portrait of francesca cricelli

Reader Of The Week | Francesca Cricelli

Francesca Cricelli is a poet and a translator. Her book "16 ljóðið + 1" has been published in Iceland by Sagarana Forlag. She holds a PhD in Literary and Translation Studies from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) and will be studying Icelandic as a Second Language HÍ in the fall semester. She contributes translating icelandic poetry once a week on the page Um poema nórdico ao dia - Eitt norrænt ljóð á dag.  

I am a scattered reader. I enjoy having the possibility of picking a different book before going to bed, it might take me months to finish it, or maybe just one night, but it's a way of changing my work routine. Since I work mostly as a literary translator, I spend many hours, weeks and months on one text and work hard to meet my deadlines. So multiple readings is a way of making it a little more exciting.

I am currently reading books in three different languages, besides the novel I'm translating from Italian into Portuguese. One of them is a book of poems  called "Nú sker ég netin mín" by Svikaskáld. The so-called Impostor Poets are Þórdís Helgadóttir, Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir, Sunna Dís Másdóttir, Ragnheiður Harpa Leifsdóttir, Melkorka Ólafsdóttir and Fríða Ísberg. According to the article published on the Literary Hub in December 2019  the Impostor Poets are a movement, they say "we invite the Impostor on the table, confront her, and encourage others to do the same." They have published three collections of poems together (and you will only find out the author of each poem at the end of the book) and many of the authors have also published solo projects. I moved to Iceland less than a year ago and I’m very keen on learning Icelandic. Since I’m a poet myself, I’ve been slowly translating poems from Icelandic into Portuguese and Italian , with a special interest in the work of women writers. Translation is to me a tool that aids and deepens the process of language acquisition.

The second book I’m reading is a great collection of short stories by the argentine writer Samanta Schweblin called "Pájaros en la boca", it’s out in English as "A mouthful of birds”. I think Latin American writers are the masters of short stories, and among them the Argentines are certainly the top ones – Schweblin innovates, but she comes from the tradition of Borges and Cortázar. I know that you can get the English version of the book here at the library and if I'm not mistaken, she has also been translated into Icelandic.

The third book is called "Il libro dei vulcani d'Islanda: storie di uomini, fuoco e caducità", the Book of Icelandic Volcanos by the Italian author Leonardo Piccione, published by Iperborea, an Italian publishing house specialized in nordic literature. The book is a lovely account of every volcano in Iceland, a short description, but encompassing very literary and interesting information, a true gem of inspiration.

Tuesday July 7th 2020