Michelle Alfano is a Toronto writer and a Co-Editor with Descant. Her short story “Opera”, on which her new novella Made Up Of Arias (Blaurock Press, 2008) is based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. Her fiction and non-fiction work has been widely published in Canada in major literary publications, and has also appeared in the U.S. She will be featured in a forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia, an immigrant ship which transported thousands of Italian-born immigrants to Canada in the 1950s and 60s and which will be featured on OMNI-TV.
John Calabro was born in Sicily and lived in France from 1955 to 1966, at which point he came to Canada. Bellecour, published in 2005 by Guernica Editions was named by the Globe and Mail First Fiction Reviewer as one of the top 5 First Fiction in 2005. LyricalMyrical Press published Calabro’s collection of short stories, Somewhere Else, in October 2006. His short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in Italian Canadiana (University of Toronto), Strange Peregrination, Books in Canada and Italian Culture in the New Millennium. The Cousin, his second novella (published in 2009 by Quattro Books), was described by Quill and Quire as, “… the best written and the most successful at exploiting the form [of the novella]…” John Calabro is was one of the founding members of the reading series, Toronto WordStage (2005-2008), and is now a partner in the publishing house, Quattro Books, which specializes in novellas. He is working on his third novella, The Innocence of an Imperfect Man, and a non-fiction book on the history of the novella.
Domenico Capilongo lives with his family in Toronto. He teaches high school alternative education and karate. He has had work published in several literary magazines including Descant, The New Quarterly, Dreamcatcher and Geist. He won an Honourable Mention in the Toronto Star Poetry Contest 2004, was short-listed for both the Lichen Magazine “Tracking a Serial Poet” Contest 2006 and the gritLIT Poetry Contest 2009. His first book of poetry, I thought elvis was Italian, was well received and his second book of poetry will be out in the fall with Quattro Books.
Darlene Madott is a Toronto lawyer and writer. Prior to law, she worked at Saturday Night and Toronto Life magazines. Her call to the Bar in 1985 coincided with the publication of a collection of short stories, Bottled Roses, Oberon, 1985. A film script, Mazilli’s Shoes, was published by Guernica, in 1997, then Joy, Joy, Why Do I Sing? Women’s Press/Scholar’s Press, 2004. Included in that collection was “Vivi’s Florentine Scarf,” which won the 2002 Paolucci Prize of the Italian American Writer’s Association. Her most recent publication is Making Olives and Other Family Secrets, Longbridge Books, spring, 2008. The title story won the Bressani Literary Award, 2008. Darlene recently gave a reading in New York, at the John Calandra Institute, Queen’s College/CUNY, conference entitled “The Land of Our Return” (April, 2009). A mother of one son, she continues to write and practice, primarily in the area of matrimonial law.
Jason Paradiso is a poet and co-editor at Descant. Although he may not look Italian, it's hard to argue with a middle name like Eustacchio.
Gianna Patriarca was born in Italy in the central region of Lazio. Gianna came to Canada in 1960 as a child along with her mother and younger sister. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Italian, and a B Ed. from York University and has taught for the Toronto Catholic School System. She has written and published numerous books of poetry and a book for children. Gianna has read her work in Canada, the USA and Italy including Yale University, Purdue, Calumet, New York, Patterson New Jersey and the University of Udine, Bologna and Naples, in Italy. Her work is extensively anthologized in many Canadian, American and Italian publications and has been adapted for both stage and radio dramas. Her award winning first book Italian Women and Other Tragedies was translated into Italian in 2009.
Giovanna Riccio was born in Calabria, Italy and grew up in Toronto where she studied philosophy at the University of Toronto. Her poems have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers, including the Eyetalian, Poetry Canada Review, CV2, Tickleace, and Italian-Canadiana. Giovanna completed her first manuscript, Strong Bread, earlier this year and is in the process of getting it published. Her dramatic monologue, Vittorio, will be published by Lyricalmyrical Press in the spring. She has recently retired from teaching and is working on a new book of poetry.