Poetry and Italy was the title of the second day of the Reading Poetry Festival. Featuring numerous guest speakers, the day began with lectures which followed the theme of “A Centenary Conference on Vittorio Sereni (1913-1983)”, featuring Davide Castiglione, Barbara Colli, Eduardo Esposito, Elena Paroli, Peter Robinson, Marcus Perryman, Sara Robinson, Giuseppe Sandrini, and Francesca Southern.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Sereni’s death, the conference was a celebration of his work. The Italian poet and author’s poetry and prose have been widely translated into English, and he is often considered to be one of the most important Italian poets of the 20th Century.
Although they were shorter than Iain Sinclair’s lecture on the previous day, the numerous academics’ talks gave a deep insight into Italian poetry. With Eduardo Esposito beginning the day with a talk on “Literature, Ethics and Style”, spoken in Italian, the festival was given a unique, authentic touch.
The University of Reading’s Professor Peter Robinson, the Head of Department for English and American Literature, and organiser of the Reading Poetry Festival also took to the stage. He shared his interest in poetry, discussing poems including Thomas Mann’s “Toniu Kroger” and Vittorio Sereni’s “Un Sogno” and “Per Banh”.
The event was followed by a bilingual reading of Vittorio Sereni’s poetry, with the English translation being by Robinson. Ending the day this way paid tribute for the author, celebrating his poetry, and bringing a nice close to another day.