Category: Writers

Art and Imagination

By Eden Florence Guill, NYU Florence student


Transformation from old to new

I am not the greatest activist but I am not afraid to take a stand

It’s the people, not the government

There will always be colors and contrast

Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore

Talent no one is born without

… because forever cannot belong.


This poem is a cento styled, inspired by and in collaboration with the dialogue Kathy Engel gave on “Art and Imagination in Building Campaigns and Socials Movements”, in Villa La Pietra on October 11th, 2017. At the beginning and the end of the dialogue Kathy had attendees write on small strips of paper a word or phrase that was in their heart at that moment. The keywords are listed below and with these the collective whole could guide me in finding poems that either have the word or a line that embodies the idea of the keyword they provided. This poem provides a glimpse into the shared stimulating and reflective experience the group had that day guided by Kathy Engel.  




Artistic Activism


Contrasting color

Vissi d’arte



Healing by M.L. Kiser

I Grow Where I am Planted by Simeon Austin David Pangu

Without Mask by Curtis Johnson

Rebuilding by Franklin Prince

The Best is Still Seen by Heidi Sands

Tosca by Puccini

Now by Jennifer Ratcliffe

(View this post on LPD’s new blog)

Encountering Poetry: A Student’s Perspective

By Alexandra Daley, NYU Florence Student

No one I know could imagine me at a poetry reading. They know me as the physics-obsessed, horse girl of Ocala, Florida. My closest experience to a poetry reading was when my teacher played audio from a poet while we read along, and up until this month my impression of one was from the movies. I could only expect a scene where people in a dimly lit coffee shop snapped away for a poet on stage.

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“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” — Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison. Photo Credits: Athena LeTrelle

In April of 1952, Ralph Ellison, an African American writer, highlighted numerous social and intellectual issues regarding black identities, black nationalism and racial policies that have been existing in the American society with the publishing of his iconic book Invisible Man. In April 2017, 65 years later, we are going to reflect on these issues again by re evaluating the book onto the unsolved problems proposed there. Read more

‘Punk Poet’ Eileen Myles launches ‘Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton Collection and Contemporary Society’ next week with her poetry talk ‘Born to Describe’

Eileen Myles photo (1)
Photo by: Peggy O’Brian

“Social media is very fragmentary, so I think that we write a line of poetry or a tweet very similarly. Those of us who love poetry can find social media to be really easy and really attractive and an interesting way to lean into a poem over time. You can kind of leak a line, and then another, and then they can all come together or just give you the pleasure of writing lines publicly. It’s exposing a lot of people – both poets and those who aren’t – to a kind of ‘knowing fragmentation’ and that’s pretty cool.”

-Eileen Myles, Profile: Eileen Myles, Wonderland., August 4, 2016 link

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Writer Jennifer Clement at La Pietra for a Writing Workshop and Dialogue

Award-wining writer Jennifer Clement will be on campus this week to offer a writing workshop to NYU Florence students and to participate in a Dialogue about her work. Clement’s highly acclaimed novels Widow Basquiat, about the life and artistry of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Prayers for the Stolen, which explores the experience of girls who are victims of human trafficking by Mexican drug cartels, are available in the Ulivi Library and the LPD student space for students.

Clement is currently working on a book titled Gun Love, which will examine gun culture in the United States and the traffic in guns between the U.S. and Mexico.

Clement is the president of PEN International, the main organization of Poets, Essayists and Novelists, the first woman elected to the position. She is also an alumni of NYU.

Check out an article written by LPD alumni (Fall ’14) Joshua St. Clair about Clement’s 2014 Dialogue at NYU Florence “So Far From God”, Dina Juan (LPD 2014-2015)’s piece “A Freshman’s Take on the Dialogue with Jennifer Clement” and watch the video of her talk Walking in the Bones of Shadows: The Experience of Writing Prayers for the Stolen.

Join Jennifer Clement for her Writing Workshop tomorrow Tuesday, October 11 at 12pm in Villa Sassetti and for her Dialogue on Thursday, October 13 at 6pm in Villa Sassetti. Rsvp at


I was in third grade the first time I can remember being dehumanized. I was standing with two boys my age on the green hardtop of the tennis court at my local athletic center. Being there was my attempt to dispel the notion among my classmates that I was un-athletic, a pervasive opinion that had made me feel like an outsider. It must have been two weeks into camp and I found two boys, Barrett and Nathaniel, who liked Star Wars, so I hung around them during the time when we weren’t slamming green fuzzy Dunlop balls over nets repeatedly. The conversation made its way to playdate potential. Read more

Global Literature and Poetry: Looking Towards Technology as a Way to Represent the #Contemporary

This Spring NYU Florence GLS Junior Madison McCormick organized a dialogue on Global Literature and Poetry: Looking Towards Technology as a Way to Represent the #Contemporary, bringing Italian writers Alessandro Raveggi and Vanni Santoni and Bellevue Park Pages co-founders Will Cox and James Bird together to talk about the impact of technology on their practice and the diffusion of their work (and the work of others) to a wider public.

In the below interview, Madison talks about how she came up with the idea to organize her dialogue (and how much research she had to do!), the differences between the contemporary cultural scenes in Florence (Paris, London) and New York, and what is unique about contemporary culture in Florence.

Discover more about contemporary Florence on LPD’s Mapping Contemporary Florence blog.