Reading SvevaFront Cover

ISBN: 9781772010169 | paperback / softback

$19.95 | 88 pages | Pub. Date: 2016
5.56 W × 9.75 H × .5 D inches
Poetry | Backlist | Bisac: POE011000
ISBN 13: 9781772010169 | Rights: WORLD

Reading Sveva is award-winning author Daphne Marlatt’s response to the life and paintings of Sveva Caetani, an Italian émigré who grew up in Vernon, B.C.

Daughter of an Italian prince, leftist, and scholar of Islam, Sveva grew up with the multilingual and highly cultured European traditions of her parents who moved to Vernon in 1921, when Fascism was on the rise in Italy. At age eighteen, after her father’s death in 1939, Sveva was forced into home-seclusion for twenty-five years with her grieving mother. When her mother died, she entered the community of Vernon and flourished as a high school teacher and respected painter. Her life experiences took the form of an extensive series of dry-brush paintings modelled on the structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy, as well as poems and philosophical commentary.

Marlatt’s lasting interest in the lives of immigrants to the West Coast continues in Reading Sveva, a thoughtful collection of ekphrastic and lyric poems that respond to Sveva’s insular life, the late beginnings of her artistic grown in 1960, and the meaning of home.

Bringing her own perspective as an immigrant and as a woman, Marlatt illuminates the life of this forgotten female artist whose work is a testament to the struggle of the female artist, and the search for a sense of belonging.

“Everything that Marlatt has published is instinct with caring, intelligence and a feel for technical innovation.”
Toronto Star

“Marlatt’s language conveys a rich sensuality, a sensibility honed to a fine edge.”
—Judith Fitzgerald

By Daphne Marlatt

Daphne Marlatt was at the centre of the West Coast poetry movement of the 1960s, studying at UBC and with many of Donald Allen’s New American Poets, most notably Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan. Her writing includes prose narratives on the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver and of Steveston and several poetry books. In early 2006, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to Canadian culture.

Read more about Daphne Marlatt


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news | 2017-03-08
All-Star Talon poets on tour in the eastern U.S.

…their latest collections of poetry – _Scree_ , Reading Sveva, and The Hatch – these three all-stars will read …


news | 2016-10-24
Our Fall 2016 books are launched!

…her absurdist humour Daphne Marlatt reads from Reading Sveva, wowing the audience with Caetani’s art and her …


news | 2016-10-19
Tomorrow: Talon’s big fall launch!

…for the launch of six books in one night: Poetry! Reading Sveva by Daphne Marlatt Once in Blockadia by Stephen …


news | 2016-10-03
All the Fall 2016 poetry is in the house!

…Daphne Marlatt’s new collection, Reading Sveva ($19.95), was our first Fall 2016 book of poetry …


news | 2016-09-27
Photos from WORD Vancouver 2016

…of the Talon table Daphne Marlatt reads from Reading Sveva at WORD Vancouver bill bissett gives a lively …


news | 2016-07-04
Fall 2016 previews!

…There is much to look forward to in poetry! Reading Sveva is award-winning author Daphne Marlatt’s response …