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Paolo Codazzi would be an ideal candidate for an international prize for contemporary narrative promotion if one existed! Paolo is a pure Florentine and Director of the magazine, “Stazione di Posta”.

He is the deus ex machina of the Premio Letterario Chianti (“Chianti Literary Prize”), an affirmed event on the local cultural panorama, thanks to its 29 editions and hundreds of followers (around 350 in the last few years).

The magazine is known nationally through the project, “Italia pianeta libri”, sponsored by the Minister for Goods and Cultlural Activities.

Initially the prerogative of the town of Greve in Chianti and also open to poetry, the Premio letterario was then dedicated to only narrative works in 1992.

It slowly spread through the Chianti territory, starting in 1999, with the involvement of Radda in CHianti and San Casciano and, starting with the 2011-2012 edition, it received financial and logistic/organizational support from all of the 8 town administrations plus Impruneta, with the patronage of the provinces of Florence and Siena.

The Premio Chianti is a contest which answers the expectations and needs move switch of its faithful followers. Its calendar is precise, both in the procedure which involves the publishing houses and applications of the authors, as well as in the phase involving the popular jury and the distribution of the books of the finalists.

This is managed through town libraries and their personnel. Just as ritual are the appointments with the authors of the five works which reach the final phase of the contest after having passed the selections by the technical Committee, made up of representatives from participating town administrations and led since 2010 by Prof. Giuseppe Panella, professor of the department of philosophy of the “Normale” University of Pisa, as well as the author of numerous essays on the modern novel and a well-known literary critic.

The meetings usually take place in the theatres and in other public spaces of the interested towns between the months of February and May.

They are always well attended by the public of readers/jurists and help local towns to open up an important cultural debate. This goes on until the last session, usually hosted by the Castello di Verrazzano, where the final result is based on the popular vote of the jurors.

These are the mechanisms followed which involve passionate readers and generate a high percentage of subscribers; about 0.5% of the population of the participating townships… those of the the Chianti territory plus those of Impruneta.

The contest has included writers of quality in the past. Illustrious names of contemporary narrative, for example Andrea Camilleri (1997) and Maurizio Maggiani (1999), have participated, and many young authors who have won the prize or who have been finalists in the last editions, may reveal themselves as great writers tomorrow.

The Literary Prize also gives thanks to the memory of Giorgio Luti, President of the technical jury until 2008, “an irreplaceable loss for the prize”, accoring to Paolo Codazzi.

Regarding Paolo, we are ready to nominate him for a future Nobel Prize for the “promotion of literature”.

Cosimo Ciampoli