Cleto Munari

Product/Industrial Designer / Italy / Cleto Munari Design Associati

Cleto Munari’s Book List

In thinking about some of my favorite books I cannot avoid dreaming about my own desires for adventure and imaginary worlds. Dumas and Salgari are part of those childhood fantasies whereas my early adulthood found me leaning toward the aristocratic world described by authors like Tomasi di Lampedusa. Other books on this list are associated with my friendships and interactions with fiction writers such as Mahfouz and Saramago, or poets met through a friend of mine who translates and works with poets, including Wole Soyinka, Mark Strand, and Manuel Alegre. Still other books are those that I enjoy rereading every now and then.

3 books
Manuel Alegre

This is the only book of poems in Italian (the title translates as “There Will Be Another Sea”) by a wonderful Portuguese poet who is also a well-known politician. Alegre ran twice for president of Portugal (2006 and 2011) and leads the Portuguese Socialist Party. His resistance against the Salazar dictatorship and his return to his country after many years in exile is a well-known story in his country. I love his poetry because it captures our desire for travel and discovery and explores human ambition.

Mark Strand

Discovering this remarkable American poet was a revelation for me. We met thanks to one of his Italian poetry readings organized by a friend of mine, Marco Fazzini. I have even produced a table using his visionary poem dedicated to a man and his camel. His often surreal metaphors are a continuous inspiration for my work.

Wole Soyinka

This is the first book of Wole Soyinka’s poems ever published in Italy and was written for me. When Soyinka decided to dedicate these poetical fragments to me, I understood what simplicity and clarity of thought mean. I would like to have his wise and clear vision on things and history, but it’s more than enough for now to know that our lives have met at some stage. My friend and translator Marco Fazzini has managed to produce a wonderful book out of those fragments and ideas.

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