Silk Road tracks the economic intrigues between continents as they occur sometimes obliquely in the everyday life of Marco Polo’s wife, Donata Badoer Polo. In daily activities such as marketing, her imaginative interventions disclose a global and personal economics. Donata’s reveries arise in the breach between her home in Venice, Italy, and Marco’s travels in Suzhou, China, prompting her to apprehend the ways eastern and western hemispheres coincide and collide, the ways the spice, silk, and jewel trades have resulted in the financing of warfare and slavery, such apprehension affecting also her intimacy with her husband. She perceives as well how the construction of stories, such as those Marco tells, carry a power that affects the interchanges between these newly intertwined worlds of East and West. Though Donata Polo lives during the middle ages, she thinks as a kind of global citizen, albeit staying at home. Donata exists in the vivid divide between regions at odds, even as her meditations find a geopolitical brace of camaraderie. She lived an unrecorded life in medieval Venice with her husband Marco and their three daughters, Fantina, Bellela, and Moreta. While a plethora of material by and about Marco is available, very little about Donata exists. Silk Road is written in the voice of a figure who, effaced by history, compels the act of reimagining.
a. A coin-shaped space 1 b. Every time I inhale 9 c. Fish-gleams we imagined carats 19 d. I am used to my desire 25 e. By a dollop of moonlight become 31 f. After falling in the canal from reaching 39 g. The translation that loops 51 h. The story’s latitude 59 i. Uncrumple more story 65 Notes 71
- Poets Out Loud Prize for Poetry
- Coby Foundation Grant for Reading Dress Series, UPNE
- The Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize
- Independent Publisher Book Award, Gold Medal for Poetry, Life as It