Participation – a poetic perspective



Publication Details

Rando, G. (2012). Participation – a poetic perspective. Paolo Totaro - Collected Poems (1950-2011) (pp. xiii-xix). Leichhardt (NSW): Padana Press.


Of the 350,000 Italians who emigrated to Australia following the second world war 41 have published 93 volumes of poetry - most in Italian with a few bilingual volumes and some exclusively in English. Several hundred writers have had their work published in anthologies dedicated to Italian Australian poetry such as Morrison (1976), Abiuso et al (1979), Rando (1983 and 1986), Cincotta (1989), Genovesi (1991), Polizzi (1994 and 1995), ALIAS (1997), as well as in the Sydney Italian language newspaper La Fiamma. 2 Some poetry has also appeared in overall Australian anthologies such as O'Connor (1988). Frequently expressed themes include the expression of personal, emotive responses to life and its meaning, to love, work, nature, relationships, etc. Nonetheless, by far the most distinctively recurring theme is that of Australia and its effect on the newcomer who has to make sense of a new world and the cultural dislocations of the new experience. The Australian landscape and its natural beauty are also an integral component of this thematic area. The more representative first generation Italian Australian poets such as Luigi Strano, Enoe Di Stefano, Lino Concas and Mariano Coreno are little known outside the Italian Australian Paolo Totaro constitutes an exception for his many years of engagement in "mainstream" political, cultural and intellectual endeavours.

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