Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.


Peer Reviews of An Italian Morning

". . . [A] master of imagery . . . The lyrical sweep of D'Ambrosio's poems swirls you from individual flower petals to the white dust of winter in a feast of superb images. In An Italian Morning her emotional range is as wide as her imagistic spectrum."

-D.H. Melhem, poet, novelist, scholar, musical dramatist, six books of poems, including Conversations with a Stonemason, Country, Rest in Love

"What a cornucopia Vinni Marie DAmbrosio offers with An Italian Morning! With wit and wisdom, this collection of poems and translations awakens the reader to the natural beauty and simple pleasures of existence. At the same time, it does not flinch from addressing the losses.


"D'Ambrosio's ample gifts embellish the work: her fine ear for nuances of language, her painterly eye that draws us to the visible world, as in 'The Blue-Ringed Tower in El Centro, CA' and the nature-drenched poems of New York ('Love Upstate') and Maine ('Maine, 1. Summer, pianissimo and '2. Winter, fortissimo'). There is healing, too, as in 'Aubade' to her former husband, a delight in family with poems to her daughter and grandson, and a humanistic reaching out to neglected figures such as 'Rose Jones,' the moving elegy for her cleaning woman. We find fresh appreciations of Shakespeare and the poetry in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. We discover the command of craft that unpretentiously pervades the work. And as an understated yet no less significant bounty, we have D'Ambrosio's exquisite translations from Spanish that importantly draw attention to a lesser-known, brilliant and tragic figure, Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938).

"Wallace Stevens wrote that a poem 'refreshes life.' Indeed, D'Ambrosio's An Italian Morning achieves this triumph by appealing to heart, mind, and spirit."

-Roberta Gould, poet, nine books of poems, including Not by Blood Alone, Houses with Ladders, Esta Naranja

"Whether evoking the primal marshes of Brooklyn, a pearwood box in a child's room, paradise regained with trombones and tropical flora, or 'The Consolation in Being History,' as well as her own romantic histories recreated with humor and subtle wit, Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio is a master of language with a musician's ear, a painter's eye, and a true joie de vivre - gifts to the world she loves."

-Karen Swenson, poet, five books of poems including A Daughter's Latitude and The Lady from Bangkok

". . . [P]rosodically carefree, the poems in Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio's new collection . . . display the author's sensual delight in language, a contagious linguistic playfulness that propels the willing reader to all manner of exotic and even ordinary but vividly detailed settings and memories."

-Martin Mitchell, editor-in-chief, Rattapallax, Pivot, Athanor

" An Italian Morning is a book of exquisite response to the recollection of natural and romantic wonder - and its unending power of sensuous grace. D'Ambrosio's lyricism is enchanting . . . . Her poems sing of what is to be taken and given back in the experience of living."

-Prof. Martin Tucker, L.I.U., editor-in-chief Confrontation, Library of Literary Criticism, other literary critical series, and four books of poems

"Many of D'Ambrosio's poems in An Italian Morning are playful and self-ironic, yet they affect us in an unexpectedly profound way. While her vision is optimistic in the face of the disappointments and tragedies that confront us, we "get" her seriousness. Over the years, as well, I've been impressed personally by her long and serious dedication to the art. She makes us believe that we all need poetry."

-Ilsa Gilbert, poet, librettist, lyricist, The Bundle Man, One Night Together, and other chamber operas

" . . . [B]rought to being simply and elegantly . . . The subject matter always a grand surprise and the telling equally magical, these poems glow without artifice.

-Prof. Thelma Jurgrau, SUNY, scholar, translator, editor of George Sand's Autobiography

-Carol Wreszin, poet

"One of the most innovative ideas, one that brings out the layers of richness in her thinking, are the 'Interlude' pieces: the found poems and translations - the kind of audacity that flings us into other worlds. Absolutely riveting."

Copyright © 2008 by Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio

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