Monthly Archives: December 2015

IAWA’s Open Reading Series — January 9, 2016–Featuring Maria Giura & Peter Marra

The Italian American Writers Association is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2016. Since 1991, IAWA has given voice to writers through its literary series every second Saturday of the months. Readings begin with an Open Mic: IAWA-East is held even months at Sidewalk Café and IAWA-West continues at Cornelia Street Café on odd months. Visit and join us at

WHERE: @ Cornelia St. Café @ 29 Cornelia St. off Bleeker

WHEN:   Saturday, January 9, 2016 @ 5:457:45 pm
WHO: An excerpt from Maria Giura’s memoir-in-progress was published in the Paterson Literary Review. Another excerpt won the Penelope Niven Creative Non-Fiction Honorable Mention from the Center for Women Writers at Salem College. Her work has appeared online and in Voices in Italian Americana (VIA). Giura’s work has won awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest.

Peter Marra’s writings explore alienation, addiction, the functions and misuses of love, the curse of secrets, victimization and assorted obsessions. He has had more than 200 poems published either in print or online in more than 25 journals. His latest work is approximate lovers (downtown materialaktion) published by Bone Orchard  Press. Marra’s e-chapbook Sins of the Go-Go Girls, was published in 2013 by Why Vandalism? Press; and another e-chapbook  peep-o-rama (Hammer and Anvil Books) is available as a Kindle Edition at Amazon. His latest new poetry collection Vanished Faces (a performance of occult infections).

COVER: $9 includes complimentary drink.

CONTACT:; or 212-989-9319.

DIRECTIONS: Trains: A, B, C, D, E, F, and M to West 4th St. or 1 to Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.

Next Readings

Feb. 13: Chiara Montalto and Frank Polizzi @Sidewalk Café

March 14: Diane Block and John Hennessy @Cornelia St. Café

April 11: Wendy Galgan and Tony Gloeggler @ Sidewalk Cafe

May 14: Rachel Guido DeVries and Joseph Giordano @Cornelia St. Café


Blog: italian american writers café



Contacts:,  or

Sagra Del Libro: The Italian-American Book Festival


The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge (OSIA), in collaboration with IAWA – The Italian American Writers Association, is hosting and launching a “Sagra Del Libro” (Italian-American Book Festival) on Friday, February 26, 2016 from 6 to 10 pmin the Lodge Hall at 113 Baxter Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Admission is free to all.

All writers are invited to display and sell their published books at this event. Tables will be set up for the display of books and promotional materials, and authors will be available to speak with attendees and sign books. Also lively presentations or readings by the authors will make for a fascinating evening of celebrating our Italian-American writers. There is a small charge of $5.00 for individual authors to reserve a spot and participate. Authors interested in joining this event should immediately contact Bob Agnoli at 917 816 9916 or Gil Fagiani at to reserve a spot or for additional information. Payment in advance by check should be made out to the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge and mailed to Dr. Emelise Aleandri, 3299 Cambridge Avenue #3C, Riverdale NY 10463. We look forward to your response.

In past years on a Sunday in May most bookstores remained open in Italy to support and promote its writers. This initiative was called “Celebrazione dei Libri” (Celebration of Books). Our Sagra Del Libro continues in the spirit of that movement by celebrating our Italian-American literary culture.

The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285 was formed by John Fratta and Robert Fonti in February 1999, the only OSIA lodge in Manhattan. The Order Sons of Italy was formed in 1905 in the very same neighborhood. The Lodge is named after Lt. Giuseppe (Joe) Petrosino (1860-1909), the first Italian-American Police Lieutenant of the New York City Police Department. The Petrosino Lodge, whose President is William Bray, produces and supports many charitable, cultural and social events throughout the year, raises funds for cancer research, Cooley’s Anemia, Autism and other causes, and most recently hosted a Christmas party for the children of the Henry Street Settlement House.

IAWA was founded in 1991 to promote Italian-American literature by encouraging the writing, reading, publication, distribution, translation, and study of Italian-American writing and to give Italian-American writers a public forum where the full range of Italian-American expression could find a hearing. IAWA has nurtured the growth of a genuine community of Italian-American readers and writers. Prof. Robert Viscusi, Broeklundian Professor and Executive Officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, is President and Founder of IAWA. Last year he served on the OSIA Grand Lodge Literary Award Committee, chaired by Emelise Aleandri.

The Sagra Book Festival Committee is chaired by Emelise Aleandri, co-chaired for the Petrosino Lodge by Robert Agnoli and for IAWA, by board member Gil Fagiani, co-host of their Manhattan monthly readings and founding member of the Vito Marcantonio Forum. The Committee also includes Bill Castleberry, Leslie Donofrio, and Angel Marinaccio. We look forward to welcoming you to an enjoyable Italian-American cultural celebration.