Journeyman Poet Matt Sedillo, home from glory in Italy.
City of tile
City of stones
City of ivory, marble
Emerald and gold
Seat of Bishops
And the flames of revolution
Labyrinth of inspiration
Home of Dante’s Tomb
I come to you
Outsider to the state of my birth
Mexican American of the Southwest
I, of cheated inheritance
In my own my homeland
Un chicano de Aztlan
Wondering how these
Wandering feet have brought me
In search of a darkened wood
Your streets teem with the verse of young poets and timeless odes to your living monuments
Look to them as the coming days
Turn not your brightest sons from the chapels and roads they were born to praise
How dearly they hold to you
Your immortal shadow lives by their light
Labyrinth of the Divine
Matt Sedillo is a working poet whose feet barely touch the ground. His travel schedule looks more like a Celebutante’s itinerary, than a humble, LA born working-class artist. This kind of hustle is becoming all too familiar with independent artists who grind out appearances around the country, at readings and college appearances. Matt was barely home from the international Italian poetry festival on Elba a few short weeks ago, Then he was back in the air on the way to Frankfurt for his stop over before reentry to the world of Italian arts and letters.
This time, he was traveling to receive the ancient laurel, most especially remembered as part of Dante Alighieri‘s symbol of excellence in literature. Fittingly, in the city of Ravenna where Dante has lain in repose for centuries, Count Paolo Gambi, lover of arts, literature and humanities has made Matt Sedillo the most celebrated international poet of the day. Under the auspices of the Franciscan Friars of Ravenna, the steadfast keepers of the tomb of Dante at the cathedral in the heart of the city, have come together once again to offer the wreath to artists. And, this year they chose a Chicano American writer, Matt Sedillo.
Those of us in the arts community of Los Angeles will know Matt Sedillo well, That his decades long travail to reach the American public with blazing political writing has reached Italian shores is nothing short of amazing. After Matt was crowned with Dantes Laurel for excellence in literature, he walked the streets of Ravenna, morning and night, As he tired the city from his camp at one of Count Paolo’s flats, he composed his ode to the city.. And in wonderful Matt Sedillo fashion, the city fathers, upon reading it, decided to emblazon it in a new mural near the city center.
As we go to press, Matt is off on another college tour, promoting the work of his fellow authors at FlowerSong press, out of Texas, and working with the Mexican consulate on literary collaborations.. Next up for Matt is the international poetry festival online, in November, and an international poetry festival in person, in Los Angeles, slated for spring 2023.