Today's poem is "Two in Tropic Twilight"
from Forty Floors from Yesterday

Bordighera Press

Stephen Massimilla won the Grolier Prize for his sonnet sequence Later on Aiaiai, followed by the Sonia Raiziss-Giop Series Bordighera Poetry Prize for Forty Floors from Yesterday. He has also received the Van Rensselaer Award in poetry from Columbia University, a prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Poetry Awards. He teaches at Bernard College.

Luigi Bonaffini has translated widely from the Italian and from Italian dialects. He has received the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Translation Prize and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs Translation Prize for his translations of Mario Luzi's poetry.

About Forty Floors from Yesterday:

"The surreal imagery in these poems is crafted with a deft hand and a sure ear. The author has put to fine use the strange emotional states wrung from the marriage of unexpected things, but this strangeness is never created for its own sake — to shock us — but instead to illuminate the darker corners of our longings. These are marvelous poems: Like fairy tales they conjure, bewitch, cast inescapable spells."
—Dorthy Barresi (Bordighera Poetry Prize judge, American Book Award winner)

"In this millennial era it's not common to find a black-belt sonneteer; or poems whose dance macabre phantasmagoria owes something to Baudelaire and Rimbaud; or work as witty and sardonic as it is learned; or a flair for startling tropes and jewel-like visual images; or docudramas on Metropolis. To find all these things in a debut volume, though, is a rare event, one sure to strike up its own best fanfare."
—Alfred Corn

"The surprising juxtapositions in these poems give a sense of the mystery and drama of remembering strong feelings. As in poems by Hopkins and John Wheelwright, the crowding of sounds and images can also get very exciting. I think the density of the language wonderful."
—Kenneth Koch

"This was my winner, and by a pretty long shot. The sonnets were technically sophisticated, subtle in tone, wise in insight, vivid with the warmth of love and sad in their sense of its passing. I liked how few of the rhymes seemed obvious, and how often they had been softened by enjambment. I liked the careful back and forth between the sentence and the line."
—John Burt (Grolier Prize judge)

"These intricate, handsome poems speak of anguish and joy, possession and loss with a strong verbal density that repays acquaintance. Memorable lines and images sparkle in the sky of Forty Floors from Yesterday, a formidable first collection."
—Stephen Sandy

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