Organised by

Dr Adele Bardazzi (Trinity College Dublin)

Roberto Binetti (St Anne’s College, Oxford)

Professor Nicola Gardini (Keble College, Oxford)

Keynote Speakers 

Prof Gian Maria Annovi (University of Southern California)
Prof Stefano Dal Bianco (University of Siena)
Prof Nicola Gardini (University of Oxford)
Prof John P. Welle (University of Notre Dame) 


Andrea Zanzotto’s poetry (1921, Pieve di Soligo – 2011, Conegliano) stands out both in Italy and internationally for its intellectual rigour and stylistic inventiveness. According to Zanzotto, poetry is a very peculiar alphabet whereby poets can question the world well beyond the limits of writing.

While celebrating the centenary of the poet’s birth, this two-day conference seeks to elicit discussion on the multi-faceted importance of Zanzotto’s writing and thought, and on the numerous strands of its legacy, both within and beyond the intellectual European canon. Not only is ‘Conglomerati’ the title of his last published collection, but it also represents a central and recurring metaphor in his work. In geological terminology, ‘conglomerate’ refers to composed fragments of pre-existing rocks that have cemented together. For Zanzotto, it designates a mixture of various elements clustered in one single linguistic entity without making a coherent whole. Such elements derive from various disciplines, languages, and traditions. Each element remains individual while also gaining a new metaphorical significance within the all-encompassing structure. The ensuing spectrum of gnoseological options is encyclopaedic, bringing forward a never-ending idea of modernity.

Zanzotto’s vast production reveals a unique connection with the present. According to his interpretation, poetry is not only a linguistic medium but must also be read as an ‘event’. On the one hand, this characteristic of Zanzotto’s poetic thought has a deep connection with the past and the roots of modern thought; on the other hand, it provides an instrument for exploring the future, propelling the reader to investigate seemingly unpoetic fields, such as ecology, psychology, and sociology. Poetry, in this sense, is able to live anchored with solid roots in the past while it also aspires to act as an instrument apt for the investigation of the future. Therefore, this conference offers an unprecedented chance not only to re-assess one of the most interesting voices of Italian literature, but also to re-think the role of poetry within the present times. 


Adele Bardazzi is Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and Honorary Faculty Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, she was Laming Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, Oxford, working on a project on the contemporary Italian poet Antonella Anedda. She holds a DPhil in Italian from Christ Church, Oxford. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary poetry, with a series of cross-disciplinary, comparative, and gender-orientated foci. In particular, her research interests are lyric poetry (with an emphasis on elegy), discourses of mourning and loss, issues of translation and self-translation, and the cross-fertilisation between the verbal and the visual. Among her recent publications are: the edited volume Gender and Authority Across Disciplines, Space and Time with Alberica Bazzoni (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020); the monograph Eugenio Montale: A Poetics of Mourning (Peter Lang, forthcoming 2021) and edited volume A Gaping Wound: Mourning in Italian Poetry with Francesco Giusti and Emanuela Tandello (Legenda, forthcoming 2022).

Roberto Binetti  is completing a doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, and is Graduate Development Scholar and Tutor in Italian at St Anne’s College. His doctoral thesis, Voices from a Minor Literature, focuses on Italian women’s poetry in the 1970s and aims to reassess this literary phenomenon in the light of its stylistic originality and problematic relationship with contemporary history. His research interests include modern and contemporary poetry, literary theory, psychoanalysis, cultural history, ecology and eco-criticism. He is co-founder and co-ordinator of Italian Poetry Today

Nicola Gardini is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford (Keble College). His research interests lie mainly in the Renaissance, the classical tradition, and modern poetry. He is very active as a promoter of classical culture. His book Long Live Latin (which originally appeared in Italian in 2016) has become an international best-seller. He is the author of numerous books: literary essays, novels, memoirs, poetry collections, and translations from Latin and English. He is involved in the Italian public debate by contributing articles to the main newspapers. Painting and drawing are part and parcel of his professional identity, which proudly bridges all separation between scholarly and creative work.

Scientific Committee

Prof Andrea Afribo (University of Padua)

Prof Gian Maria Annovi (University of Southern California) 

Dr Adele Bardazzi (University of Oxford) 

Prof Alberto Bertoni (University of Bologna) 

Roberto Binetti (University of Oxford)

Prof Stefano Dal Bianco (University of Siena)

Prof Nicola Gardini (University of Oxford)

Dr Francesco Giusti (University of Oxford)

Prof Peter Hainsworth (University of Oxford)

Prof Thomas Harrison (University of California, Los Angeles)

Prof John P. Welle (University of Notre Dame)

Prof Jennifer Scappettone (University of Chicago)

Prof Lucia Re (University of California, Los Angeles)

Prof Emanuela Tandello (University of Oxford)

Prof Emanuele Zinato (University of Padua)

Supported by

Graduate Network, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

Italian Poetry Today

Modern Humanities Research Associatio 

The Society for Italian Studies

Italian Studies at Oxford


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