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City Dog

About the Author

Simone Di Piero

W. S. Di Piero is a poet, essayist, and translator. The most recent of his nine books of poems are  Skirts and Slacks (2001), Brother Fire (2004), and Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems (2007). The latest of his six collections of essays is City Dog (2009), When Can I See You Again? (2010), and Night of Shooting Stars: Poems of Leonardo Sinisgalli (translation, 2010). His translations include Giacomo Leopardi's Pensieri (1984), The Ellipse: Selected Poems of Leonardo Sinisgalli (1983), and Euripides' Ion (1996).  Di Piero serves as a consulting editor of Southwest Review and writes frequently...

Northwestern University Press
2009

When a self-proclaimed "lazy scholar" embarks on a trip through his life's influences--as diverse as girl-group doo-wop, Yeats, and Van Gogh--readers are in for an illuminating ride. This collection of essays from cultural critic Di Piero veers from his early years as the son of immigrants in Philadelphia to his working life in art, film, music, and poetry. Along with a few choice essays reprinted from out-of-print collections, Di Piero's City Dog shows him to be insightful about himself and his work despite his protestations against the "boosterism" of autobiography. Through the lens of his sharp artistic analysis, readers see his story--an immigrant story filled with the music and mystery of a multilingual family, the men of his neighborhood wearing so many hats as they worked--as the auspicious beginning for his life of observation and revelation. His prose sings along, tripping across slang, poetry, and painters with the same precision that allows him to nearly dance about architecture. Though Di Piero would claim that his life's path "lurches and swerves," his essays prove that he has wandered expansively and with purpose--a city dog trotting across continents, along pages, and through galleries.