edge of the surreal, where meaning continually multiplies and then negates. The reader must engage her work as she instructs — intuitively. Her inventive refraction of Italian literary tradition sought a more authentic liberation, “in all the nation’s life, in all the dismal / boroughs, in all the putridous world, exists / just one me, exists just one you, — exists charity.” Now recognized as one of the most significant voices of post-war Europe, her visceral writing challenges the constriction of language as not only a fascist legacy but also as a critique of the banality and materialism of reconstruction.
Susan Payne O’Brien
Serena Chopra (Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Seattle University) is a teacher, writer, dancer, filmmaker and a visual and performance artist. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver and is a MacDowell Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. She has two books, This Human (Coconut Books 2013) and Ic (Horse Less Press 2017), as well as two films, Dogana/Chapti (Official Selection at Frameline43, Oregon Documentary Film Festival, QueerX and Seattle Queer Film Festival) and Mother Ghosting (2018). She was a featured artist in Harper's Bazaar (India), Revry, as well as in the Denver Westword’s “100 Colorado Creatives,” and has recent creative publications in Sink, Foglifter as well as in the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 (Central Avenue Publishing, 2020). She also has critical essays in Matters of Feminist Practice (Belladonna Collective, 2019), Rehearsing Racial Equity: A Critical Anthology on Anti-Racism and Repair in the Arts (Amherst College Press, forthcoming 2023) and in the republication of Judy Grahn’s The Highest Apple: Sappho and the Lesbian Poetic Tradition (Sinister Wisdom, forthcoming 2023). In October 2020, Serena co-directed No Place to Go, an immersive, artist-made queer haunted house with Kate Speer and Frankie Toan. Serena is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Seattle University. You can find out more at SerenaChopra.com.
Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright/poet/teaching artist based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle). For Brian, writing is an act of envisioning an eventual communing, an opportunity to freeze time as we know it, and a reaching for joy. They really like bread. Website: brianeatswords.com.