Graziella de Clario was born in 1926 in Capodistria, a small port town located about forty kilometres south of Trieste, on Italy’s north-eastern border. In the aftermath of the Second World War Capodistria suddenly found itself within the borders of Yugoslavia and was renamed Koper. It is now Slovenia’s main port.
In June 1956 Graziella migrated to Melbourne with her husband and two children. She began to write in the early 1960’s as an expression of an essentially dissident voice. Her poetry is consequently reactive and diaristic; through writing she attempts to make sense of the numerous fractures she has experienced in her world.
Over the decades these fractures have fragmented many layers of the sense of self she first inherited as the youngest child of ageing parents. The poverty and degradation of post-war Italy and the anxieties and humiliations of migration to a country in so many ways so distant from her own have all defined the boundaries of her experiential world, one that will soon vanish if not acknowledged through the remembered lives of ones such as Graziella de Clario.
Her poems continue to offer us glimpses of this fast-receding world and their authenticity and simplicity demand that we listen attentively, and that we afterward allow their echoes to sound within us as long as they need to.