Since 1994, when I first visited Cannero, on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore in Italy, I’ve been there in many different states of mind and health. I’ve been with family, with friends, on my own, through days of incessant storms, sparkling sun, cruel winds. I’ve swum in Cannero’s waters and hiked the surrounding hills at all times of year.
The better I know a place, the more difficult I find writing it; poems were slow to emerge, slower to reach a final state, until at last I had distilled a short collection I was happy with. End of Season was a winner in the Coast to Coast to Coast poetry competition 2020, and came out in a gorgeous handmade limited edition in 2021. There was soon a plan for some of the poems to be set to music, and for a bilingual edition of the poems to coincide with the premiere – in Cannero – of the song cycle composed by Amy Crankshaw (this took place a few weeks ago).
A series of creative processes has come to fruition this autumn with the Frogmore Press edition of End of Season / Fine di stagione. Italian versions of the poems are by Franca Mancinelli and John Taylor. The chapbook is designed by Katy Mawhood and printed on paper made from algae that would otherwise have clogged the Venice Lagoon.
And the whole tells the story of a long and intense love affair with Cannero, and with the idea of place.
Clare Best, October 2022
Copies of End of Season /Fine di stagione are available from Clare Best directly (email her at firstname.lastname@example.org) or from The Frogmore Press. Price £12 or 15 Euros.