NEGOTIATING CAPONATA by Carla Scarano d'Antonio
Carla Scarano D'Antonio was born in Italy but is now British by nationality. She remains Italian at heart, if only by virtue of her love of cooking and of family. In 'Negotiating Caponata', her first collection of poems, she tells of family loves and losses, with food as a metaphor in the telling.
Find out more about Carla's work on her website, here: www.carlascaranod.co.uk
'" really enjoyed this collection. ... The intensity of the family relationships is graphically captured with great sensitivity, and the sense of pain and regret that runs through the book like a watermark grounds the poems. The final poems look at the beginning of a new life, so the collection finally moves away from the trials of family life and the collection ends on a positive and upbeat note." — Rennie Halstead Review published on London Grip, September 2020
Reviewing in SOUTH 63 maazine, David Ashbee comments; "This is a slim but mouth-watering collection..."
'The conceit for this collection is Proust's madeleines... based on Italian recipes. Textures and tastes, odours and herbs provoke the memories, with diversions to ant slaughter, family violence ... taken altogether continuation was what struck me, how powerless and distant the past grows, and how the generations move one, beyond.' — Sam Smith, The Journal #61, October 2020
'The simple and direct style of this collection belies its strong emotional impact. It merits reading and returning to. I am left with a sense that this is a collection about identity, of identity that endures and carries with us, what it is like to connect and sustain relationships at proximity and distance, what we want to preserve, and what we might prefer to leave behind.'
— Karen Izod, The High Window, December 2020
'An Italian heritage and emotional restraint are perfectly blended in Carla Scarano D’Antonio’s poetry. Food serves as a natural and effective symbol in her poems, which are engaging, sustaining and finely-judged.'
— Dawn Wood
'Scarano D’Antonio’s intriguing collection incorporates at first seemingly disparate components … part recipe book, part memoir of place, part meditation on human interactions, these poems are at turn soft with nostalgia and sharp with the honesty of relationships sometimes difficult to negotiate....
...As in any good amalgam, this collection of poems is stronger than the mere compilation of its distinct pieces. The poems speak to each other, to the poems which proceeded and the poems which follow, and the overall effect is richly satisfying. Arriving at the end has made me want to start again, this time savouring more intently each individual taste, ultimately learning the secret to Negotiating Caponata.'
— Josephine LoRe, FreeFall Magazine April 2021.
"The simple and direct style of this collection belies its strong emotional impact. It merits reading and returning to. I am left with a sense that this is a collection about identity, of identity that endures and carries with us, what it is like to connect and sustain relationships at proximity and distance, what we want to preserve, and what we might prefer to leave behind."
— Karen Izod, The High Window
'From caponata to carbonara, these poems are rich with a Mediterranean sensibility; a number of them are about the symbolic importance, sensuality, and comfort of food. The observation is precise; the words are selected and measured with care. Family history, a father’s final days, a mother and her cyclamens, and an acute assessment of the seasons all contribute to this simmering assimilation, to savour and enjoy.'
— Greg Freeman (contributor & past editor at Write Out Loud)
'I read these poems convinced that Carla Scarano D’Antonio not only loves the human race with all its quirks, weaknesses and occasional glories; she faces up to difficult issues without inflicting glib judgments on the reader. She recognises “the importance of imperfection”, a message beautifully conveyed in ‘In touch with my daughter in Tokyo’: “The impersonal networking / warms me up, though infertile / reminds me of the importance of imperfection / in our infernal autonomy.”This is a wonderful collection. I thoroughly enjoyed the satisfying complexity of poems such as ‘Negotiating Caponata’, which is so much more than a recipe, and am haunted by the lingering beauty of words that most of us can only chase in dreams.'
– Heather Cook
'[Negotiating Caponata] is concerned with the urge to commit to family life (despite the memories of past abuse), especially her daughter and the memory of the love of her mother ... this is a pamphlet she can rightly be proud of.'
— Rodney Wood review in The Blue Nib
Negotiating Caponata was launched in an online event hosted by Janice Dempsey on 15th July 2020. Read Greg Freeman's review of the event here: https://wokingwriters.wordpress.com/2020/07/17/carla-scarano-dantonio-launches-negotiating-caponata-poetry-collection/