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Marco Fraticelli — Touchstone Distinguished Books Honorable Mention 2018

Marco Fraticelli is a recipient of a Touchstone Distinguished Books Honorable Mention for 2018 for his volume A Thousand Years (Carlton Place ON: Catkin Press, 2018. 90 pages, 5″ x 7″. Four-color card covers, perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-928163-27-5).

Commentary from the Panel:

Out of the creative mind of Marco Fraticelli came the idea to write letters that Chiyo-ni might have written in her later life after she entered a Buddhist monastery and became a nun, letters he imagines to be from a woman whose last years are lonely and who, as a writer, fills her evenings pouring her feelings into unsent letters to a past love. According to the short biography of Chiyo-ni written by Terry Ann Carter and included in the collection, there is no evidence that she had a past love, only speculation, and that she was lonely can only be surmised from her poems, one of which is included at the end of each letter, plus a collection of twenty-two of her haiku in a section at the end of the book. Fraticelli constructs his translations of Chiyo-ni’s
haiku, not from the Japanese which he does not read, but from English and French translations.
Here is a sample of one of his letters written is the voice of Chiyo-ni:

People are constantly disappearing: some suddenly like lightning, others less dramatically like thunder. But, in this world, all is not thunder and lightning. Most disappearances are more like the morning mist lifting. People are there for a while, and then they are not. In the end, it matters little how they left. What remains is that we are still alone.

even airing kimonos
my woman’s heart
never turned off

See the complete list of winners of both Individual Poem Awards and Distinguished Books Awards in the Touchstone Archives.

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