Carmelo Militano: Love Poems from Archeologia Eros

Book Chat Review by Amanda Le Rougetel

On Valentine’s Day, a small group enjoyed an intimate online reading of love poems by MWG member Carmelo Militano. He chose selections from his book Archeologia Eros, work inspired by others’ erotic poems.

Interspersed in his reading of 20 poems from his collection, Militano discussed his theory and practice of writing. Digging into his past gives him ideas and inspiration. Although sparked by personal experiences, his work is not necessarily autobiographical.

Characterizing his poetry as “lyrical realism,” Militano described it as “an active attempt at creating dreams while [he is] awake.” Suspicious of something that is too fanciful, he always includes some truth. “Something has to be real for me to be drawn to write about it,” he said.

Militano said his literary writing career began with poetry, but he incorporated prose when he wanted to explore ideas at greater length. “Poetry tends to be intense and contained — a moment in time, as opposed to a long story that requires development and revelation bit by bit,” he explained.

His ideal reader, “is willing to do some of the heavy lifting in understanding the work, can make poetic leaps of understanding, and can sustain suspense. They enjoy ambiguity, love evocative language, and appreciate descriptions of landscape, place and setting.” They understand, he said, that “a novel may not always solve everything it sets out to do.”

Militano has many books to his credit, including Archeologia Eros (original 2021, reissued 2023) and a novel, The Patina of Melancholy (2022), published by Ekstasis Editions, a small press out of Victoria, BC. You can find his books at the Winnipeg Public Library.

Learn more about Militano and his writing.

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