Sylvia MolloyArgentinaWriting2003

My stay at Civitella was very productive. It served multiple purposes. First, I undertook and completed the translation into English of a book I recently published in Spanish, "Varia imaginacion". Second, it allowed me to explore new forms of writing, both creative and critical, and this was very encouraging. Third, the stay at Civitella allowed me to prepare myself for a new project in fiction, by reading, making notes, and just thinking, free from timetables and, as my English teacher used to put it. “the dragons of everyday life.” Finally, the stay allowed me to interact with an exceptionally intelligent and thoughtful group of writers and artists, and that communal experience was extremely valuable, both for myself personally and for my work.



As a child I remember
Driving my mother mad
By playing with beetles,
Shiny black, hard-shelled,
Some with a single horn
Like a rhinoceros.
Crusties I’d call them
And lined them in a row
Trying to have them march
Together. I always failed
But always tried again,
Pretending not to hear
My mother calling.
Here in Umbria I’ve found their relatives,
Hornless, but in fact quite similar,
I know better than to line them up
But am still tempted.