Italian American Writers' Cafe
Italian American Writers' Cafe
The Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center's Poetry Reading Series, which is held one Sunday a month, will feature Maria Lisella, co-curator for the Italian American Writers Association readings.
Maria Lisella's work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Skidrow Penthouse, LIPS, The Paterson Literary Review, Feile-Festa, Fox Chase Review, Gradiva, Italian Americana, Oberon, Philadelphia Poets, Liquer 44 (in French) and online on Poets for Humanity and Pirene's Fountain; and anthologized in Avanti Po
polo: Italian American Writers Sail Past Columbus, the Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow. Her short story, Sunday in Palermo, appears in the newly-released anthology, More Sweet Lemons, published by Legas Press.
Of her work, Stephanie Dickinson, winner of Best American Short Stories and the Year’s Best New Stories from the South, writes: In a quietly seductive voice Lisella takes the reader on journey after journey, to exotic locales like Venice, Havana, and Dubrovnik, cities steeped in myth and bloodshed. With crystalline descriptions reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop, Lisella mixes the haunted elegance of the old world and the disturbed consumerism of the new. TWO NAKED FEET is brilliantly wired with the tension of paradox. It is about exile and the movement of peoples, the destruction and pastiche of cultures, the chasm between the idealized world and the colloquial one. Lisella writes with the profundity and simplicity of classicism. Her "I" rarely steps outside of the observing eye to become autobiographical, and yet the poems are remarkable for their passion.
Recently, she and her husband, poet and writer Gil Fagiani were interviewed on NOTA BENE, a live discussion program, featuring dynamic conversation with leading Artists and Scholars of the Italian American Culture, hosted by Fred Gardaphe, Fulbright Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies at Queens College/CUNY. NOTA BENE can be seen on the Internet LIVE at WWW.LIVESTREAM.COM/ITALICS the third Wednesday of every month. It is then archived on the Livestream.com Site for future viewings.
Lisella is currently working with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition as March 25, 2011 is the Centennial of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took the lives of 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women, and galvanized a movement for social justice. In concert with organizations and individuals across the country, the coalition is spearheading commemorative events – activism, education, arts including literary events – for the Centennial and the establishment of a permanent memorial.
A travel writer by profession, her work has appeared in the France Guide, Travel & Leisure, Sherman's Travel, the Newark Star Ledger, the New York Daily News and many other publications. Visit www.nytwa.info/MariaLisella
Lisella and Fagiani co-curate the Italian American Writers Association readings held on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Cornelia St. Cafe. The next reading takes place on Feb. 12, 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., at the Cornelia St. Café, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC, (212-989-9319); www.corneliastreetcafe.com).
The evening starts with Open Mic readings of five minutes each.Since 1991, the organization has given voice to writers through its Open Reading series at Cornelia St. Café every month. For membership information, visit www.iawa.net