Hi, I’m Manuela Monari, a teacher and writer from Modena, Italy. This crowdfunding campaign is about financing the publication and distribution of 2 volumes of intense, intimate and lyrical poems that I have written over the last decade.
Thanks to the support from my wonderful friends and artists who have contributed some of their work as rewards for this crowdfunding project this crowdfunding campaign has now flourished beyond its initial aim. Therefore first and foremost, I would like to thank my artist friends: the Italian hyperrealist artist, Massimo Pedrazzi; the illustrator Evelyn Daviddi, Stillarte artist Chiara Criniti and the creator of jewellery from Trieste, Susanna Martini whose artwork you can find featured as rewards for this campaign together with the main feature of this crowdfunding campaign, my poetries.
I would like to reach out to all poetry-lovers out there to help me make this long-awaited dream come true. The full description of the campaign and the wonderful artwork offered as rewards can be viewed on my page on Produzioni dal Basso, the official crowdfunding site I have chosen to host my campaign. Videos will also be made available on the campaign site in the original Italian language throughout the campaign. Currently my books of poems are available only in the original Italian version. Do state your interest if you wish to purchase the English version by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update you as soon as this becomes available. Unfortunately the presentation video is only available in Italian, but both in the presentation video and in the written presentation that follows, I aim to throw more light on what writing and poetry, in particular, means to me.
One day in April, whilst going through some of my notes, thinking about how I could get this project off the ground, as I sat in my favourite spot surrounded by mountains, I came across this aphorism…
“I am a child of travellers. My home is wherever I am and my life is full of surprising adventures.” Amin Maalouf, “Leo Africanus”
Somehow, this aphorism fired my imagination for this project and I immediately jotted down the following words, which seemed to encapsulate what my relationship with poetry is.
Since when I was a teenager, I have always loved writing poetry and this has followed me through to my teaching career, where I try to share my passion with my students. My notes are bursting with hand-written poems, some in my shaky handwriting of when I was only twelve.
My outlook on life hasn’t changed much. I have always been the curious type. I was already asking the same questions that I still ask now.
With age and experience, some of my questions have found answers but others are still out there… Poetry gives me an insight into things, like nothing else can and that is probably why I have never stopped writing poetry.
What do I write? So far mainly children’s books that have been published for years, in Italy and abroad. I also write songs, aphorisms and poems reflecting on a myriad of life experiences.
Why do I write? Here is what I wrote a short time ago in my little house up in the Apennine mountains, an intimate, remote place, where I find peace and tranquillity, the same place is the location for the presentation video.
Going back to Amin Maalouf, he says that…
Poems represent journeys, a caravan, home, adventure and surprise.
Journeys… Because poems are the fragments of beauty that you collect in your daily journey. They are the micro or macro awareness that meaningful experiences leave within you; the subtle layers of feelings and emotions that have accumulated over time. They are unique, because they are the fruit of your life experiences.
Reading my poems in sequence after many years for this project, I realize that each poem is like a small landmark on the journey of life.
Poems represent the caravan of my life. You write them on your hands, arms, in your soul, on crumpled paper and now on your cell phone, computer, on paper napkins, whilst sitting on a rock, on the subway, in the street, in bed weeping – everywhere. They are part of your itinerant world, as you seek answers to your questions, as you seek the truth.
They are your HOME. Because when you hear, when you write, you cross a threshold and enter a remote and sacred place, where only you have access to. Sometimes you will find peace and harmony and feel a warm glow of safety. At other times, it will be like walking in a vast meadow full of blinding light. And yet, you may also feel an emptiness and the need to curl up in the stillness of time. They are all one and the same place.
You. Your house. What you really are and where you can reboot your life and try and find answers to your questions.
Poems are ADVENTURE. Yes, because every step we take is an adventure into the unknown, the unexpected. The changing scenario of events and thoughts.
You don’t write when everything is ordinary or peaceful. You write when you are moved through pain and anguish or when confronted with the beauty of breath-taking landscapes, flowers, sunrises. They move you to open up to the world.
Poems are SURPRISES. Because it is only through the eyes of wonder and innocence that, in your frenetic world, you can escape. A poem can be humble, like a simple daisy and be just part of a true and wonderful continuum. It is not for everyone.
It hides under the surface and you sometimes need to dig deep to uncover it, to uncover that unity that is the spirit of the universe, ready to reveal itself only to those who are ready to climb to the top of life and feeling. It takes courage or, maybe, only the will to remain childlike at heart; to continue to believe in playing, beauty and innocence.
This is what poetry and writing mean to me; discovering yourself and the world. For me. In my experience. This is what I tried to do.
This is why I want to share this experience with you and anyone who wishes to join me on this journey.
On my journey through life, I listened, saw, felt, investigated, suffered, climbed, laughed, fell, probed, rejoiced, scrutinised, screamed, remained silent, sank, flew, let myself go, gave, received, understood and learnt.
A journey lasting 55 years.
A two-volume poetic journey that I hope will like and find useful.
Please help me realize this dream.