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IAWA Features “Edgy Voices” of Canada’s John Calabro and Gil Fagiani on Sat., Oct. 9, 2010

IAWA Features “Edgy Voices” of Canada’s John Calabro and Gil Fagiani on Sat., Oct. 9, 2010

IAWA . (September 28, 2010)
John Calabro will read from the newly released The Cousin, published by Quattro Books

On Saturday, October 9, 2010 the Italian American Writers Association (IAWA) is joined by Association of Canadian Italian Writers member, John Calabro of Toronto and IAWA co-host, Gil Fagiani, both of whose works take readers and listeners on extraordinary cultural journeys from Sicily to East Harlem.


    Of John Calabro’s work, Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints and the Origins of Species, writes ““Calabro’s work erases the line between the ordinary and the haunting, as if he has peeled back the skin of the real to make it ‘realer.’”

    An educator, a publisher and a writer, Calabro’s first novella, Bellecour, published in 2005 by Guernica Editions, was named by The Globe and Mail’s First Fiction reviewer as one of the top five books in that category for 2005. He published a collection of short stories called Somewhere Else in 2006. His short stories and essays have also appeared in Italian Canadiana, Strange Peregrination, and More Sweet Lemons (Legas Press, 2010). The Cousin is his second novella and was published by Quattro Books of which Calabro is a founder along with Luciano Iacobelli, Beatriz Hausner and Allan Briesmaster (micropress, Aeolus House).
    The backdrop for Gil Fagiani’s most recent book of poetry, A Blanquito in El Barrio (Rain Mountain Press, 2009), are the streets and music of Spanish Harlem. “...a story peopled with desperate, decimated and unforgettable characters, whose lives Fagiani never condemns, but uplifts and honors with tough, vivid verses set to the pulsating rhythms of Latin dance halls,” writes Steve Zeitlin, Founding Director, City Lore,  The New York Center For Urban Folk Culture. Accompanying his 72 poems is a glossary of Spanish and slang terms, and a discography. Emmy-award winner, Poetry Czar, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club Bob Holman named Blanquito among  his Poetry Picks-- The Best Books of 2009 on
    Fagiani’s poetry collection Rooks is set at Pennsylvania Military College in the 1960s (Rain Mountain Press, 2007); his chapbook, Grandpa’s Wine (Poets Wear Prada, 2008) has been translated into Italian by Paul D’Agostino. Forthcoming collections include Chianti in Connecticut (Bordighera Press) and Serfs of Psychiatry to be released by Finishing Line Press in 2011. For a review on Blanquito, visit
    Fagiani has translated into English, poetry written in Italian, Abruzzese dialect, and Spanish; his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paterson Literary Review, Mudfish, Skidrow Penthouse, Descant, and The Ledge.   He co-hosts IAWA’s readings and is Associate Editor of Feile-Festa: A Literary Arts Journal.
    By profession, Fagiani is a social worker (L.C.S.W.) and addiction specialist (C.A.S.A.C.) and has directed a residential support program for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts in Downtown Brooklyn for the last 20 years.
    The reading takes place Saturday, October 9, 2010, 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., at the Cornelia St. Café, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC, (212-989-9319). The evening starts with Open Mic readings of five minutes each. IAWA is a 501(3)©not-for-profit corporation. Since 1991, the organization has given voice to writers through its Open Reading series at Cornelia St. Café every month. For membership information, visit

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Contact: Maria Lisella
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