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Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was born in Greece to Italian parents. A gifted and prolific painter, de Chirico is considered the founder of the metaphysical school of art and a significant influence on the surrealists. Over the course of his long career, he was involved with many of the twentieth century’s major art-world figures: he designed costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and set productions for Luigi Pirandello; he was photographed by Irving Penn. De Chirico was also a prolific writer. His French writing has been translated by John Ashbery, Louise Bourgeois, and others. Geometry of Shadows compiles for the first time in translation the entirety of de Chirico’s Italian poems.
Translator
Stefania Heim is a poet, scholar, translator, editor, and educator. She is author of the poetry collections HOUR BOOK, chosen by Jennifer Moxley as winner of the Sawtooth Prize and published in 2019 by Ahsahta Books and A Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback Books, 2014). Geometry of Shadows, her book of translations of metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian poems, was published in October 2019 by A Public Space Books. Stefania is the recipient of a 2019 Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work on Giorgio de Chirico.
Translator
Olivia E. Sears is the founder of the Center for the Art of Translation and served as editor of Two Lines for twelve years. She is a translator from Italian.
March 26, 2020 | 7:00pm

Geometry of Shadows: Stefania Heim on Giorgio de Chirico

The Drawing Room Annex | 2675 Mission Street | San Francisco, California

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Poet and translator Stefania Heim joins Olivia Sears to talk about Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian poetry, visual and verbal juxtapositions, and interlingual negotiations.

About Geometry of Shadows:

Gathered from early twentieth-century Italian magazines, manuscripts, correspondence, television recordings, and ephemeral art volumes, Geometry of Shadows is the first comprehensive collection of Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian poems, with award-winning poet Stefania Heim’s English translations presented alongside the Italian originals.

A multifaceted artist who lived in multiple languages, de Chirico was just becoming famous in France for the paintings that inspired surrealism when he returned to Italy in 1916 to enlist for the First World War. Quickly determined unfit for the front line, de Chirico was assigned to desk duty and began to write poems in his native language. Translating his iconic visual imagination into literary form, Geometry of Shadows is a gorgeous document celebrating the elasticity and innate potential of language, by an artist ever in pursuit of deeper understanding.

Contact:
Leslie-Ann Woofter
415.512.8812
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was born in Greece to Italian parents. A gifted and prolific painter, de Chirico is considered the founder of the metaphysical school of art and a significant influence on the surrealists. Over the course of his long career, he was involved with many of the twentieth century’s major art-world figures: he designed costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and set productions for Luigi Pirandello; he was photographed by Irving Penn. De Chirico was also a prolific writer. His French writing has been translated by John Ashbery, Louise Bourgeois, and others. Geometry of Shadows compiles for the first time in translation the entirety of de Chirico’s Italian poems.
Translator
Stefania Heim is a poet, scholar, translator, editor, and educator. She is author of the poetry collections HOUR BOOK, chosen by Jennifer Moxley as winner of the Sawtooth Prize and published in 2019 by Ahsahta Books and A Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback Books, 2014). Geometry of Shadows, her book of translations of metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian poems, was published in October 2019 by A Public Space Books. Stefania is the recipient of a 2019 Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work on Giorgio de Chirico.
Translator
Olivia E. Sears is the founder of the Center for the Art of Translation and served as editor of Two Lines for twelve years. She is a translator from Italian.