School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Marco Sonzogni

Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Phone: 04 463 6284
Location: Room 603, Von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Dr Marco Sonzogni

Teaching in 2015

ITAL 215 - Italian Language 2A
Course Coordinator

ITAL 216 - Italian Language 2B
Course Coordinator

ITAL 315 - Italian Language 3A
Course Coordinator

ITAL 316 - Italian Language 3B
Course Coordinator


BA Pavia, MA NUI, PhD Dublin, MA Victoria, MLitt Auckland


I have been educated at: Università degli Studi di Pavia (Almo Collegio Borromeo), University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Victoria University of Wellington and The University of Auckland. Alongside my academic work, I am an award-winning editor, poet and literary translator. I have given conference papers, seminars and lectures at various universities, centres and institutions in Australia, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. My scholarly and creative projects have received internal and external funding. In the School of Languages and Cultures I teach a number of language and content courses in the Italian Programme from first year to honours; I am a member of the Research Committee, the current Director of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation (2011-2015) and the School Postgraduate Coordinator.

Current research projects

I am currently researching the concept and applications of intersemiotic translation as well as traditional and innovative approaches to literary translation and in particular to poetry translation. Some of the projects I have recently completed include: a study of book cover design as intersemiotic translation (based on Umberto Eco’s bestseller The Name of the Rose); scholarly editions of Irma Brandeis’ papers and writings; of Samuel Beckett’s 1930 translations from Italian; of Eugenio Montale’s correspondence; translations of Swiss Italian poetry into Italian (Oliver Scharpf; Alberto Nessi; Pietro De Marchi; Fabiano Alborghetti; Giorgio Orelli). My short-term project is an annotated edition of the correspondence between Irma Brandeis and Gianfranco Contini and of John Millington Synge’s translation into Hiberno-English of 17 sonnets from Petrarch’s Canzoniere. My long-term project is an annotated edition of Seamus Heaney’s collected poems (1966-2013) in Italian translation.

Research Supervision

I welcome research proposals in Literary Translation Studies, Italian Studies and Comparative Studies. 

Currently has students working on

Translation Studies and Textual Studies: Translation, Trauma, Rewriting; Subtitling as Intersemiotic Translation – Literary Translation Studies: NZ Poetry in Italian Translation – Dante in English Translation; Comparative Studies: Mathematics and Poetry – Ecphrasis and Creative Writing – Italian Studies: Animal Symbolism in Italian Proverbs; The Graphic Novel in Italian Literature.

Major achievements

Between 2009 and 2011 I translated the poetry of Holocaust survivor Primo Levi into English with US poet, editor and translator Harry Thomas. One of our translations, ‘The Thaw’, won the first prize at the 2011 Der-Hovanessian Translation Award run by the prestigious New England Poetry Club (the translation was published in Salamander: 15, 2: p. 74). Between 2009 and 2014 I was the recipient of five consecutive Pro Helvetia Translation Grants and of one of the inaugural Max Geilinger Translation Grants in recognition of published and ongoing translations of poetry from and into English. In 2013 and 2014 respectively the Government of Italy and the Government of Poland bestowed on him the Order of Merit (Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito and Zasłużony Kulturze Gloria Artis) for services to culture.

Teaching interests

The Theory and Practice of Literary Translation; Italian Poetry; Italian Fiction; History of the Italian Language; Aphoristic Writing; Comparative Literature; Creative Writing.

Selected publications

Published and forthcoming 2014 - 2015

Seamus Heaney. Morte di un naturalista. A cura di Marco Sonzogni. Milano: Mondadori (Lo Specchio), 2014, pp.

Marco Sonzogni. Tagli. Milano: La vita felice, 2014, 100pp (runner up at the 2014 International Porto Venere Poetry Prize in Italy).

About Eco. Edited by Giuliana Adamo and Marco Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2014 (200pp, in print).

Marco Sonzogni. Ci vuole un fiore. Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2014 (forthcoming: November)

Translation, Transnationalism and World Literature. Essays in Translation Studies. Edited by Marco Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2014 (forthcoming: December).

“Questa stupida faccia”. Carteggio Brandeis-Contini. Milano: Archinto, 2015 (forthcoming: April).

Published (2005-2013)

Fabiano Alborghetti. The Directory of the Vulnerable. Translated and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2013, 135pp.

Fiona Kidman. Dove si posa la mano sinistra. Poesie. A cura e con una prefazione di Marco Sonzogni. Traduzioni di Francesca Benocci, Marco Sonzogni and Giulia Zuodar. Roma: Aracne, 2013, 82pp.

Marco Sonzogni. La speranza di pure rivederti. Clizia, Montale e l’infelicità di dirsi addio. Milano: Archinto, 83pp. 

David Wright. Dubliners and Ulysses: Bonds of Character. Edited by Chris Ackerley, Brian Boyd, and Marco Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Joker Edizioni, 2013, 164pp.

Irma Brandeis. Mac Gregor’s Island and Other Stories. Edited by Marco Sonzogni and George Talbot. Kibworh: Troubador, 2013, 193pp.

Marco Sonzogni. Prove di canto. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2013, 72pp.

Covering Parade. A Visual Festschrift Celebrating the 75th birthday of Patricia Grace. Edited by Marco Sonzogni and Sydney Shep. Wellington: Wai-te-ata Press, 2012, 60pp.

Pietro De Marchi. Here and Not Somewhere Else. Selected Poems (1990-2010). Translated and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2011, 148pp. 

Marco Sonzogni, Il critico tra il poeta e la musa: due lettere di Contini a Clizia, in The Italianist, 32 (2012), pp. 453-463.

Visualising Verse. Eugenio Montale: L’anguilla/The Eel. Edited by Marco Sonzogni. Balerna: Edizioni Ulivo, 2012, 58pp. 

Marco Sonzogni. Recovered Rose. A Study of Book Cover Design as Intersemiotic Translation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2011, 174pp.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Un’“apparizione meravigliosa, quasi inverosimile”: tracce di musa nei versi di In un giardino “italiano”’, in Studi d’italianistica dell’Africa australe, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2011), pp. 58-82.

Ad maiora. Selceted Papers from the School of Languages and Cultures Postgraduate Symposium. Edited and introduced by Sarah Leggott and Marco Sonzogni. Wellington: Dunmore, 2011, 193pp. 

M. Sonzogni. Alibi. Poesie e prose poetiche (2000-2010). Con una nota critica di Giuliana Adamo. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2011, 59 pp.

Alberto Nessi. A Broken Life. Selected Poems (1969-2009). Translated and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2011, 149pp. 

This Way. Covering/Uncovering Tadeusz Borowski’s This Way fort he Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. Edited by M. Sonzogni. Wellington: Dunmore, 2011, 141pp.

Marco Sonzogni. Una parola. Mendrisio: Josef Weiss Edizioni, 2010, 12pp.

Kendrick Smithyman. Campana to Montale. Versions from Italian. Edited by Jack Ross and Marco Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2010, 244pp.

Oliver Scharpf. Uppercuts. Selected Poems (1999-2007). Translated and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2010, 120pp.

Samuel Beckett. “Secret Transfusions”: Translations from Italian (1930). Edited, introduced and annotated by M. Sonzogni. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2010, 104pp.

Lost in Translation. New Zealand Short-Stories. Edited and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Auckland: Random House, 2010, 250pp.

Marco Sonzogni. Due parole. Mendrisio: Josef Weiss Edizioni, 2009, 8pp.

Maria Luisa Spaziani. Tell the Oak Tree to Grow Faster. Selected Aphorisms. Translated by Marco Sonzogni and Bob Lowe. Foreword by Maria Luisa Spaziani. Afterword by Gino Ruozzi. Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2009, 60pp.

Katherine Mansfield. Coraggioso amore. Traduzione e cura di Marco Sonzogni. Lecce: Manni, 2009, 92pp.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘The Colour of Politics and the Politics of Translation: Shades of Black in Finnegans Wake’, in La Libellula, 1 (2009), pp. 201-217.

Bill Manhire. Lifted/Levàti. Traduzione e cura di M. Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Joker Edizioni, 2009, 162pp.

Corno inglese. An Anthology of Eugenio Montale’s Poetry in English Translation. Edited and introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Novi Ligure: Joker Edizioni, 2009, 275pp. 

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Arsenio’s Alchemy. Notes on Montale’s 1933 translations of T.S. Eliot and Léonie Adams’, in Value and Visibility. Edited by Daniela Castelli and Daniela La Penna. London: Continuum, 2008, pp. 115-126 and pp. 194-199.

Second Violins. New Stories Inspired by Katherine Mansfield. Edited and Introduced by Marco Sonzogni. Auckland: Random House, 2008, 400pp.

Salvatore Quasimodo. The Night Fountain. Selected Early Poems. Edited, Introduced and Translated by M. Sonzogni and G. Dawe. Forward by A. Quasimodo. Todmorden: Arc Publications (Classics Series), 2008, 86pp.

Irma Brandeis (1905-1990). Profilo di una musa di Montale. Passi diaristici ed epistolari scelti trascritti e introdotti da Jean Cook. A cura e con un saggio di Marco Sonzogni. Balerna: Edizioni Ulivo, 2008, 165pp.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Henry Reed’s Translations of Eugenio Montale’s Mottetti’, in PN Review 180. Edited by Michael Schmidt. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2007, pp. 35-40. 

The Music of What Happened: Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957). Edited by Marco Sonzogni. Balerna: Edizioni Ulivo, 2007, 30pp.

Bill Manhire. Opoutere. Traduzione e cura di M. Sonzogni. Balerna: Edizioni Ulivo, 2007, 12pp.  

Marco Sonzogni. Echi di Eco. Balerna: Edizioni Ulivo, 2007, 28pp.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Swede di Paul Muldoon: radiografia di una traduzione’, in NAE, 5: 17 (Special Irish Issue: Italian volume). A cura di Giuliana Adamo. Cagliari: CUEC, 2006, pp. 69-74.

M. Sonzogni: ‘“Secreti travasi” nel segno di Joyce. Appunti su Beckett traduttore di Montale’, in Beckett e l’Italia. A cura di Giuseppe Alfano and Andrea Cortellessa. Roma: EDUP (Antalia: Critica Letteraria), 2006, pp. 155-181.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Minutiae montaliane’, in Spazio e spazialità nella poesia italiana del Novecento. A cura di Laura McLoughlin Incalcaterra. Leicester: Troubadour, 2005, pp. 189-223.

Seamus Heaney. Sulla poesia (Sia dato spazio alla poesia. Sia dato credito alla poesia). Traduzione e cura di Marco Sonzogni. Milano: Archinto, 2005, 90pp.

Marco Sonzogni. ‘Debiti e doni della traduzione poetica: Montale tra T.S. Eliot e Beckett. Schede su Montale tradotto e traduttore’, in The Italianist, ii, 2005, pp. 173-207.