Carmelo Militano

Catching Desire

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Carmelo Militano’s new book Catching Desire is a personal account of the turbulent artistic life, and often erotically charged art of the maudit, ‘damned,’ Modernist painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani. Militano effectively mixes poetry and prose to evoke the life and art of Modigliani. The writing is rich in texture, images, and detail; a type of sensual reasoning. Modigliani’s development as an artist, his tragic search for beauty, and ultimately his reach to express his vision of spiritual eroticism grounded in the flesh is the poetic heart beating inside the brain of this new book.

In this imaginative re-creation of the life and times of Amadeo Modigliani, Militano employs a risky mix of poetry and prose to convey different aspects of the places and people which provided the raw materials for the artist’s work as painter and sculptor. Though they differ considerably, the two genres manage to resonate with each other. The poems often have the clarity of good prose and the prose has sudden stretches of surprising lyrical complexity. What I find most impressive is the immediacy of the descriptive passages, the changing light in the trees, in the skies, the streets, rooms, studios and outdoor cafes of Paris, the detailed exploration of Livorno — the houses and parks of the artist’s birthplace. These vivid settings establish a strong sense of the artist’s everyday world, and are complemented by discursive interpretations that bring his paintings into focus on the page.
~ George Amabile, author of Martial Music

The mystery of how erotic and spiritual and artistic desire can be one —Modigliani immersed his consciousness in it; Carmelo Militano does the same in this intensely personal response to the life of the great visual artist, this lyrical investigation of a deep, all-consuming creative necessity. And as Modigliani could not paint the eyes of his beloved, knowing those eyes looked out from the ineffable, so Militano knows he cannot ever fully “catch” desire; still, it is Militano's imaginative occupation to try — and the result is a highly affecting, extended magical act in words, a heightened acknowledgement of concentrated human yearning. ~ Russell Thornton, author of The Broken Face

Carmelo Militano is the author of two books of poetry (Morning After You and The Stone Mason’s Notebook) as well as three books of prose (The Fate of Olives, Sebastiano’s Vine and Lost Aria). He is the winner of the F.G. Bressani award for poetry and each of his prose works have been short-listed for various literary awards. Catching Desire is his sixth book.

ISBN 978-1-77171-348-1
150 Pages
5.5 x 8.5
Now Available

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