monica dengo classe

I believe in writing by hand as a powerful means of expression of our humanity and see the act of writing as an act of marking our existence, a gesture that has deep meaning in itself and not only in connection with the verbal message that it carries. " - -

M O N I C A D E N G O lives and works in Italy. She is an artist and teacher working with handwriting, lettering, calligraphy and book design. She has taught in Japan, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France, Canada, Russia and the United States. Currently she teaches a four years long course on historical calligraphy in Venice - Italy for CIAC - Centro Internazionale Arti Calligrafiche. She is also a tutor at ISIA Urbino, Italy and is the organizer/teacher of special events/workshops on the art of writing in Venice with Kazuaki Tanahashi; in Fukuoka, Japan, with Satsuki Hatsushima and periodically elsewhere.

After a formal training in calligraphy and bookbinding Monica stepped out of the historical framework to begin an investigation of the contemporary connections that people have with their own handwriting. Her studies were particularly influenced by her students: during intensive workshops in which she guides students to break all the rules of legibility she realized how deeply people’s minds are framed by the forms and structures of the text. Further studies of scientific discoveries on the importance of handwriting for the brain, have lead her to investigate writing by hand as a form of expression independent from the rules of legibility and deeply connected with the wholeness of body and mind.

Her work has been exhibited in many parts of the world and in 2014 she was awarded best international artist at the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial (UAE). Her work can be found at the San Francisco Public Library Special Collections, the Berlin’s Akademie der Kunste Calligraphy Collection and in private collections. One of her artist books has been published in 2020 by Juxta Press, Milan - Italy. Other publications: the alphabet book Pick Up Your Pen has been published by Giannino Stoppani Editore in Italy in 2012 and re-published in Canada, France and Estonia. In 2017 her manual Lascia il Segno, dedicated to handwriting as an expression of human creativity, has been published by Terre di Mezzo Editore, Italy and with Niggli Verlag, Switzerland, 2019, with the title Leave Your Mark.


Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
In 2010 she curated the exhibition The Poetics of Written Space
( - exhibitions archive - The Poetics of Written Space).
From 2009 to present time she has organized international calligraphy workshops, with a focus on experimentation, at the Ca’ Pesaro Modern Art Museum and Correr Museum.

FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano
In 2015 Monica has organized the FAI event A Mano Libera, the Art of Cursive, at Villa Necchi Campiglio, sponsored by Montblanc and curated the FAI competition on handwriting in the public schools:

Istituto Comprensivo di Terranuova Bracciolini (Arezzo)
2009-2015 - Project for the introduction of a new cursive model in the public schools. Go to

Centro Internazionale Arti Calligrafiche -
Since 2013 Monica teaches a four years long program on the foundations of Western calligraphy in Venice Italy. Each year long program consists of 9 weekend meetings spread over the whole year.

Academy of Art University - San Francisco, California -
From 2000 to 2003 she has taught several classes on calligraphy and experimental typography for Undergraduate and Graduate programs.

Other teachings:
Libera Università di Bolzano, ISIA Faenza and Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy.

ISIA - Urbino
Since 2017 she is a tutor at the High Institute for Applied Arts, Urbino


2010 - Museo Correr, Venezia
Installation within the exhibition The Poetics of Written Space:
I Invite You to Make the Text Your Own.
Monica Dengo was the co-curator, together with Monica Viero, of the group exhibition The Poetics of Written Space with her own installation and a space dedicated to her student's work.

2008 - Espace Terres d’écritures - Grignan, France
Calligraphic Metamorphosis.  July - August.

2005 - Oakland, California Usa - Gallery Café 817.
Has she fallen into silence? July - August.

2004 - Carpi Modena, Italy, Palazzo Comunale.
May - June.

2002 - San Francisco, California Usa.
Installation at the Academy of Art University.

2001 - Ostmalle Belgium, Installation at the Calligraphy Conference.
(insegnanti: Monica Dengo e Gottfried Pott)

2000 - San Francisco, California, International Calligraphy Conference - Performance.

1998 - Cittadella, Padova, Italy - Scritture, Palazzo Pretorio.
May - June.

1996 - Mountain View, California - Public Art, Permanent installation at the Mountain View Public Library, periodical reading room. Silent Shapes in Space and Time. Monica Dengo and Thomas Ingmire collaboration.

1995 - Oakland, California Usa- Galerie Café 817.
The Arabian Nights. December - February.


2020 - Avignon, France - Ceccano Library - Dialogue d'encre - January 11 to 29. Organized by Art of Ink in America.

2020 - Paris, France - Town hall 8th arrondissement - Dialogue d'encre - February 13 to 27, organized by Art of Ink in America. 

2017 - Istituto Italiano di Cultura Il Cairo, Egypt.
The Shape of Accents
Guided by calligrapher/artist Monica Dengo,
a group of 24 calligraphers, all Monica students, becomes part of
‘Writing the Divine Comedy …. in the languages of the world’.

2015 - Met Andere Woorden. Exhibition at the TRANSFO - Zwevegem, Belgium. Curated by Brody Neuenschwander

2014 - Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, Emirati Arabi Uniti.
Invited artist, winner of a Sharjah Calligraphy Award and Prize.

2009 - PIP Biennale, Life & Dream, China PingYao International Photography Festival.
Body as Book, represented by Charlet-photographies, Parigi.

2009 - Chateau de Vogüé - Vogüé, France.
Le Geste Suspendu, curated by historian Christine Macé.
June - September

2008 - Louisville, KY, Usa - University of Louisville - Hite Gallery
Five from Four, curated by Steven Skaggs, University of Louisville.
September - October

2007 - Chicago, ILL, Usa - Newberry Library, Chicago Calligraphy Collective.
Exploration 2007, Annual Juried Exhibition.

2007 - Milano, Italia - Bel Art Gallery.
Body as Dream, collaboration project with Marco Ambrosi.

2007 - Kaunas Lituania, Kaunas photo festival.
Honorable mention for Body as Dream, collaboration with  poet Tsering W.Dhompa and photographer Marco Ambrosi.

2006- Lahore, Pakistan
Pakistan Calligraph-artists Guild

2006 -  Guilford Art Center, Guilford CT, USA
Responding to our World. Juried exhibition. First prize winner.

2005 - Helsinki, Finland. Calligraphy Society of Finland.
Kirjainten voi ma (Power of Letters) Collective Juried Exhibition.
1999 - Iowa City, Usa. Iowa University. Iowa calligraphy association.
Collective Exhibition.

1997 - Cittadella, Padova, Italy - Belle Lettere
Collective Juried Exibition.


San Francisco Public Library, Special Collections.
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco CA 94102-4733

Akademie der Künste, Archiv - Berlino, Germania.

Mountain View Public Library. Public Art in the city of Mountain View.
The Visual Arts Committee
585 Franklin St
Mountain View, CA 94041

The Ian and Susan Wilson Collection of Chinese Stones, Paintings, and Related Scholars’ Objects.
The Rock Book, by Monica Dengo.


2014 - Sharjah, Emirati Arabi Uniti
Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial. International artist Prize and Award.

2012 - Parents Choice Award for her manual Pick Up Your Pen, published by Owl Kids.

2007 - Kaunas Lituania, Kaunas photo festival.
Honorable mention for Body as Dream, collaboration with  poet Tsering W. Dhompa and photographer Marco Ambrosi.

2006 -  Guilford Art Center, Guilford CT, USA
Responding to our World. Juried exhibition. First prize.
Letter Arts Review, Vol.22 nr. 1, entirely dedicated to the exhibition.


- Le Penne in Pugno, Giannino Stoppani Edizioni, Italia
- Crayons en main, Éditions Milan, Francia
- Pick Up Your Pen, Owlkids Publishers, Canada/Usa.
  This manual won the Parent’s Choice Award in 2012.

- Lascia il Segno, Terre di Mezzo Editore, Italia, 2017

- Leave Your Mark, Niggli Verlag, Switzerland, 2019

Three other manuals, Scrivere a Mano Libera, Il Corsivo Naturale and Scrittura Corsiva are available in her web site

search for Monica Dengo on YouTube.


Servizio su Rai3: La calligrafia in una scuola pubblica della Toscana

Lensculture web magazine, Body as Dream a collaborative work. Monica Dengo designer and calligrapher, M.Ambrosi photographer, Tsering W. Dhompa, poet.

The Poetics of Written Space catalogue
Fondazione Musei Civici Veneziani, 2010

Progetto Grafico - Rivista dell’AIAP n.18, 2010
Insegnare il corsivo - Per un pensiero che fluisca
con armonia dalla mente al foglio

La Repubblica, 28 Luglio 2009.
Addio alla Scrittura. Intervento sull’articolo di
Maria Novella de Luca.

ELLE magazine, april 2009.

Alphabet Journal, The Friends of Calligraphy Publication.
Volume 24, nr.1, Fall 1998.
Marking the Moment, an interview by Brooke Holve.

Alphabet Journal, The Friends of Calligraphy Publication.
Volume 21, nr.3, Spring 1996.
Monica Dengo: The Arabian Nights, reviewed by Arne Wolf.

Letter Arts Review Vol.13, nr.1.
The Arabian Nights, story of an exhibition.
by Monica Dengo

Other collaborations:


Landor, McCann Ercsson Italiana, ONDesign, CFNAPA, Deutch Design, Primo Angeli inc., Public Media Center, Tarcher/Putnam, Algida, Blimpie, Time Magazine, Findus, Harcourt Trade, Harper Collins Publishers, Harper One, Heineken Italia, Klutz Press, Marchel Schurman, Mountain View Public Library, Pepsi Cola, Safeway, Fondo Ambiente italiano.


Laura Beers, Chris Besett, Lisa Brussell, Carlo Buffa, Kathryne Ettinger, Marilyn Green, Kate Greene, Lorena Jones, Maria Keehan, Gary McDonald, Gina Orlando, Jonathan Padfield, Kevin Plottner, Mary Ellen Podgorski, Jim Warner, Michele Wetherbee, Lindsay Whiting.