Earlier this week, I took part in an interview/conversation with writer Liana Cusmano (Catch and Release, 2021) about writing, family and Italian heritage. The event was organized by Accenti Magazine, in collaboration with the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers (AICW), and with the support of the Canada Council of the Arts via The Writers’ Union of Canada.
I wrote another essay for Xtra magazine’s Queer View Mirror series, where they look back on important pieces of LGBTQ culture. For this one, I wrote about the Chicago band My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and their 1991 album Sexplosion!
The 2021 documentary I took part in is now available to watch online in its entirety. Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian, directed by Licia Canton, looks into the intersections of queerness and Italian-Canadian identity, featuring (in addition to myself) writers Luca Cusmano and Steve Galluccio, and University of Sherbooke professor Domenico A. Beneventi.
I leave for Guadalajara tomorrow. I’m going to attend the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL), the second largest book fair in the world (Sharjah is the guest of honour). This is a wonderful opportunity. Blue Met invited me to attend as part of their delegation, and I’m honoured. On Monday (Nov. 28), I’ll be taking part in an event called Queer Literature and Auto-Narrative: How to Tell with Adel B. Khelifa and Marie-Andrée Lamontagne. The event will be in French with live interpretation into Spanish.
The publishing world descends upon Guadalajara for the FIL, so there is also the opportunity to meet other writers, publishers, and festival directors (I’ve already been invited to half a dozen receptions). This is something I’ve always dreamed about – getting to represent my country, and talk about my work, to foreign audiences. To make lasting international connections.
In advance of my appearance, I was interviewed about the trip by writer and radio host of La Décima Radio, Rob Hernandez. There’s also a write up in Mural, a leading independent publication.
I’ll write and share the experience when I get back. Wish me luck.
It’s August, so I am feeling nostalgic about Provincetown. It’s been a while since I’ve been, but for a number of years, my boyfriend, friends and I would rent a house for a week and fill it with love, food, laughter and sex (not necessarily in that order).
Provincetown has always been such a magical place for me that I wanted to write about its transformative powers. “The Sun in Our Bodies” explores the pull of the seaside village on one couple’s relationship.
Those of you who have read The Family Way might notice similar characters or plot points. I wrote this short story while also writing the novel, so I guess each is inspired by the other.
Last month, Violet Hour presented Queer & Italian in Montreal at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal as part of the Fierté Montréal Pride celebrations.
I got the idea for this event after learning that Montreal’s Pointe a Calliere Museum had recently wrapped their Italian Montreal exhibit with no real mention of the contributions of LGBTQ Montrealers of Italian origin. I felt this would be a good opportunity to correct that omission, celebrating our accomplishments while also creating a conversation around what more can be done to create change and foster acceptance among the old guard.
The event took the form of a screening of the short documentary Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian and a panel discussion about the past, present and future of queer Italian-Canadian culture in the city featuring Gaspare Borsellino (Gruppo Italiano Gay e Lesbico di Montreal), V Di Gregorio (CIAO – Canadian Italians Against Oppression), and Steve Galluccio (Mambo Italiano). I hosted the talk, which you can now watch below.
There was a lot of electricity in the room that night and many of us left wanting more events like this (I’m working on it, so stay tuned).