From Brooklyn to Jersey: A Reading & Talk on Memoir and Place

Sep 21, 2019 1201

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7:00pm. The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere, 79 Howard Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301. Register Now. Bordighera Press Authors Kathy Curto (Not for Nothing: Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood) and Maria Giura (What My Father Taught Me) Will Read From Their Books About Growing Up Italian-American And Discuss the Impact of Setting on Their Stories.

In her tender and evocative debut memoir, Not for Nothing: Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood, Kathy Curto draws the reader into the world of her hardworking Italian-American family, beautifully recreating the sensations of her N.J. childhood and adolescence in the 1970s and '80s: touching the soft skin on her mother’s upper arm, catching the scent of her father’s cologne mixed with gasoline, and experiencing her first kiss.

As she gets older, she becomes increasingly aware of her family's failings: the outside office at the gas station is neat and clean, but the inside office, like her family, is stained with ashes, sauce, coffee, and, 'if you look closer: blood, sweat, and tears.' This slim, quiet story of girlhood is a gem; Curto creates a vivid picture of the confusion and magic of childhood."

In What My Father Taught Me, Maria Giura writes richly and candidly about growing up Italian- American from her earliest days as the daughter of immigrant parents and a workaholic father to her coming of age and onward into adulthood where she works at reconciling the natural and the divine. Her poems are at once intimate and universal and are grounded in the Brooklyn, New York that she cherished and called home: from her parents’ pastry shoppe, to the view from the Belt Parkway, to the family living room “where [she] learned to pull out the microphone, even though it was always broken, and sing.” American Book Award winner Maria Mazziotti calls What My Father Taught Me“ brave, tender, and full of passion” and Giura’s exploration of family, faith, and longing “so honest and reverent, it leaves us in awe.”

Kathy Curto teaches at The Writing Institute and Montclair State University. Her writing has also been featured on NPR, in the essay collection, Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in several publications including The New York Times, Barrelhouse, The Asbury Park Press, VIA, and Ovunque Siamo. She has been the recipient of writing and teaching fellowships and also serves on the faculty of the Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy. Kathy lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. Special Book Pricing: $10 (regularly $16).

Maria Giura’s second book, a memoir, is forthcoming from Apprentice House in October 2019. Her work has appeared in several journals including Prime Number, Presence, Lips, Italian Americana, Tiferet, VIA,and Ovunque Siamo. She has won awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Center for Women Writers and is a judge for the Lauria/Frasca Poetry Prize. Giura has has taught Literature and Writing at St. John’s University, Montclair State University, and Binghamton University where she received her PhD. Special Book Pricing: $8 (regularly $12).

The books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments and a light reception will follow. Program Donation: MEMBERS: $15 per person. NON-MEMBERS: $20 per person (cash, check or credit cards accepted). Refreshments and a light reception. will follow. Additional Parking is located directly across the street at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School

SOURCE: The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere

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