Poets Get Nod From Space Pros: Without Poetry, It’s All Hardware

by James Pura on August 1, 2008

A poetry magazine launched by American novelist Vanna Bonta gets service award from engineers, space professionals and rocket scientists.

(August 1, 2008 Washington DC) The Space Frontier Foundation, an organization of space professionals dedicated to opening space to human settlement, presented their 2008 “Service to the Frontier” award to American author and actress Vanna Bonta for a poetry magazine celebrating space.

At the annual black tie banquet in Washington,DC, the Foundation Chair announced the person receiving the award had no idea. Bonta, who was in attendance to pay homage at an Arthur C. Clarke tribute gala, was obviously surprised as she got up to accept the award, a polished marble obelisk emerging from rough rock engraved with the Foundation’s logo and the recipient’s name.

Bonta, who has self-effacingly described herself as “the wild daughter of a talented woman” is a multi-talented actress and prize-winning poet. She is the daughter of an Italian fine-arts painter and the grand daughter of Luigi Ugolini, a Florentine writer who is required reading in Italian schools.

After a stint in Hollywood, she withdrew from easily-won auditions for on-camera work, providing routine voice talent to blockbuster movies while staying focused on writing. Her novel Flight, recently out in audio book, drew praise from trade reviews and stirred inspiration and controversy.

According to IMDB, Bonta spent formative childhood years growing up with international cultures at a Thai missionary school.

Ironically, statesmen and world leaders are among thousands of daily visitors who pass under the famous portal of the Washington DC National Cathedral where Bonta’s likeness is carved in stone as the figure of Woman, for which she was invited to pose by American master sculptor Frederick Hart. Once annoyed by a Midwest radio interviewer pressing her with denigrating innuendo about a rumor that she posed nude, Bonta finally replied about modeling for the “Ex Nihilo” Creation masterpiece, “Yes, God and I were nude.”

In The Cosmos Review, Bonta writes: “Poetry absolves spirituality from the dividedness of religions and provides us with a sanctuary that excludes no one. It is our heart, our spirit, our soul. Call it whatever, without it, everything else is nothing but hardware.”

The magazine accepts submissions and a recent issue features a moving piece of poetic prose by the first independent female space explorer, Anousheh Ansari, “The First Time I Saw Earth From Space.”

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