Video spot of San Sabino Prize in italian language, click to view English subtitles



San Sabino Prize 2015

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Word & Mystery

San Sabino International Religious Poetry Competition 2015

8th Edition – Torreglia (Padua-Italy)

DEADLINE March 21 2015 April 05 2015

prize ceremony May 30 2015



The competition was inspired by the Parish Church of San Sabino, an ancient church in the beautiful little town of Torreglia, near Padua, on the Euganean Hills, where beautiful and romantic landscapes, prayer, cultural tradition and poetry intertwine.

• The Parish Church, built in the twelfth century, stands high on the Colle della Mira (Hill of Mira) overlooking the picturesque Euganean area, and offering the view of a landscape that has inspired, and still does, travellers, poets and pilgrims for centuries.

• Inside the Parish Church is the tomb of the scholar, poet, writer and orator, the Abbot Giuseppe Barbieri (Bassano 1774 – Torreglia 1852), a pupil of Gaspare Cesarotti, the Italian translator of Macpherson’s Ossian. Barbieri actually lived in a villa nearby and, according to his will, he was buried in the church. In his poems, Barbieri celebrated the beauty of the Euganean landscape. A text composed by the Greek scholar and  philologist Carlo Diano, engraved on a marble plaque inside the church, recalls the visit of the Italian linguist and writer Niccolò Tommaseo to his Master Barbieri. Together with the Latin scholar Jacopo Facciolati, the painter Roberto Ferruzzi and the musician Cesare Pollini, all linked with Torreglia and nearby location Luvigliano, the learned Abbot makes of this town a place of art, learning and inspiration.

• The Parish Church is also a place of worship in the Euganean Hills, along with many others, including the Camaldolese hermitage of Monte Rua, the Benedictine Abbey of Praglia and the Monastery of San Daniele. The Parish Church is dedicated to St Sabino, bishop and martyr of the IV century, whose memory and worship are deeply felt in the nearby town of Monselice, of which he is the Patron Saint. In the church is also kept the ancient statue of the Madonna del Carmelo, which has been carried in procession to the nearby Sanctuary of Monteortone for over four hundred years, following a vow of the people escaped from the plague. In the town of Torreglia there are three houses of spirituality: Villa Immacolata, Casa Sacro Cuore and Villa Assunta, all of whom offer a place of retreat, meditation and peace.

The San Sabino International Competition of religious poetry, held every two years, is thus part of this long and rich cultural and spiritual tradition. It was launched sixteen years ago by the poet Giampiero Giuliucci and its aim is to promote religious poetry in its wider sense. The title Word and Mystery suggests that the poetic experience is the threshold between sound and silence, speakable and unspeakable, finitude and infinity. This is the field that the Prize intends to promote and explore.


The 2015 edition and five anniversaries of poets, from Dante to Mario Luzi

The 2015  8th edition is part of several  important anniversaries for poetry:  the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the 60th anniversary of the death of Paul Claudel (1868-1955), the 50th anniversary of Thomas Stearn Eliot’s death (1888-1965), the 25th anniversary of Giorgio Caproni’s death (1912-1990) and finally the aftermath of the centenary of the birth and the 10th  anniversary of the death of Mario Luzi (1914-2005).

May then Mario Luzi’s own words, be the best wish for all those who will contribute to the Competition both as authors and supporters.

Vola alta, parola, cresci in profondità,

tocca nadir e zenith della tua significazione,

giacché talvolta lo puoi – sogno che la cosa esclami

nel buio della mente –

però non separarti

da me, non arrivare,

ti prego, a quel celestiale appuntamento

da sola, senza il caldo di me

o almeno il mio ricordo sii

luce, non disabitata trasparenza…

La cosa e la sua anima? o la mia e la sua sofferenza?

Mario Luzi




Fly high, word, grow in deepness,

touching the Nadir and Zenith of your meaning,

since you can sometimes – I dream that the thing exclaims

in the darkness of the mind –

but don’t go away

from me, don’t go,

I beg you, to that heavenly appointment 

alone, without the  warmth of me

or at least my memory be

light, not uninhabited transparence…

The thing and its soul? Or my and its pain?


Mario Luzi