Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19th Reading

And so it begins...our first reading at the Annex Live,
our seventh reading since August 2009
and the inception of the reading series.


Giovanna Riccio, our emcee, kicking off the proceedings.

Friend of the NSNIG Judy Lipp with the poets 
Paul Zemokhol and Monika Rosas.

 Poet Monika Rosas kicked off the readings as the first reader.

Emcee and poet Giovanna Riccio with the writer Kathleen Whelan.

The writer Erika DeVasconcelos, author of two books


Erika reading from a work-in-progress.


Erika with husband Nino Ricci.

Writer Andrew Smith, author of Edith's War, launched this spring.

Writer Noreen Shanahan

Friends of the NSNIG Andrew and Joe enjoying the reading.
Joe's parents and sisters came over on the Saturnia as well!
Please see below for more info.

Filmmaker Ferdinando Dell'Omo, one of the directors of the forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia, an immigrant ship which transported thousands of Italian-born immigrants to Canada in the 1950s and 60s
and which will be featured on OMNI-TV this year.

Michelle gets miked for filming during her reading. 

Marilyn and daughter Marina. Marina will also be featured in the documentary Saturnia, 
directed by Lilia Topouzova and Ferdinando Dell'Omo.
Intriguingly, our emcee Giovanna Riccio also arrived on the Saturnia.

The crew of the Saturnia film. They were filming Michelle as a participant in the film.

Michelle with the the lovely filmmaker Lily Topouzova and her partner Ferdinando.

Some backstage scenes ...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends tell you things they never told their mothers ...

Michelle Alfano is a Toronto writer and a Co-Editor with Descant. Her short story “Opera”, on which her novella Made Up Of Arias (Blaurock Press, 2008) is based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. She is currently at work on a new novel entitled Vita's Prospects. She will be featured in a forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia, an immigrant ship which transported thousands of Italian-born immigrants to Canada in the 1950s and 60s and which will be featured on OMNI-TV.

Erika de Vasconcelos is the author of two novels, My Darling Dead Ones and Between the Stillness and the Grove. Her work has been translated internationally. Erika's work has also appeared in various magazines, including Brick, Toronto Life, and House and Home. Erika is a regular faculty member of the Humber School for Writers. She has three children and lives in Toronto. She is currently working on her third novel.

mónica rosas is an educator/agitator/artist whose work aims to challenge and provoke community discussion on gender, the environment and the visible minority experience. A second-generation Colombian-Peruvian Canadian she has traveled and worked in Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Toronto writing and teaching English and Drama. mónica is the author of Inside Out a collection of poetry published by Lyrical Myrical. She is the curator of Cha Cha, a yearly women's literary event in Toronto on the topic of sexuality and she is working on a novella entitled, Salt Water & Cinammon Skin with Tightrope Books. Visit her @

Noreen Shanahan's essays have appeared in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Life, Geist, Reader's Digest, and elsewhere. She is a regular writer of obituary essays in the Globe & Mail. She's currently shopping around a memoir on her life as housecleaner cum obituary writer. She also dabbles in poetry.

Andrew Smith's writing has been included in the Journey Prize Anthology, and has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. He has published two non-fiction books: Highlights, an illustrated history of cannabis (co-author) and Strangers in the Garden, the secret lives of our favorite flowers. His first novel, Edith’s War, was published by Axiom Publishing in March 2010.

Kathleen Whelan is a writer who lives in Toronto. Her fiction has been published in Taddle Creek, Sub Terrain, Other Voices and Broken Pencil. Kathleen's work has appeared in journals in New Zealand, Ireland and the US. Whelan is the narrator of the NFB documentary, Sabrina's Law. She recently completed a novel, Swimming on Ice.

And as emcee ...
Giovanna Riccio was born in Calabria, Italy and grew up in Toronto where she studied philosophy at the University of Toronto. Her poems have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers, including the Eyetalian, Poetry Canada Review, CV2, Tickleace, and Italian-Canadiana. Giovanna completed her first manuscript, Strong Bread, earlier this year and is in the process of getting it published. Her dramatic monologue, Vittorio, will be published by LyricalMyrical Press in the spring. She has recently retired from teaching and is working on a new book of poetry.