Franca Simpson

Calisi Press is my dream come true. A lifelong love affair with words, with books and the stories they tell, made me wish that one day I might be able to work on the sort of books that opened my eyes and showed me glimpses of yet unknown worlds when I was young, and that intrigue, challenge and comfort me now that I am not so young. Life got in the way, as it does, but I never stopped hoping that “one of these days” I would. Then a family loss made me face up to the fact that I had fewer days ahead than I had behind and that the time for dreaming was gone – it was time to take action, or put my dream to rest. 

The business of making dreams come true, I have found, is a surprising process, and so it has been for me, because along the way I have also found a way back to my roots, I have remembered how truly amazing and fascinating Italian women can be, and I have discovered a wonderfully rich seam of beautifully crafted stories. This is where Calisi Press, and my wish to concentrate on the publication of creative works by Italian women writers, comes from. My mother is a River, by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, is Calisi's first title, to be published in November 2015. A powerful, touching story without sentimentality, a story that moved and comforted me, beautifully told. There will be others, and I will love each and every one of them with a passion. I hope you will too.

However, in celebration of all Italian women writers, details of Italian women writers will be added to to the Authors page of this site. These will include biographies, relevant links and details of titles already available in English translation. It will take time, but I hope to make this site a reference and a resource for all those who, like me, have a particular interest in this publishing sector. Suggestions and contributions are warmly encouraged, and will be most gratefully received.

Franca Simpson


Franca Simpson – After a couple of decades working in advertising, local government and finance management, I became a freelance translator and have been working with words ever since.

A member of the Translation Association and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, in 2012 I went back to university to study for an MA in Professional Writing at London Metropolitan University, the first step on a self-discovery journey which eventually led me to Calisi Press.

"With special thanks to my talented collaborators:"

Marinella Mezzanotte Marinella Mezzanotte - Marinella is a copyeditor specialising in Italian to English translations of creative works. She is also a writer of fiction, and her story, Yesterday's Pies, appears in the 2013 Bridport Prize anthology.
Barbara Marsh Barbara Marsh - Barbara is a London-­based American writer, musician and teacher. Her work has appeared in magazines and pamphlets and been widely anthologized and her poetry collection, To the Boneyard, is published by Eyewear (2013). She has an MPhil in Creative Writing from University of Glamorgan and is the author of the first book-­length monograph on American poet Ruth Stone, Crossing the Bone Bridge: Ruth Stone and the Language of Grief.
Charlotte Mouncey Charlotte Mouncey - Charlotte, of Bookstyle, is a graphic designer who specialises in book design.
Johanna Robinson

Johanna Robinson - Johanna, of Ascribe Editing, is a proofreader/proof-editor, who followed an English degree with a career in law, and who has now returned to words in the form of proofreading. Born in – and having returned to – Liverpool, England, she works with writers and publishers from all over the world. Johanna is a Professional Member of the Society of Editors and Proofreaders.