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Talk with author and poet Anne Pia

Tuesday 24 August 2021 18:00-19:00

In the year of the 200th anniversary of Baudelaire’s birth, we are delighted to host Dr Anne Pia on Tuesday, 24th August at the Institut français d’Ecosse to read from her recently published book, The Sweetness of Demons (Vagabond Voices;2021) in which she translates some of Baudelaire’s best-known poems and provides her poetic responses to them.

Published on 29th April 2021, this book has been praised as a wonderful celebration and an eloquent and well-crafted appreciation of Baudelaire’s poetry:
- “Anne’s responses to Baudelaire’s poetry comes from her profound love of France’s language and culture, particularly when it looks beyond nationhood…she draws the reader into the intimacy of her own intellectual and artistic journey with deep European roots” (Allan Cameron).
- “Anne Pia is a fresh voice among contemporary Scottish poets” (Professor Alan Riach)

Dr Anne Pia is an accomplished speaker and an award-winning author, essayist and poet. She lives in Edinburgh and is the grandchild of Italian immigrants.

Talk with Dr Anne Pia on her poetry work The Sweetness of Demons:
14 poems in response to Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal

1h approx.
Readings in French, discussion in French or English

Tuesday 24 August | 18:00
At the Institut français d’Ecosse OR follow it online live on our Facebook page

if you wish to attend the event on site

Admission FREE - booking is mandatory
Please note that from 9 August there will be no social distancing in our auditorium.

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About The Sweetness of Demons:

Anne Pia’s responses to Baudelaire’s poetry is not only emotional and intellectual but also linguistic. It comes from her profound love for France’s language and culture, particularly when it looks beyond nationhood.
As she writes in her passionate and illuminating introduction, “[Baudelaire] luxuriates and furiously dismisses. He rages and yet he speaks soft words. He is tender. He yearns, aches and seductively persuades. A creator of vivid visuals and sublimely evocative music, a conjuror of mist, soft light and of exotic scents, a sculptor and a weaver of tapestry and texture through a mere interplay of words and skilful verse and stanza, Baudelaire – whether jubilant or bitter – is never light-hearted, always honest, intense, disturbing.” The challenge Pia set herself was to recreate some of this powerful mix in our English language, which has perhaps ceased to look for inspiration beyond itself since it became so dominant. And she has succeeded in this challenge quite remarkably, drawing the reader into the intimacy of her own intellectual and artistic journey with deep European roots.
In this volume we have published the original French poems Pia has chosen and her poetic responses in English, along with her literal translations of the originals. It is a bold move in a “language not of its time”, which demands our engagement.

About Anne Pia

Anne Pia lives in Edinburgh. She is the grandchild of Italian immigrants and was raised surrounded by the culture, traditions and dialect of southern Italy. Education was the means by which she achieved professional success, retiring as an HM Inspector of Education in 2009 with a specialism in adult literacy. The Doctorate in Education she achieved in 2008 provided the opportunity to live and study in Italy and France. Pia’s creative memoir, Language of My Choosing (Luath Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the Saltire Award for Best New Book of 2017, and awarded the Premio Internazionale Flaiano di Linguistica for its contribution to Italian culture in the world. Its Italian translation, Ho scelto la mia lingua, was published in 2018, as was her first poetry collection, Transitory. Over the years, Pia’s poetry and essays have appeared in many publications, among others The Blue Nib, Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, Lunar Poetry, The Fat Damsel and South Bank Poetry. Pia’s new book Keeping Away the Spiders. Essays on Breaching Barriers was published in November 2020 by Luath Press.

Institut Français Écosse 2022