Festival Participants

Please note that participants appear in the order in which their information is received. 

Rosetta Rosati lives in Italy. She is President of Università della Terza Età – UNITRE – in Pavia. Her book, Maples & Chestnuts, and the Italian version, Aceri & Castagni is a sequence of creative nonfiction stories which recount her family immigration history spanning three generations in Italy and Canada. The title of her presentation is, “Because of Accenti."

Antony Di Nardo is an award-winning poet and editor. He is the author of seven poetry collections and holds a post-graduate degree in English from the University of Toronto. His work appears internationally and has been translated into German and Italian. The title of his presentation is, “Venere: Beauty and the Uncanny.”

John Calabro was born in Sicily, lived in France, and came to Canada as a teenager. He is an educator, publisher, and cultural entrepreneur. His published works include the novellas Bellecour, The Cousin (the French translation was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award), and An Imperfect Man. He is currently working on a new novel, The Passion of Laura B. The title of his presentation is, “Writing a Literary Canadian Novella; Why Not?”

Writer, poet, and filmmaker Liana Cusmano (Luca/BiCurious George) is a three-time Montreal Slam Champion (2018, 2019, 2023) and runner up in the 2019 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship. Their first novel, Catch & Release (2022) was published by Guernica Editions. They were a 2022 finalist for the QWF Spoken Word Prize. 

Christopher DiRaddo is the author of the novels The Family Way (2021), shortlisted for the F.G Bressani Literary Prize, and The Geography of Pluto (2014). He lives in Montreal where he is also the founder and host of the Violet Hour Reading Series & Book Club. www.christopherdiraddo.com

Elena Ravera holds a Ph.D. in Transcultural Studies in Humanities (U. of Bergamo). She collaborates regularly with literary magazines such as Studi francesi and Ponti/Ponts. Her research focuses on Francophone and comparative literature, gender studies, and postcolonial studies. She teaches French and Culture in middle and high school. The title of her presentation is, “Une femme à la fenêtre di Bianca Zagolin: un esempio di emancipazione femminile e migrante tra Italia e Canada.”

Keith Henderson has edited and published a number of titles with DC Books, where he occupies the position of Managing Editor. He led the Equality Party during the last separatist referendum in Quebec and taught Canadian Literature for many years at Vanier College in Montreal. He is  currently president of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity. The title of his presentation is “Galileo Galilei and Alien Visitations in the Novella Mont Babel.”

Anna Mercuri-Maiolo is a teacher of English Literature at Lasalle College, Montreal, Canada, where she also led the Department of General Education. Anna’s writing is inspired by events that magnify the banalities of the ordinary while encapsulating wisdom and reverence for tradition. The title of Anna’s presentation is, “An Everyday Story in an Extraordinary Life.”

Giovanna Julia Mercuri-Albisi is an academic program coordinator and faculty lecturer at McGill University. Her interests include teaching English for healthcare professionals in technology-rich environments as well as self-regulated and affective learning in adult education. Giovanna will act as the interviewer for Anna Maiolo’s presentation, “An Everyday Story in an Extraordinary Life.”

Dorothy Dodge Robbins is Charlotte Lewis Endowed Professor of English at Louisiana Tech University, where she teaches courses in British Literature and Technical Communication. She completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A Virginia Woolf scholar, her research interests include literary onomastics, travel literature, and detective fiction. Her work appears in numerous publications including Names: A Journal of Onomastics, The Texas Review, and Ecumenica.

Kenneth Robbins is the author of seven novels, forty plays, numerous short stories and, most recently, his first collection of poetry, A Wake for Josephine. His first novel, Buttermilk Bottoms, received the Associated Writing Programs Novel Award and the Toni Morrison Prize in Fiction. He currently teaches in the Honours Program, Louisiana Tech University, as Professor Emeritus Liberal Arts. He lives with his wife Dorothy Dodge Robbins in Ruston, Louisiana.

Michaela Di Cesare is a playwright and performer. Born and raised in Montreal, she has a graduate degree in drama from the University of Toronto. Her plays take an incisive look at misogyny within Montreal’s Italian immigrant community. Among her works are 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived, In Search of Mrs Pirandello, and Successions. Her performance is titled Mickey & Joe (Good. Bad. Dirty. Ugly), a feminist retelling of the unification of Italy in the style of a Spaghetti Western. 

Caterina Amoruso was born in Canada and moved to Italy in a reverse migration. She is an elementary school teacher specialized in arts, humanities and special needs education. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages and Cultures, and is studying towards a Master’s Degree. The title of her presentation is “Reflecting Windows.”

As an English teacher and spoken word poet, Lucia De Luca plays with stories in the classroom and at the mic. Her storytelling cradles past versions of herself and her family. Lucia is a recipient of the 2022 QWF Spoken Word Prize and was a finalist at the 2021 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam.

Renée M. Sgroi holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her work on reality TV has been published internationally. Her debut poetry collection, life print, in points (erbacce-press) was published in 2020. A second collection is due out in 2024. The title of her presentation is, “Cosentino, Calabrese, Canadese: In the Self-Shadows of Language."

Christopher Sisca is a visual artist, writer, and anthropologist completing his DPhil (PhD) in Anthropology (University of Oxford). He has an MSc in Social Anthropology (also Oxford) and an Honours BFA in Visual Arts (York University). His art practice intersects his Calabrian culture and queerness. His presentation title is, “Confluenza."

Alessandra Ferraro insegna Letteratura francese e letterature francofone all’Università degli Studi di Udine. Specialista di letteratura quebecchese, ha orientato le sue ricerche verso la scrittura femminile e l’autobiografia. Dal 2015 presiede il Centro di Cultura Canadese dell’Università di Udine. Dirige con É. Nardout-Lafarge la collana “Littérature québécoise” (Bibliothèque francophone) presso le edizioni Classiques Garnier di Parigi.

Corrado Claverini is a postdoctoral researcher in Philosophy at the University of Salento. He obtained his PhD in Philosophy at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. His publications include: La tradizione filosofica italiana. Quattro paradigmi interpretativi (Quodlibet, 2021); Utopia concreta. Pensiero utopico e ideologia in Niccolò Machiavelli e Tommaso Campanella (Il Prato, 2015). His presentation is titled, “La filosofia italiana in Nord America."

Anna Camilleri has been working with performance, image, and text for 25 years. Her book works have been recognized with distinctions from the LAMBDA Literary Foundation, Association of Independent Publishers, and the American Library of Congress. Anna is co-founder and artistic director of ReDefine Arts. The title of her presentation is “Benedicaria.”

Anna Romano Milne lives in Ottawa and has held several senior Canadian government positions. Anna enjoys writing in the Molisano dialect, she is a regular contributor to italocanadese.com, and is on the editorial board of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers. She will be reading her short story titled, “Chameleons."

Teodoro Dragonieri is a multi-disciplinary artist/educator who has worked for universities museums festivals and theatre companies. He leads workshops exhibits artwork and performs internationally. Teodoro is director of Zanni Arte a company supporting inter-disciplinary creations and fostering the use of masks in the arts and education. His presentation is titled “The Faces We Wear.”

Maria Pia Spadafora is a freelance translator, creative writer, and teacher. She holds an MA in Modern Languages and Literature from University of Calabria. She has translated short stories and poems by several Italian-Canadian writers, namely Delia De Santis, Darlene Madott, Sonia Di Placido and Licia Canton. She is currently the AICW Vice-President. The title of her presentation is, “The Code.”

Nicole Haldoupis is a writer from Toronto who lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. She’s the managing editor at Breakwater Books, a former editor of Grain, and a co-creator of untethered. Her first book, Tiny Ruins (Radiant Press, 2020), was shortlisted for four 2021 Saskatchewan Book Awards and the 2022 Bressani Literary Prize, and is currently being adapted into a feature-length film. www.nicolehaldoupis.ca

Daniele Bartolini was born and raised in Florence. He worked in Paris in 2010 and 2011 before immigrating to Toronto in 2012. He works in English French and Italian. His projects have been presented in England India Germany Italy Romania and Canada. His digital work has been experienced in North America Asia and Australia. He is the director of Michaela Di Cesare's Festival presentation Mickey & Joe.

Ada Aguilar is a CAEA stage manager from Panama with ancestry from Nicaragua and China. Ada has worked with a variety of high-profile theatre companies, namely the Stratford Festival Canadian Stage Soulpepper Theatre Company Factory Theatre Company and Obsidian Theatre Company. She is the stage manager of Michaela Di Cesare's Festival presentation Mickey & Joe.

Laura Libralato is curator of The Quiet Immigrant Project. She has been an arts educator and performing artist for over 30 years. She is a strong advocate for mental health and wellness initiatives and for women's' representation in society. Growing up as the daughter of immigrants she was witness to the less celebrated efforts of the women in her community. 

Margherita M. Morsella, B.A., LL.B. avvocata, attivista, autrice. Iscritta all’Albo degli Avvocati del Québec dal 1987. Esperta in diritto di famiglia e diritto privato internazionale. Riceve nel 2020, per il suo attivismo nel campo della giustizia sociale, il Premio Justice Pro-Bono Paris-Québec. È Presidente del Com.It.Es., Montréal dal 13 Ottobre 2022. Il titolo della sua presentazione: “Femminismo e Comunità: Le Donne d’Acciaio."

Michela Baldo is a lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on the translation into Italian of Italian-Canadian works. She is now collaborating on a research project titled “Italian-Canadian Queer Artists” based at the University of Toronto. Her second strand of research concerns the role of translation in Italian queer transfeminist activism.

Domenico Beneventi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Université de Sherbrooke. His research interests are in queer studies, urban writing, Canadian and Quebec literatures, and Italian-Canadian literature. He is co-editor of Contested Spaces: Counter-Narratives and Culture From Below (2017) and La lutte pour l’espace: ville, performance, et culture d'en bas (2017). He is director of the FRQSC-funded Research Group on Queer Studies in Quebec.

Licia Canton has published fourteen books, including The Pink House and Other Stories (2018) and Here & Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing (2021). She is founding editor-in-chief of Accenti and past-president of the AICW. She received the Italy in the World Prize (2018) in recognition of her work in culture. She holds a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal. She will present the documentary Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian (2021).

Lorena Carbonara is Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the Department of Human Studies, University of Calabria. She is the coordinator of the research group “S/murare il Mediterraneo” and has published in national and international journals. In 2020 she was awarded First Prize at Concorso letterario Lingua Madre (section: Italian Women Writers).

Louise Porto is a professional biologist with over 25 years of experience. She has researched the impacts of hydroelectric dams on fish and their habitats on large river systems in Canada and the United States. She holds degrees from University of Toronto and Guelph University. The title of her presentation is, “White Sturgeon – A Living Fossil of the Columbia River.”

Professor of English Studies at the Université de Montréal, Lianne Moyes specialises in Canadian and Anglo-Quebec literatures. She is interested in the porous and contested borders between the literatures that emerge in Montreal. A co-editor of Tessera from 1993 to 2003, she has an ongoing commitment to women’s writing and to fostering spaces for reading across languages. She has been a member of the AICW since the late 1990s, and a member of CRILCQ since 2004.

Sante Arcangelo Viselli si è laureato in Lettere francesi (Université Paul Valéry). Professore emerito alla Univerisity of Winnipeg, è stato nominato Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques. Le sue pubblicazioni accademiche portano sulla letteratura classica francese, sulla letteratura comparata (francese-italiana) e sulla letteratura italo-canadese d’espressione francese. Le sue attività nel campo della creazione letteraria includono le raccolte di poesie in francese Le Pendule e Aux Lisières. In preparazione, una terza raccolta in italiano.

Rosanne Pagano is a short story writer based in Anchorage, Alaska. She directs the Master of Arts Program at Alaska Pacific University. She is a Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction writer whose work appears in the 2022 conference anthology of the International Short Story in English. The title of her presentation is “My People: A Reading-Writing Workshop."

Cassandra Marsillo is an oral historian, artist, and history teacher based in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal), telling and listening to stories about immigration, identity, collective memory, food, and folklore, particularly in relation to the Italian-Canadian experience and traditions from her family's region, Molise. www.artistorian.com

Anastasia Parise is a PhD candidate at the University of Calabria. Her research interests include women translators in early modern Britain and the contribution of feminist theorists to translation studies. Her translation into Italian of Katherine Philips’s Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus was the main focus of her MA dissertation and is currently being revised for publication.

Roberta Cimarosti is as a tenure-track researcher of English Language and Translation at the University of Calabria. Her research interests are Stylistics and the study of English from a postcolonial and transcultural perspective. She is the author of a monograph on the poetics of Derek Walcott and articles and book chapters on the relationship between identity, language and power, world Englishes and creolization. Her presentation is  titled “Italy Translated into Caribbean English.”

Vincenzo Pietropaolo is a photographer, writer, and independent researcher whose primary focus is social justice issues. A distinguished bookmaker, he has published over a dozen volumes, frequently combining his photographs with his own original writing. His work is in numerous collections including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which has honoured him with a permanent exhibition.

Jennifer Houle is the author of two award-winning poetry collections. Her first children’s book was published in 2022 in both French and English. A life-long Maritimer, she lives in Hanwell, New Brunswick, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati peoples. She is active in the arts community, and hard at work on a nonfiction manuscript including translation of 18th century Italian sonnets. 

Hege Anita Jakobsen Lepri is a Norwegian-Canadian writer and translator. In the past she's managed EU-projects in Italy and taught university in Norway. She has spent most of her life managing several languages. Her short stories, essays and haiku have been widely published and anthologized, www.hegajlepri.ca.

Michaela Quadraro is a tenure-track researcher of English Language and Translation at the University of Calabria. Her main research areas are multimodal critical discourse analysis and the investigation of identity, diversity, and strategies of resistance. She has published on diversity from a gender and postcolonial perspective, migration, and contemporary art practices in the English-speaking context. 

Cristina Pietropaolo is an independent researcher, writer and sometime photographer. She recently completed an MI (University of Toronto) specializing in Book History & Print Culture. She also holds an MA in Folklore (Memorial University of Newfoundland). Her research on feminist intersections of art, DIY print culture and citizenship was published in the latest issue of The iJournal. Other research interests include orality and im/permanence, small and independent presses, and book arts.