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IAWA Features Bordighera Winner, Michael LaSorsa Steffen and Poet, Joel Allegretti on July 10 at Cornelia St. Cafe

IAWA Features Bordighera Winner, Michael LaSorsa Steffen and Poet, Joel Allegretti on July 10 at Cornelia St. Cafe

IAWA . (June 30, 2010)

On Saturday, July 10, 2010 the Italian American Writers Association (IAWA) continues to celebrate its 19th Anniversary with Bordighera Poetry Prize Winner, Michael La Sorsa Steffen and performance poet Joel Allegretti, who will read from his newest book Thrum at Cornelia St. Cafe in Greenwich Village.


Michael LaSorsa Steffen’s second collection of poetry, Heart Murmur, won the Poetry Prize from Bordighera Press in 2008 and was published in a bilingual edition in 2009 by Bordighera Press.

The poet Nancy Eimers has called the poems of Heart Murmur “richly talky and utterly authentic, one moment wry and self-deprecating and the next astonishingly open-hearted.” 
“Irony is largely absent from poetry these days,” says Pam Bernard, author of Across the Dark (Main Street Rag Press, 2002), “which is why Michael Steffen’s unblinking observations of the tart and quirky human condition emerge from the blur.  At once ravenous and tender, these poems are utterly original and immensely satisfying.  This voice moves us out, toward larger meaning, and back to the everyday, refreshed and enlightened.”
In 2006, the poet was runner-up for the Bordighera prize with a manuscript titled Premature Gods; his first book of poetry, No Good at Sea, was published in 2002 by Legible Press. His work has appeared in a wide variety of journals including Poetry, Potomac Review, The Ledge, Poet Lore, Rhino and many others. Steffen won a Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2002. Steffen is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Vermont College and currently resides in Roseto, Pennsylvania where he works as a Software Engineer for Verizon Business.  
Of Joel Allegretti’s most recent poetry collection Thrum, Raymond Hammond, editor of The New York Quarterly called it “an intriguing and must read for anyone who has a sense of all that culminates in the commingling of the arts.” Indeed, last year Kean University in New Jersey presented the world premiere of a song cycle based on Allegretti’s poetry. A Cycle by the Sea by Frank Ezra Levy, for decades a cellist with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and whose symphonic work is in the American Classics series on the Naxos label.
Allegretti’s collection, The Plague Psalms, published in 2000 by The Poet's Press, is now in its third edition. His second collection, Father Silicon, also from The Poet's Press, was selected by the Kansas City Star as one of the 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006, a list that included novels by Thomas Pynchon and Cormac McCarthy.
Allegretti's poetry is represented in the anthology Chance of a Ghost (Helicon Nine Editions, 2005), which also includes work by Billy Collins, Rita Dove and James Tate. His poem in that collection received an Honorable Mention in the 2006 edition of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, published by St. Martin's Press.
Allegretti was a quarter-finalist in the 2002 Lyric Recovery Festival and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Visit

The reading takes place Saturday, July 10, 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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