The California Notebooks by Anna Mosca “To create poetry means to be the missing syllable” – I quaderni californiani di Anna Mosca: «Creare poesia significa essere la sillaba che manca»


July 2015 was even a better month than June and held another nice surprise for me. A great and long article on the main newspaper of the area I’m at in Italy, and it’s also online. Here is the link to the page in Italian and below, for you, is the full translation of the article in English. Hope you enjoy it. Please do click on the link to see the pictures.


Luglio è stato ancora meglio di Giugno e mi ha riservato un’altra gradita sorpresa. Un’articolo lungo e stupendo sul principale giornale della zona in cui sono in Italia, ed è anche online. Ecco il link all’articolo in italiano mentre sotto c’è l’intera traduzione dell’articolo in inglese. Spero che vi piaccia.



The California Notebooks by Anna Mosca “To create poetry means to be the missing syllable”

Anna Mosca is back in Monza with her notebooks from California. These are made of poetry and photographs to tell us of a moment suspended in time, refined by words. They are notebooks compiled in recent years. Also online.

Maybe California is not that thing there: a little finger and index and a thumb suspended and agitated while waiting for the big kahuna, the big wave, the point of no return of a lifetime. Maybe that life is different, a moment, a moment frozen under a sun that alone says that the moment is perfect without the ocean coming to tell you it’s time for everything. That moment is what Anna Mosca was looking for. Or maybe not, she didn’t seek it out, she simply looked around with the idea of describing it in her California Notebooks. These notebooks from California made of poetry and photographs that she has compiled in recent years, also online at, are dramatically changing her relationship with poetry – and life probably.

Anna Mosca: poet, from the Monza area but of another world, photographer, former high fashion model, a bit of everything, to tell the truth. But today she is especially that adjustment of lines and images that describe a new relationship with reality. To my inquire for this interview, “your poetry seems suspended in the words and in the construction semantics, marching parallel between English and Italian”, she respond, “yes, to suspend a concept, an image, is exactly where I want to be with my poetry, to create gaps… reflection pauses. English comes first as a language, generally, though not always. When I have to think fast, to formulate a concept, to plan, to tell about a dream, a project, a speech of the soul, it is always, inevitably, in English. English is concise, direct, incisive and short. It is light, I really like this language. It is well suited to my type of artistic communication and it’s understood by many”.

When you have to move to the form, her syncopated jazz made of words, then she says: “Think of Georgia O’Keefe who with large oil paintings of flowers forced those people that were learning to go by too fast, to notice the inside, the details of a flower, a beauty available to everyone but too often ignored by the impelling rhythms of life… Poetry – which must necessarily be read more than once to be enjoyed – if placed strategically on the page becomes interesting, it leads you to play with it, it becomes an attempt to compose and recompose, to make a sense of lines and words that often the reader would write differently, if given the chance. When poems are read – and read again – when we are touched first by one verse, then by a definition only, then by a surprising ending, then again by a metaphor, we end up going back to read it once more and it takes new forms, different interpretations right then magic happens. It becomes for those who take the time, a smart game, similar to the Tangram and a personal revelation, adaptable to the life experience of each one. I eliminated punctuation on purpose through the years so that the player may be involved, dedicated. My poetry has almost always been side by side with my conceptual installations, where the attention and the curiosity of the visitor were some of the main ingredients and, almost always, his interaction was needed.”

Anna Mosca puts art on the table: if Word has a plastic sense then her intervention is sculptural. “A sculpture of words, and white spaces, made of respires more than words. Poetry is something that I see, that I sense, that I almost physically feel under my hands. It comes to be known mentally only a moment later. Years ago I described writing poetry as a way to carve my thoughts. I now believe I indeed sculpt more a suspended moment that materializes in front of me and, only then, I think and analyze it, “If I arrange myself / coherently / between white spaces / give me a rhythm / suspended / between bodies and souls / that will transfer / transfigure / transcribe / the light on the soft / curve of waves / a second before / dark “(Summer Colors).

Some of her favorite poets? In Italy, Sandro Penna, Giuliano Mesa, Italo Testa and Giovanni Catalano. Then Franz Wright, Li-Young Lee, Milosz, Vera Pavlova, Rumi, and “others that more than adhering to a tradition, or writing style, are traveling to space, that space between the words, written and verbal.” Poetry then made of lingering times: “Certainly meditative and often silent poetry, sometimes I wish that poems were like those thoughts within us that manifest as if declared aloud, that capture our attention and take us somewhere but they are indeed very personal and often not deducible by others. There has always been this desire, this matrix, in me to reach this place but I think that very often, in earlier times, I was writing more about the cries, the pains, of life. You know, about some ended love story, or to express my rage toward a human being, political or other, these cries were so loud, they were screaming louder and were taking all of my attention.”

So this is a new beginning, for a poet who in recent years has often crossed the path of Poesia Presente, the only poetry show in Italy that has affected the national scene of the poetic verses. “The goal, as I said before, is to be able to communicate what is there, what we have, and not what is lacking, an exercise in gratitude, let’s say in a simple way, that opened new worlds to me. Worlds that I’m ready to see today and I hope to be able to show to others. Years ago a teacher made a strong comment on my poems, that were popular because they had a high dose of pain and anguish within, which many people identified with, and then he asked me to write instead about joy, fullness. I replied, surprised and in a resolute way, that poetry has to do with the wounds of the soul and this is what resonates with others. His response, uttered softly to me, was to use this ability of mine to play a melody, just as beautiful, but an octave higher. At the time it seemed impossible, empirical, but subconsciously I must have opened some doors… I found myself leaving my work commitments as art professor in Milan and traveling to the Californian desert, hanging around just a handful of people and enjoying different life rhythms. I was the dot in the white space, the missing syllable. It all came around and indeed I got a larger audience, more than I could have ever imagined. ”

From herself unto others: “I really like that what I do can enrich others and I think that poetry, not only mine, is having a renaissance in the world – says Anna Mosca -. I like to be surprised, to be in awe of something and also to find out I was wrong. Every time that happens it’s a new beginning. ”


A. Mosca by M. Utterback on Salvation Mountain SMALL copy.

Written by Massimiliano Rossin – The Citizen Newspaper – MB

Il Cittadino, Thrursday 16 July 2015

Photos by: Gianluca Carrara, Michal Utterback and Anna Mosca




20 responses »

    • Alina, so nice to have you back! Thank you for your comment, always love to read what you have to say!! That is a good point maybe it’s inertia or maybe my goal is to search 🙂 not to arrive?…


  1. That’s a lovely poem Anna (Aug 18). And I was going to ask actually if you’d written any poetry on some of those ideas around language in your article it is!:) It is quite complex , and enjoy poems that make me think about what they mean at so many different levels! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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