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Meet IAWA's Authors and Activists -- Fazio and Belfiglio -- Saturday, August 13

Meet IAWA's Authors and Activists -- Fazio and Belfiglio -- Saturday, August 13

IAWA . (July 31, 2011)
Bowery Women: Poems, an extraordinary anthology including such national treasures as Anne Waldman, Ana Castillo, Sapphire, Jessica Hagedorn, Marie Ponsot, and Marie Howe, IAWA’s August Feature, Kathryn M. Fazio, plus former Broadway and HBO Def Jam poets like Ishle Yi Park and Suheir Hammad, slam winners, plus a crowd of new talents.

On Saturday, August 13, 2011, the Italian American Writers Association (IAWA) presents two authors whose work reflects both their activism and artistry – internationally published Kathryn M. Fazio and Gabriella M. Belfiglio [bell feel yo], a fish monger and artist.

Frequently video-taped for educational purposes at universities or fundraisers because of the social significance of her work, Fazio gives voice to vulnerable populations and speaks on topics such as homelessness or health insurance parity while Belfiglio’s work examines questions of identity, family, ethnicity, and sexuality, often explored through her personal experiences of love and loss.


Kathryn Marie Fazio, whose work has been published internationally, is a poet and fine artist. She was awarded the Ferrara Scholarship from the Performing and Creative Arts Department of the College of Staten Island CUNY, and named its Poet Laureate. Her book, A Taste of Hybrid Vigor: New Poems of War, Passion, and Social Significance (available through Books and Collectibles), contains poems and pictures of her original oil paintings; her poem entitled, "War" in the collection, won her the First Ed-Rehberg Prize for Poetry, which was translated into French and televised in Haiti by the Education Committee of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
    Fazio participated in a FUSE event to raise money for the aftermath of Katrina, was a poet for telethon to support public television in Kingston, NY. and has recited on the Brooklyn Waterfront in Red Hook for Creative Arts Therapy Outreach and Awareness. Fazio was coined a Bowery Woman, appearing in the only Bowery Women Anthology ever published (YBK Publishers, Inc.) of authors who have read at the Bowery Poetry Club.
Fazio credits her close relationship with Robert Dunn for encouraging her to participate in the 5th World Congress of Poets for Poetry Research and Recitation  where she represented the U.S., and was awarded the Silla Gold Crown World Peace Literature Prize from Korea. She also edited a collection of poems Our World in an Onion and is currently a poet at a Wellness Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
    Gabriella M. Belfiglio was born in Philadelphia, PA.  She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Antioch College as well as an MFA in Poetry from American University.
    Her writing has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Folio, The Centrifugal Eye (online), the award-winning Poetic Voices without Borders (Gival Press), and Avanti Popolo: Italian American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus (ManicD Press).   Of Poetic Voices, the Montserrat Review wrote, ..."The book is edgy with a literary inclusiveness that speaks to almost every reader..." She is one of five emerging Brooklyn writers featured in the anthology The Dream Catcher’s Song.
Belfiglio is an artist and social activist.  She is a member of the Malìa Collective of Italian American Women and recently participated in the Centennial commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. 
    She teaches karate and self-defense throughout the New York metropolitan area for the Center for Anti-Violence Education; she is also a fishmonger at the Grand Army Plaza and Union Square Greenmarkets. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

    The reading takes place Saturday, August 13, 2011, 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

Contact: Maria Lisella
Authors Available for Interviews

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