An eclectic mix of readings about the internment of Italian Canadians as well as musical/literary interludes by prominent local and out-of-town writers will take place during Books and Biscotti, Sunday, August 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dante Club, 1330 London Road (side entrance hall) in Sarnia.
Guest readers include: well-known Italian Canadian writers/editors Jim Zucchero, Delia De Santis and Venera Fazio from London and Bright’s Grove; and from Sarnia, award-winning poets Norma West Linder and James Deahl, former Sarnia-Lambton MPP Caroline Di Cocco and emerging singer-songwriter Elena Feick.
Six books are expected to be launched in this free community presentation hosted by the Dante Club in conjunction with the Italo-Canadian Cultural Club/Laziali di Sarnia and the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW).
Two of the books Behind Barbed Wire: Creative Works of the Internment of Italian Canadians and Beyond Barbed Wire: Essays on the Internment of Italian Canadians (Guernica Editions) are historically significant and are receiving national attention.
Venera Fazio said that in these books “Italian Canadians reclaim a painful and unjust event in history, an event Italian Canadians and Canadians in general have up to now been silent about. Together the two books document the event and give voice to those who suffered.”
She will read her selections from both volumes and is pleased Jim Zucchero will also share his expertise. “Not only is he one of the four editors of the Barbed Wire books but he holds a PhD in English literature and has written passionately about the Italian internment even before the publication of these two books.”
According to De Santis who will read a selection of her work from the Creative volume, “the books were launched in most cities across Canada, including in Halifax, at Pier 21, Canada’s National Museum of Immigration”.
The Sunday event also represents the Sarnia launch of three poetry books by Linder and Deahl who will soon embark on their autumn book tour to several Ontario cities, the east coast and to the US. The books include:
Adder’s-tongues: A Choice of Norma West Linder’s Poems, 1969- 2011 (Aeolus House) written by Norma West Linder and edited by James Deahl (According to her publisher and Canadian poet Allan Briesmaster, Linder “writes with admirable economy and clarity, and the poems are genuinely touching and moving. The ones about musicians and singers are a treat to read, and those with outdoor settings have been sketched with a beautiful precision. Altogether a very substantial, consistently high-quality selection of work.")
North of Belleville (Hidden Brook Press) written by James Deahl with photography, layout and design by Richard M. Grove (According to Chris Faiers in an April 2012 review in The Envoy, this 57-page book is “no less a deeply affectionate homage, in haiku verse, to several distinctive regions in Ontario…such as Red Hill Valley and McMaster Trail.”)
Rooms the Wind Makes (Guernica Editions) by James Deahl (According to the publisher, this 160-page collection “continues Deahl’s exploration of the natural world around him in language that is precise and startling, tinged with nostalgia but bravely facing the realities with an eye on the larger picture.”)
Caroline Di Cocco will read from Memory and Identity: Re-Creating Cultural Identity After Immigration. In her book, Di Cocco reconstructs and, documents the journey and reality of 22 clubs and associations created by Italian Canadian/Laziali immigrants.
Emceed by Luisa Zoncheddu Solinas, the afternoon also features the beautiful music of Elena Feick, a local singer-songwriter who will be performing original work.
AICW is a national organization that brings together a community of writers, critics, academics, and other artists who promote Italian-Canadian literature and culture.