Eugenio Montale was born in Genoa in 1896. His work was read by many as symbolic of resistance to Fascism; eventually, he was widely acknowledged as the greatest Italian poet since Leopardi. Montale was also a voluminous writer of prose—stories and cultural, literary, and music criticism—and a talented amateur painter. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1975 and died in Milan in 1981.Jonathan Galassi has also translated and edited Montale's selected essays, The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays, and Otherwise: Last and First Poems, and his edition of Giacomo Leopardi's Canti appeared in 2010. He is also the author of three volumes of poems, Morning Run, North Street, and Left-Handed. He lives in New York and is president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux and honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets.
Eliza Griswold reads Eugenio Montale's poem "Syria," translated by Jonathan Galassi.