Summer 2017 Issue 13
Theme: ‘a turning point’
We asked our contributors: Tell The Sigh Press about a small or big decision you made recently that was unexpected or out of character.
MARK WYATT has been photographing people on the streets of places he’s travelled since 1980. The images are not cropped or processed more than is necessary to recreate what he saw when the shutter was released. They are snapshots that hold memories of his world, and wherever they overlap with another viewer’s world, they can hold their memories also.
BIG DECISION: I went to the dentist. I’d had braces when I was a kid, and that convinced me that I didn’t like hands in my mouth that weren’t my own. The last time I’d been to a dentist was around thirty years ago, to get crowns installed after I knocked out my front teeth.
SANI is a 19-year-old immigrant from The Gambia who was forced to flee his home country. He arrived in Italy in July 2016 with the hope of finding a new life in Europe.
ELISA BIAGINI lives in Florence, Italy, after having taught and studied in the U.S. for several years (Ph.D. Rutgers University). Her poems have been published in numerous Italian and American reviews and anthologies. She has published six poetry collections, some bilingual, such as L’Ospite, (Einaudi, 2004), Fiato. Parole per musica (2006), Nel Bosco (Einaudi, 2007), The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions, 2013, which won the 2014 Best Translated Book Award) and Da una crepa (Einaudi, 2014, forthcoming in the US by Xenos Books). Her poems have been widely translated and she has been invited to participate in important poetry festivals around the world. She has translated several contemporary American poets for reviews, anthologies and complete collections and teaches Art History and Writing at NYU-Florence.
MORE THAN A DECISION, it is something I said that, only last year, I would have never said…quoting myself: “The Pope is the only left wing political leader at the moment and I would gladly vote for him!”
LEE FOUST, native of the East Bay in California, relocated to San Francisco at the tender age of 20 to study creative writing at SFSU. Abandoning both SF and his studies, Lee traveled to Europe, a novel idea for him in 1986. There he fell in love with the city of Rome and the idea of Italy. Later, he studied in Florence and New York City, obtained a Ph.D., wed a well known rock critic, and co-edited Resister magazine. Washing again upon Tuscan shores, Lee re-married and became a father. Nowadays he teaches in Florence and recites his own works, with and without banging a drum, to anyone who’ll listen. Author of Sojourner, a collection of stories and poems about the mystery of place, and Poison and Antidote, nine Bohemian tales of San Francisco from the Reagan era, Foust’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in literary journals, magazines, and newspapers in The US, Canada, Australia, and Italy.
PERHAPS I’VE READ TOO MUCH Pirandello but, to beg your question rather than answer it, I wonder which comes first: our decisions and actions or our character? If such decisions go against one’s sense of character can that be anything other than a lapse in the definition of self rather than the oxymoron of an uncharacteristic action? Walt Whitman, after all, noted that we all
contain multitudes. Or, to paraphrase John Lennon, I’ve not been able to do anything that can’t or shouldn’t have been done—although I’d sure like to!