Volume XXXVI No. 1 Winter 2018

Table of Contents

  • Letter from the Editor1
  • Notes on Contributors3
  • A Calabrian in Minnesota: The Tales of James Mancina
    Matthew Reza
  • Dual US-Italian Citizenship: New World Italians Come Full Circle
    Susan Perri
  • Stephen Sartarelli
    Carla Simonini
  • Ned Balbo
    • Essay, “The Song I Sing and the Book I Read”: Becoming Italian American55
    • For a Mother Born During the Great War57
    • A New Moon for Neptune58
    • Wren60
  • The Fourth of Seven
    Simona Carini
  • Anatomy Lesson
    Marian Calabro
  • OCD
    Ron Pavoldi
  • In the Dark
    Michael Palma
  • Ol’ Blue Eyes
    Connie Post
  • On Maria Blanchard’s “Portrait of Regina Barahona”
    Diane Kendig
  • For My Brother Sal
    John Barrale
  • The Shepherd of Filizzolo
    Gil Fagiani
  • Kind
    Dona Luongo Stein
  • What I Will Tell Our Future Child
    Christine DeSimone
  • Parenting an Emily Dickinson
    David Albano
  • Haven
    Tina Tocco
    Fiction & Creative Non-fiction
  • How Marco Got the Business
    David Anthony Natale
  • The Cascino Stories
    Stefania Patinella
  • Review Essay: The Old Man and the Motel: Gay Talese’s America The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese and High Notes: Selected Writings by Gay Talese
    Review by Michael J. LaRosa
  • Performing Gender and Violence in Contemporary Transnational Contexts edited by Maria Anita Stefanelli
    Review by Maria Galli Stampino
  • Italian Prisoners of War in Pennsylvania: Allies on the Home Front, 1944-1945 by Flavio G. Conti and Alan R. Perry
    Review by Michele Monserrati
  • Gli indiani Pellerossa Abnaki e la loro storia by Eugenio Vetromile. Trans. by Aldo Magagnino.
    Review by Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.
  • Baltimore’s Little Italy: Heritage and History of the Neighborhood by Suzanna Rosa Molino
    Review by Robert Casillo
  • Anthony F. Ciampi (1816-1893): The Jesuit Who Saved the College of the Holy Cross by Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.
    Review by Joshua C. Davies
  • After Identity: Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture by Peter Carravetta
    Review by Chiara Fabbian
  • Hemingway and Italy: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives edited by Mark Cirino and Mark P. Ott
    Review by Clorinda Donato
  • Rope and Soap Lynchings of Italians in the United States by Patrizia Salvetti
    Review by Patrizia Fama Stahle
  • The 13th Sunday after Pentecost: Poems by Joseph Bathanti
    Review by Laura Wittman
  • Il cucchiaio trafugato by Angelo Spina
    Review by Francesco Corigliano
  • The Short List of Certainties by Lois Roma-Deeley
    Review by John Paul Russo
  • The Hunger Saint by Olivia Kate Cerrone
    Review by Tera Reid-Olds
  • Second Thoughts by Dennis Barone
    Review by Maria Terrone
    • Letter from the Editor
      Carla A. Simonini

    Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the Winter 2018 issue of Italian Americana! This issue is anchored by articles that are linked thematically by the transmission of Italian culture across generations by means of oral traditions. Our first article by Matthew Reza, “A Calabrian in Minnesota: The Tales of James Mancina,” analyzes the oral narratives of James Mancina, an Italian of Calabrian origin who immigrated to Eveleth, Minnesota, in 1912, whose storytelling rooted in Italian folk and fairy tales has been documented in journals and within monographic studies. Reza explores a number of Mancina’s stories and relates them to their possible Italian origins, noting how Mancina evolved and adapted pre-existing narratives so as to reflect the immigrant experience. Susan Perri, meanwhile, in her article “Dual US-Italian Citizenship: New World Italians Come Full Circle” provides a practical guide for how US citizens of Italian descent can obtain Italian citizenship by “reasserting their claim to bloodline.” Far beyond a “how-to” guide, Perri’s article also explores the ties between citizenship, culture, and identity, illustrating how the desire to be recognized as a dual US-Italian citizen is often rooted in an attachment to one’s ancestral origins maintained through family oral histories.

    For this issue’s interview, I had the opportunity to speak with award-winning translator and poet, and Youngstown native, Stephen Sartarelli, best known as the English translator of the Inspector Montalbano series of novels by best-selling Sicilian crime-writer Andrea Camilleri. Last October Sartarelli presented to students and community members at Youngstown State University and the University of Pittsburgh, sharing insights into the art of translation and his personal professional journey, through which he has moved across different countries and cultures.

    Poetry editor Maria Terrone has chosen to feature the work of Ned Balbo, who in his opening essay thanks not only Terrone but also former poetry editors Dana Gioia and Michael Palma for having welcomed his work to the pages of Italian Americana in previous years. Michael Palma, in turn, graces the pages of this issue with an original poem, “In the Dark,” which is showcased along with poems from eleven other Italian American poets.

    For our fiction and creative nonfiction section, Christine Palamidessi Moore has chosen two strong works that complement each other in tone and style. The first is a hard-hitting work of crime fiction, “How Marco Got the Business” by David Anthony Natale, and the second is a more sentimental piece of memoir titled “The Cascino Stories” in which writer Stefania Patinella recounts a journey to Italy undertaken in her twenties that was inspired by her desire to reconnect to “the soil that shaped the long line of my grandmother’s nose and my uncle’s watery, almond eyes.” She ends up on the land of Signor Cascino, one of the oldest and only organic farmers in his region of Sicily. “The first time I laid eyes on Cascino’s land,” she writes, “was maybe the first time I experienced magic.”

    Finally, and once again under the skillful direction of John Paul Russo, our Book Review section features reviews of thirteen different works published in the US and Italy and representative of a wide spectrum of genres, from historical investigations to a mystery novel.

    Once again my heartfelt gratitude goes out to the entire editorial team, especially my editorial assistant Thomas Slagle, who continues to be the engine behind our production and editorial process. I extend a special welcome, also, to our new student assistant, Shanon Maple, who joined the Italian Americana staff this fall and provided hands-on assistance in producing the current issue, including the layout of our 2018 cover, which features a photo of the life-sized sculpture “The Next Journey Begins” by Poland, OH-based artist Tom Antonishak. The bronze sits outside of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Basilica in Youngstown, OH, where it was inaugurated in 2008 to commemorate the Italian ethnic parish’s 100th anniversary. Italian Americana thanks sculptor Tom Antonishak and the basilica’s pastor Monsignor Michael J. Cariglio Jr., for permission to use the bronze’s image on our cover, and also photographer Dom Fonce for having taking the original photos.

    We thank all of our readers for their continued support and hope that you enjoy the current issue!


    Carla A. Simonini