Mary di Michele
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The Flower of Youth (2011)

The poems in The Flower of Youth depict the coming of age and into sexual difference of the great writer and film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini. The time of this story is World War II; the place is German-occupied northern Italy. Unlike his younger brother, Guido, who took up arms to fight in the resistance, Pasolini chose to help his mother set up a school for the boys, mostly sons of farmers, too young to fight or be conscripted. The situation ignited an internal war that nearly eclipsed the historical moment for the young Pasolini, a battle within between his desire for boys and his Catholic faith and culture.
The book is a kind of novel in verse including a prologue and epilogue that details di Michele's search for Pasolini, her pilgrimage to the place and research into the time that shaped him as a man and as an artist.

Debriefing the Rose (1998)

In Debriefing the Rose, di Michele calls forth a Sappho who will not be silenced - not by centuries, censorship, calumny, nor the burning of her books. This is poetry as time machine; it travels through years and langscape to create a place where Quebec's Lachine rapids run through ancient China, a place haunted by such figures as Wang Wei, Hart Crane, Rainier Maria Rilke, and Baudelaire.

Stranger in You: Selected Poems and New (1995)

Mary di Michele's writing has been described by critics as "both contemporary and timeless", as "fiercely intelligent", as "feminine, tough, ironic and unsentimental", and as the work of a "mind at the farthest reaches of itself". Drawing from nearly twenty years of published and unpublished work, Stranger in You is gathered primarily around the recurring themes of gender, language, and cultural identity. Di Michele believes with Kristeva that the self is a strange land of borders and otherness ceaselessly constructed and deconstructed. These poems are more than immigrant songs or nostalgia for the old world or mere wonder at the new; they are interrogations, revelations, of the stranger, of the uncanny, in us all.

Luminous Emergencies (1990)

Luminous Emergencies is a collection of poems about the 'emergencies' of modern life. By turns solemn, witty, poignant, sensual and satiric, the poems shift powerfully from elegies to moving evocations of relationships to reflections on reality and poetry to political poems that arose out of the writer's stay in Chile in 1987.

Immune to Gravity (1986)

From the perspective of a woman in today's urban world, her themes and concerns are accessible and enlightening, and are brought to bear with intelligence and a keen sense of irony. Di Michele's poems have astonishing relevance and richness, combining power with gentleness, and clear directness with an evocative and elusive quality.

Anything is Possible: A Selection of Eleven Women Poets (editor, 1984)

A critically acclaimed and seminal anthology of women poets emerging in the 80's including voices such as Bronwen Wallace, Roo Borson, Jan Conn, Carolyn Smart, and Susan Glickman.

Necessary Sugar (1984)

The title references a poem by Anne Sexton. The poems tell a story of love and the failure of love -- or what it is to be a woman in a world that also offers the pleasures of brandy and tobacco.

Mimosa and Other Poems (1981)

The title piece, a dramatic poem about family and cultural displacement, won first prize for poetry in the C.B.C. literary competition in 1980.

Bread and Chocolate (1980)

This collection was published along with Bronwen Wallace's Marrying into the Family. In this book, di Michele writes poems about immigration and her early childhood in Italy. It was described in Books in Canada as "an arresting combination of the personal and historical".

Tree of August (1978)

The first book by a young poet very much enamoured of language in all its thousand and one provocative poses.