The Academy of American Poets Awards $1+ Million to Two Italian American Poets Laureate

Oct 04, 2020 548

The Academy of American Poets (AAP) has selected Maria Lisella, as a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow; The 23 Fellows each receive $50,000 for a combined total of $1.1 million. The awards are given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful projects that engage their fellow residents with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities. 

Last year, Grace Cavalieri, the author of more 40 books of poetry and plays, including most recently (Goss publications, 2020) and Other Voices, Other Lives (Alan Squire Publishing, What The Psychic Said  2017) won a $75,000 grant to produce a podcast series The Poet & The Poem, featuring Maryland poets.

Lisella will spend the fellowship hosting a curated series of readings and writing workshops for senior citizens in Queens, which has been the epicenter of the pandemic, at various cultural venues in Queens. The readings will feature senior poets, and the series will culminate in public readings throughout Queens.

Twice-nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize, Lisella has authored Thieves in the Family (NYQ Books) and two chapbooks Amore on Hope Street (Finishing Line Press) and Two Naked Feet (Poets Wear Prada). As a journalist, she contributes to The Jerusalem Post, USA Today, the bilingual La Voce di New York. She holds degrees from Queensborough Community College, Queens College, and NYU-Polytechnic Institute.

She curates the 29-year-old monthly Italian American Writers Association readings based at the NYPL Mulberry St. Branch while Julia Lisella and Jennifer Martelli curate Boston IAWA. Currently IAWA readings take place the last Saturday of the month on its Zoom Salon.

You may be interested