Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Place in the Spotlight

NSNIG&F co-organizer, poet and 
the night's emcee Giovanna Riccio

Award winning poet Cathy Petch starts the evening
Writer Diane Bracuk read a piece on Warsaw
Writer Bianca Lakoseljac
Poet/Writer Liz Worth
NSNIG&F Co-organizer & 
Writer Michelle Alfano
NSNIG Giovanna at rest
Darlene Madott, writer and NSNIG extraordinaire
Karen and Jane Somerville
Liz and friend
Francesca and Talia, friends of the NSNIG&F
NSNIG&F supporter 
and Poet Valentino Assenza

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Reading

Michelle Alfano is a co-organizer of the (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends Reading Series and a Co-Editor with Descant. Her novella Made Up Of Arias (Blaurock Press) won the 2010 Bressani Prize for Short Fiction. Her short story “Opera”, on which her novella Made Up Of Arias is based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. Her fiction and non-fiction work has been widely published in major literary publications. She will be featured in a forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia that will be featured on OMNI-TV. She is currently at work at a new novel entitled Vita’s Prospects.

Diane Bracuk is a freelance writer specializing in health and women's issues. Her fiction and poems have appeared in Canadian journals such as The Antigonish Review, TickleAce and Other Voices. In Great Britain, Diane’s work has been published in Image, Ireland's largest circulation woman's magazine, and You Magazine, part of the Saturday Supplement of England's Daily Mail.

Bianca Lakoseljac is the author of Bridge in the Rain, a collection of stories linked by an inscription on a bench in Toronto’s High Park; and Memoirs of a Praying Mantis, a collection of poetry. She has completed a novel, Summer of the Dancing Bear, which explores “the rite of passage” of a fourteen year old girl befriended by a Gypsy clan. Bianca holds a BA and MA in English from York University. She taught communication courses at Ryerson University and Humber College. She is Past President of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto, and has served as judge for various literary contests. For more than half of her life, she’s been married to a man with an Italian background, and feels right at home among the not so NICE Italian girls. And it was only through a toss of a coin that her last name is Lakoseljac and not Maggiori.

Karen Mulhallen has just published her poetry book which begins on Toronto Island and moves to Turkey, Italy and then returns in the fourth section to the city of Toronto. The Pillow Books is an extended conversation with Sei Shonagon, a woman in the Japanese Court in the eleventh century. Although a pillow book might be understood as a secret document, by making such a text into a book the author tests the boundaries of secrecy in her search for an audience. It was Karen Mulhallen¹s fascination by this line between the public and the private and by the ways in which a distant culture seemed to be so close to our own that led her to write The Pillow Books.

Cathy Petch writes poetry, plays, articles, books and graffiti. She hosts the Plasticine Poetry Series in Toronto, which is now in it's fifth year. She is a member of the 2011 Toronto Poetry slam team. She has 3 chapbooks and has been published in magazine online and off. Having been raised Catholic, she loves the company of Italian girls and their not so nice ways.

Liz Worth is a Toronto-based writer. She is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond and a piece of surreal punk fiction called Eleven: Eleven. Amphetamine Heart is her first poetry collection.

And as emcee ...
Giovanna Riccio was born in Calabria, Italy, immigrated to Canada when she was six years old and grew up in Toronto. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto. Over the years, her poems have appeared in newspapers, journals, magazines, and anthologies. She is the author of the chapbook Vittorio, published by Lyricalmyrical Press in July 2010. Her book of poems, Strong Bread, was published by Quattro Books in the spring of 2011 and launched in Montreal in April 2011 in Toronto in May 2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Premiere of Saturnia

On the occasion of the 11th Annual Italian Language Week in the World, dedicated in 2011 to the celebration of 150th anniversary of Italy’s Unification, the Italian Cultural Institute presents the screening of the documentary SATURNIA, written, directed and produced by Ferdinando Dell'Omo and Lilia Topouzova.

Written, Directed and Produced by Ferdinando Dell'Omo and Lilia Topouzova
Edited by Juan Baquero
Director of photography Maya Bankovic
Original Music by Ivo Paunov
Produced in Association with OMNI Television with
the support of The Mariano A. Elia Chair at York University
October 17, 2011
 6:30 pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
496 Huron St.
Free admission
416-921-3802 x 221

More than 50 years ago, over two hundred thousand Italians boarded the glorious transatlantic Saturnia embarking on a journey to American in search for a better future. The documentary Saturnia explores the lives of four of those immigrants. We follow the story of Michelle, an Italian-Canadian author from Toronto, writing a book about her father who left Sicily on the Saturnia. He died when she was sixteen and Michelle sets on a journey into the past to understand who he was by discovering where he came from. By following her research and creative process, we will enter the lives of three of Saturnia`s passengers: Rosa in Montreal, Silvano in Vancouver, and Antonio in Edmonton. Everyday people whose extraordinary stories move and inspire us.They will help us to reconstruct the immigration experience and the challenges that Italians faced during their trip across the ocean, and the ones that followed when they finally arrived in America. Step by step the movie recalls and reconstructs the transatlantic journey between Italy and Canada, but also the memories of small villages in post WWII Italy and the first years of adjustment in the new world.

Immigration is a complex and multilayered and making of a film about it mirrors the experience itself. In order to capture the essence of the Italian-Canadian immigration story, the documentary Saturnia relied on the collaboration of several key institutions and individuals. . The commissioning of the film and the commercial support, indispensable for its realization, was completed in association with OMNI Television. The academic research and scholarly perspective,crucial for the historical narrative ,was enabled by the Mariano A.Elia Chair at York University. Access to rare archival footage and still photographs which resurrected forgotten moments from a distant past was enabled by the Pier 21 Museum in Halifax and the Fondazione Ansaldo in Italy. The Genova-Liguria Film Commission and DocLab Productions Roma, allowed the shooting and production of Saturnia on Italian soil.

Ferdinando Dell’Omo is an Italian-Canadian documentary filmmaker and journalist. He has worked in the past on a series on ship travel and memory, entitled Navi della Memoria. His work has been broadcast both in Italy and Canada.

Lilia Topouzova is a historian and a documentary film-maker. A Ph.D. candidate at the History Department at the University of Toronto, her work explores the visual and textual representation of violence and its remembrance. She is the recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant of Canada. She is the co-author of the award-winning documentary feature, The Mosquito Problem & Other Stories (dir. A. Paounov) which premiered at Cannes and TIFF in 2007 and won the human-rights award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

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