Francesca Viola Mazzoni – An ironic poet of the minuscule

Francesca Viola Mazzoni’s first love is the theatre. Even before that, and at the foundation of it, there is a passion for words. It is from a trust in language that her artistic journey was born, which at some point shifted towards the realm of writing. Her first publication dates back to 2014, with the novel ‘Una mente insolente’ – ‘ An insolent mind’ (published by Il Ponte Vecchio), a minor literary phenomenon that earned her the ‘Meglio ridere’ award for the merit of addressing the thorny issue of mental illness using the weapon of irony.

Irony is the stylistic hallmark that permeates and serves as a common thread in Mazzoni’s work — a playful lightness applied to themes that would otherwise be hard to digest. Another recurring theme in the research of this Tuscan-Romagnol actress and writer is gender discourse: Francesca explores the female emotional world in its myriad nuances, uncovering and delving into the most hidden folds, those invisible to most. Her work is a poetics of the minuscule, of mechanisms that get jammed, ranging from a collection that is an ode to imperfection (‘La fata sdentata’, published by Il Ponte Vecchio) to the biography of a transgender girl (‘Io sono io’, co-written with Cinzia Messina, published by Il Ponte Vecchio). And then—in between—there are a bitter fairy tale, a story about the toxicity of certain relationships, another on the struggle to accept one’s body, a format on the art of seduction (Evulvendo, conceived and performed with her friend and colleague Ilaria Cerioli).

Francesca Viola Mazzoni

An emblem of this particular attention to the different is the character of the lame mermaid, the protagonist of the story published in the anthology ‘Lo dice il mare’ – ‘The sea says so’ (published by Il Foglio, 2017). Francesca Viola Mazzoni’s career unfolds, vibrant and unpredictable, between languages and topics. Recently, she was entrused with an African kid, and this wonderful experience allowed her to experience motherhood, another fundamental milestone in the life of this multifaceted artist who, for many years, has chosen to give voice to the weakest. We are curious to see what else she has in store for us.


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