MANHATTAN, Friday January 18 —
Last night, despite the plummeting temperatures, I attended a launch for a book of poetry called The Living and the Dead, written by Mario Luzi. Dana Gioia, himself a poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, translated this edition. The line drawings were rendered by internationally acclaimed artist Fulvio Testa. Both men were there to discuss the book, their inspiration, and even read a poem to the crowd. Also present was Michael Peich, founder of the Aralia Press, which published the book. Two editions were available for purchase, one regular edition bound in red cloth boards and printed on Zerkall paper, and another deluxe edition on handmade Tovil paper, with hand-colored drawings by Testa and quarter-bound in leather. The Jill Newhouse Gallery was a warm venue, and many thanks to Gallery Director Christa Savino who explained to me the gallery’s display of Master Drawings. Beautiful books, art, and lively company were a wonderful remedy to melt away winter’s icy grip.