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iawa-West presents Maria Lisella and Frank Messina on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Cornelia St. Cafe

iawa-West presents Maria Lisella and Frank Messina on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Cornelia St. Cafe

IAWA . (December 21, 2014)
Of Thieves Richard Vetere, author of The Writers Afterlife, says "Maria Lisella's poems are terse, tight and sometimes brutal despite their inner beauty...These are poems by a woman who knows where she's from and where's she's been and those who read her work will be glad she decided to share that experience with us."

The Italian American Writers Association (iawa) authors Maria Lisella and poet and performance artist, Frank Messina on Saturday, January 17 at Cornelia St. Café, 29 Cornelia St. in New York City’s Greenwich Village,; or 212-989-9319. The reading takes place from 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and kicks off with Open Mic readings of five minutes followed by the featured writers.


Maria Lisella's new poetry collection, Thieves in the Family, was published by New York Quarterly Books in June 2014.  Her work in Amore on Hope Street (Finishing Line Press) and Two Naked Feet (Poets Wear Prada) has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Prize. She won Honorable Mention from the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and was a finalist for Queens, NY Poet Laureate. Her work appears in Feile Festa, LIPS, Paterson Literary Review, Skidrow Penthouse, and First Literary Review-East. Lisella is a charter member of the 12-year-old online poetry circle brevitas that culminates with annual The Festival of the Short Poem at the Bowery Poetry Club and City LoreShe co-curates the Italian American Writers Association monthly readings, has organized readings at NYU's Casa Italiani Zerilli Marimo, at the NYPL on Mulberry St., and at 1199's Bread and Roses Gallery in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and is co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum. Professionally, Lisella is an award-winning business writer with a focus on travel; her work has appeared in, The New York Daily News, Travel and Leisure and other major trade and consumer publications.  

Frank Messina has written four books of poetry, including Disorderly Conduct, and Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry. His chapbook, Shinebox, is forthcoming in 2015 from Finishing Line Press. In 2014, the Manhattan Film Institute adapted his poem, "Grunt," about a soldier returning from the war in Iraq, into a short film. Messina is currently writing a screenplay based on the diary of his Sicilian great-grandfather’s journey from Sicily to New Orleans to New York City. An actor, Frank has appeared most recently in HBO's Boardwalk Empire. He currently lives in Jersey City, NJ. His work has appeared in The New York Times, PBS, NPR and on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. He was awarded the Woolrich Poetry Fellowship of Columbia University and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Poetry Prize. In 2013, his handwritten 9/11-related journal was accessioned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum permanent collection. Recognized for his baseball poetry, he has read at Shea Stadium, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and has appeared four times on SportsNet New York as "The NY Mets Poet." Visit
normal">Event kicks off with Open Mic readings of five minutes.

normal"> COVER: $8 CONTACT:; or 212-989-9319.

normal"> DIRECTIONS: By Subway, A, B, C, D, E, F, and M to West 4th St. or 1 to Christopher St.-Sheridan Square

Press Contact: Amy Barone, IAWA Board Member  Phone: (646) 942-4972 Email: [email protected] 

Next Readings

Feb. 14: Peter Carravetta and Marisa Frasca @Sidewalk Café

Mar 14:  Amy Barone and Al Tacconelli @ Cornelia St. Café

April 11: Anthony D’Aries and Julia Lisella @ Sidewalk Café

May 9:  Gil Fagiani and Stephen Siciliano @ Cornelia St. Café

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