Jeanne Polochansky, Associate Editor
To Make a Bridge by Antonia Facciponte is a collection of poems that is a recipe book, a diary, and an opera programme all wrapped up in one. It opens with a piece that commands the reader to take her stories to heart, to consume her words to the last spoonful, lest any details slip away. They are, after all, what make her tales so poignant.
Through them, Facciponte blends cooking, music, and feelings of nostalgia to make the essence of her composition, then dissects it all into fragments to create unique emotional sensations. Thus, she presents not only literary experiences, but visual, physical, olfactory, gustatory ones as well, and manages to capture the essence of heritage, of family, in stanzas of recipe instructions.
Facciponte’s anthology is also an itinerary for travel in time and space: between childhood and adulthood, Italy and Canada, outdoors and indoors, elders and children, one name and another. Even the words on her pages are like capital cities on maps; she skillfully constructs particular layouts to express the content of her poems. The intermittent bilingualism of her writing gives it a personal touch that cannot be replaced by mere descriptions.
Ultimately, Facciponte directly teleports the reader into her reality through the minute details in her poems, and no matter whether or not they understand Italian, they will deal with many complex unfamiliarities that are crucial to understanding the depth of her words.
Even the words on her pages are like capital cities on maps; she skillfully constructs particular layouts to express the content of her poems.