I traveled to the Università di Calabria in Italy in 2016 to attend the Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar on a partial scholarship from the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute in New York. There I became interested in Italian folktales and met Fred Gardaphé, editor of Voices in Italian Americana (VIA) at that time, who invited me to edit a special issue of VIA dedicated to Italian folktales.
Editing the special folktales issue was an extraordinary experience. It was published in 2017 (Volume 28, Number 2). I’m proud of the anthology and all the authors who contributed such wonderful stories. To enjoy this edition, simply order the issue from Bordighera Press and bask in its delightfulness.
In 2023, Bordighera will publish a collection of my own short stories titled Giovanni’s Tree: New Italian Folktales. I’ll share more information about this project as soon as it’s available.
Most of my ancestors emigrated from Sicily. The ancient Romans called Sicily the “Trinacrium,” or the “star with three points.” The word “trinacria” means triangle and refers to the shape of the island. The symbol is the head of the Medusa with three bent running legs and three stalks of wheat. It is the symbol on the Sicilian flag, and you’ll see many colorful and artistic variations of it all over Sicily.