Nolcha Fox interviews Gabriella Garofalo

Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at age six, and started writing poems (in Italian) at age six.

Her poems have been published in literary magazines such as Terror House Magazine, oddball magazine, The Galway Review, and The Opiate.

NF: You seem to have a love affair with the color blue. Please tell me more about this.

GG: Yes, blue is by far my favorite color, a color that embodies and recaptures life and its many contradictions. Ever since I was a child, I’ve stared in a sort of entrapment at all the shapes, the objects, maybe even souls that happened to be blessed with blue. It makes me think of silence, peace, a relatable continuity amidst life’s mayhems.

NF: What drew you into writing?

GG: In a way, I never got a proper apprenticeship to life. When I was six, my brother, aged three, died of lockjaw, a word eerily reminiscent of lockdown. I couldn’t understand why my brother had to leave all of a sudden, nor can I now, after so many decades. What I obscurely felt then, what I am persuaded of now, is that words can give us back the missing, the lost, the lives passed away. That’s why, six months past my first meeting with demise, I started writing. When my first taste of words and their force was over, I felt—again very obscurely, very vaguely—that not only words could give me back my brother, but they could give my mourning a frame, a shape, they could even quench the questions my life was rife with.

NF: How has your life experience informed your writing?

GG: Demise was the begetter of my words. Then, my soul and its unfathomable vagrancies, the darkness in my wasteland, the moon that gives light and shadows, the heavenly vault, the water, and those ambivalent dances life usually entices us to. Silence, too, so rife with hidden meanings, mesmerizes me, thus forcing my replies. Isn’t poetry, I wonder, a sort of reply to mystery and silence?

NF: How does being bilingual help or hinder writing poetry in English?

GG: The point is that I have been writing poems in Italian for some decades, then switched to English, since I felt it was the right time for me to probe my truest poetical voice. Therefore, I’d argue, it has definitely helped me out.

NF: I often use word prompts or photos or paintings to get me started on a poem. Where do you get your inspiration to write?

GG: I’d say the starting point of my writing follows a recursive pattern: I happen to look at one of my interlocutors, think the sky, or ponder on my soul, and something springs in me, the irrepressible urge to get in touch with it. I stumble into someone while strolling down the streets, I listen by chance to words freely flowing among people, and something springs in me, that irrepressible urge again. So, I start thinking, planning a structure, designing a room where my words can safely stay or move: that’s the very beginning. Then I nourish my words, challenge every image, stare at my obsessions in the eyes, and try to reshape them through my words.

NF: What are you writing now?

GG: I’m penning a smallish collection of poems, whose title might be “Blue Fences, Fake Lights.”

NF: Do you have any new projects in mind, and if so, what are they?

GG: John Lennon used to say “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” He was right, wasn’t he? I’m afraid I’ve got no future specific plans, no projects. I simply try to never part company from words, be they uttered, written, dreamed, or pictured. As the only water that nourishes my roots and my life, are words, my life’s very and only soul.


She is the author of:
• ‘Lo sguardo di Orfeo’
• ‘L’inverno di vetro’
• ‘Di altre stelle polari’
• ‘Casa di erba’
• ‘Blue Branches’
• ‘A Blue Soul’

For more information:


Nolcha has written all her life, starting with poop and crayons on the walls. Her poems have been published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Alien Buddha Zine, Medusa’s Kitchen, and others. Her three chapbooks are available on Amazon. Nominee for 2023 Best of The Net. Interviewer/book reviewer. Faker of fake news.
“My Father’s Ghost Hates Cats”
“The Big Unda”
“How to Get Me Up in the Morning”
“Memory is that raccoon”
“Cow Candy”
Twitter: @NolchaF