Michela Martini

Michela Martini

Photo courtesy of Michela Martini


Michela Martini has taught Italian language and culture at Suffolk University, Indiana University, Cabrillo College, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She co-founded and directed the Dante Alighieri Society of Santa Cruz. Her translations include works by Italian poets and novelists such as Edoardo Sanguineti, Giorgio Caproni, Gabriella Leto, Patrizia Valduga, Rossana Campo, Emanuele Trevi, and Giacomo Sartori. They have appeared in numerous journals and volumes, including the Literary ReviewPoetry InternationalGradivaCatamaran Literary Reader, Chicago Quarterly Review, Journal of Italian TranslationItalian Poetry Review and The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry. She splits her time between Italy and California, always looking for the best of both worlds. She also translated in collaboration with Elizabeth McKenzie short stories by Rossana Campo, Emanuele Trevi, and Giacomo Sartori. They have appeared in numerous journals and volumes, including theLiterary Review, Poetry International, Gradiva, Catamaran Literary Reader, Chicago Quarterly Review, Journal of Italian TranslationItalian Poetry Review, Poesia and The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry.

Project Description

To support the translation from the Italian of the novel The Anatomy of the Battle by Giacomo Sartori. Born in 1958, Sartori is a soil scientist and author of a dozen novels and books of short stories and poetry. The Anatomy of the Battle tells the story of a man who returns home to reconnect with his depressed, recently retired father in northern Italy during the summer of 1986, following the Chernobyl accident and a series of personal defeats. Martini will collaborate with the writer and translator Elizabeth McKenzie.

Since moving to the United States 20 years ago, my passion for Italian language, literature, and culture has led me to teaching Italian at the college level, co-founding and directing the Santa Cruz (CA) chapter of the Dante Alighieri Society, and translating Italian poetry and fiction into English. My goal has always been to share the breadth of Italian literature across cultures and to introduce English-speaking readers to lesser-known but meaningful authors.

Being awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts is an exceptional honor, reinforcing my enthusiasm to continue on this path. It will allow me and my collaborator, the critically acclaimed author Elizabeth McKenzie, to complete the translation of a novel by Giacomo Sartori. It will also give wings to new projects that I have been mulling over the last couple of years. I am grateful to the NEA for believing in the mission of this work.

About Giacomo Sartori

Giacomo Sartori is an Italian writer, author of several novels, short stories, and poetry collections. Two of his most recent novels (I Am God and Bug) have already been successfully translated for the U.S. market. The work Elizabeth McKenzie and I chose to translate is one of his first novels and one of his most accomplished: Anatomia della battaglia (The Anatomy of the Battle). This is a sad and yet comedic work of auto-fiction in which the author delves into meaningful and timely themes such as the influence of fascist ideology on his family, his involvement with a leftist armed group, his struggles as a writer, and his father’s battle with cancer.