Poet and harpist Francesco Benozzo with Antonella Riem (Udine University) at Bath Spa University

Posted on January 12, 2024

Francesco Benozzo and Co-founder of GALA since 2014, Antonella Riem (Udine University), visited Bath Spa University in November where they met with the Vice Chancellor and Provost, as well as colleagues in creative writing, music and literature. Poet and harpist Benozzo also delivered a talk and performance at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. In this concert, he performed traditional music originating from differing territories focusing on the intertwined essence of world music. He portrays a dimension where life and music are suspended between reality and dream, artistic imagination and the creativeness of tradition.
You can watch the video of the concert here: Francesco Benozzo – The Ridge & the Song: Harp Concert – YouTube
Francesco Benozzo is Associate Professor of Romance Philology and Linguistics at the University of Bologna, where he coordinates the Doctorate in “Literary and Cultural Studies”. He is a poet and musician of international fame (candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature from Pen International since 2015). He is the founder of Ethnophilology, a discipline that interacts with the texts in an anti-authoritarian, libertarian perspective and with a focus on native and oral traditions. He has issued 15 musical albums released in Italy, Denmark and UK. He won numerous important music prizes including the title of Honorary Bard of Portugal. Among his latest books: Speaking Australopithecus, 2019, Carducci, 2021, The Ridge and the Song. Sailing the Archipelago of Poetry, 2022, Poeti della Marea, 2022, Sciamanica. Poems from the Borders of the Worlds, 2023.
Professors Antonella Riem, Ian Gadd and John Strachan have each supported the nomination of Francesco Benozzo for the Nobel Prize in Literature.


  1. Gratitude to BathSpa University, GALA and Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Thanks to all students, collegues, friends and public who contributed with their active presence to a wonderful week of art, poetry, song and music.
    Special thanks to John, Ian and Rebecca for their unfailing engagement and enthusiasm in our projects together, and to Francesco for sharing with generosity the potent vibrancy of his poetry, music and song.
    Ad maiora semper

  2. Francesco Benozzo is a magnificent example of what Partnership Studies are about. His work as a Philologist, Composer, Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist and Poet is absolutely singular as we shall see.
    When Prof. Antonella Riem AM founded the Partnership Studies Group in 1998 at Udine University, she was by no means riding on a wave of recognised consolidated studies. Rather, as is typical in her work, she foresaw exactly what such studies could offer the humanities and by extension students. Today, under her leadership, the Partnership Studies Group spans the world, bringing together academics and artists, writers, and thinkers. Her students today enjoy a wide spectra of interdisciplinary perspectives that interrogate and push across the given frontiers of the canon.
    I must also note that in 2014, when she was Deputy Chancellor for International Affairs at Udine University, Antonella Riem co-founded GALA, the Global Academy of Liberal Arts. GALA, based at Bath Spa University, has a worldwide outreach and an exceptional range of high-profile events. 
    As I watched Francesco Benozzo’s concert at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, an event connected to the GALA network, I was again absolutely transported by his music, harp and voice. Francesco Benozzo’s work transcends all the boundaries normally associated with music, or poetry, or scholarly work. His concern is language, the safeguarding of culturally significant ancient songs and stories from different regions of Europe for which he then composes the music for his harp. As a Romance philologist, poet and polyglot he has pushed across the frontier between music and linguistics, between applied arts and conventional linguistic praxis. However, his work also closely allies with his civil engagement as an anarchist and libertarian. His anti-authoritarianism made breaking across boundaries his signature badge, placing him at the heart of the praxis of Partnership Studies. 
    It is not surprising then that he is a permanent nominee for the Noble Prize for Literature.

    1. Huge thanks to Prof. Antonella Riem (Udine University), to Bath Spa University, GALA, and the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution for arranging the fascinating concert given by Francesco Benozzo last November, and for making the video available to us online to watch again and again. What a privilege to share his performance. It is absolutely mesmerising to hear him sing as he plays his Welsh bardic harp with total concentration of mind and body. All his energies as a poet, musician, and scholar of languages and cultures are fused together in perfect Partnership as he transforms the words of his poetic meditation ‘The Ridge and the Song’ into those rhythms ‘felt in the blood and felt along the heart’ in an appeal to his audience which resonates, almost unbidden, with our own deepest unspoken feelings. He speaks and sings to the core of our humanity.
      Unsurprisingly, he has our shared nomination for this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature.