Remarks by Ambassador Phillips at the “The Bridge Book Award” Ceremony
Rome, November 16, 2016
(As prepared for delivery)
Good afternoon and welcome to the Embassy.
I am pleased that all of you are able to join us here today for the award ceremony of the second edition of The Bridge Literary Prize.
This prize is a unique Italian-American collaboration that not only honors great contemporary American and Italian writers of fiction and non-fiction, but also allows audiences to enjoy the selected works in translation.
The Bridge Literary Award is a group effort. It has involved several institutions and many individuals, both here in Italy and in the United States.
In particular, I want to recognize the contributions of the Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale as well as the Embassy of Italy in Washington, the American Academy in Rome, and our other partners.
I also want to thank the members of the various juries – both the Americans who determined which Italian works would be awarded prizes and the Italians who made that determination for the American works.
But in particular, I want to thank Signora Maria Ida Gaeta of Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale for her tireless efforts in making her dream of building a literary bridge between our two countries a reality.
One of our goals at the U.S. mission to Italy is to promote mutual understanding. I can think of no better way to share ideals, values and principles than through literature. So let me congratulate the finalists, the recipients of The Bridge prize and the organizers of the award in helping us accomplish this goal.
My hope is that The Bridge Literary Price will contribute to a renewed enthusiasm for reading among both Italian and American publics.
I’m happy to announce that our Italian and American readers will soon have access to two more great works of American and Italian contemporary fiction and non-fiction impeccably translated into Italian and English. These books are truly part of the bridge between our countries.