Poeżija Gardjola - Ma' Poeti minn Detroit u New Jersey

 
 

Go to English version  •  Ara Il-Ġens Illum (15.7.06)  •  US writers  •  Maltese poets  •  PRESS Releases

 

 

Nhar it-Tlieta, 25 ta' Lulju, fit-8.00pm, bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-Kunsill Lokali ta' l-Isla, se jsir inkontru letterarju bl-isem ta' Poeżija Gardjola bejn kittieba ta' Inizjamed u poeti minn Detroit u New Jersey fl-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika. Din il-laqgħa, ikkoordinata minn Roderick Mallia, se ssir fi Ġnien il-Gardjola, l-Isla. (Min jixtieq jieħu idea tal-post jagħfas hawnhekk.)

 

Dawn il-poeti huma fost l-akkademiċi li se jieħdu sehem fl-għaxar edizzjoni tal-konferenza internazzjonali ta’ l-International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI) bl-isem "The European Mind: Narrative and Identity," li ser issir fl-Università ta’ Malta bejn l-24 u d-29 ta’ Lulju (ISSEI Malta 2006). Il-kittieba li ser jieħdu sehem huma l-poeta u kantawtur M. L. Liebler (ritratt), il-kittieba Italo-Amerikana Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, u Anca Vlasopolos. Dwar dawn il-kittieba ara dawn is-siti:

Fost il-poeti Maltin li se jieħdu sehem hemm Antoine Cassar, Victor Fenech, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Simone Inguanez, Immanuel Mifsud, Walid Nabhan, u Leslie Vassallo. Se jinqraw ukoll xogħlijiet ta' Roderick Mallia.

 

Dan l-inkontru ser ikun miftuħ għal dawk kollha li jaħdmu ma' Inizjamed, għal dawk li qed jattendu l-kors tal-kitba li qed isir bħalissa minn Clare Azzopardi, u għall-pubbliku in ġenerali. Għal aktar tagħrif dwar l-attività tista' tibgħat ittre lil roderick.mallia@gmail.com.

 

Ġnien il-Gardjola

 

Din l-attività pubblika se ssir fi Ġnien il-Gardjola fl-Isla li jinsab fit-tarf ta' Triq is-Sur, fuq il-Ponta ta’ l-Isla. Minn dan il-Ġnien hemm waħda mill-isbaħ veduti tal-Belt Valletta u tal-Birgu. Wiehed jista’ jifhem għaliex l-Ordni riedet tibni l-Belt Valletta bħala mezz ta’ difiża għall-Port il-Kbir. Joseph C. Camilleri jispjega li l-Gardjola huwa ġnien mibni fuq sensiela ta’ ħitan qishom swar. L-isem ta’ dan il-ġnien ġej mill-gardjola li hemm fuq dawn is-swar. Fuq il-bini tal-gardjola hemm bċejjeċ umani skulturati fuqha. Hemm l-ghajn, il-widna u ghasfur. Hemm ukoll kitba bl-ilsien Latin. Ħalli dan il-gnien u imxi ghal Triq il-Ponta. Titla’ mill-ewwel tarag u ssib ruhek qrib il-Knisja ta’ San Filippu Neri. Din il-knisja telghet fis-sena 1662. Meta l-knisja parrokkjali ta’ l-Isla kienet herba, din il-knisja serviet bhala knisja parrokkjali.

 

[Dan it-tagħrif dwar Ġnien il-Gardjola huwa meħud minn artiklu dwar "L-Isla" miktub minn Joseph C. Camilleri li deher f'It-Torċa (Il-Ħadd 13 ta' Frar 2005). Tista' taqrah hawnhekk.]

 

 

 
 
  Maltese and American Poets at Ġnien il-Gardjola in Senglea  
 

 

 
 

On Tuesday, 25th July, at 8:00pm, Inizjamed, in collaboration with the Senglea Local Council, will bring together a number of Maltese authors and poets from Detroit and New Jersey in the United States. This meeting, coordinated by Roderick Mallia, will take place at the Gardjola Garden in Senglea (for a virtual tour of the garden click here). The poets taking part are M. L. Liebler (picture), Italo-American writer Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, and Anca Vlasopolos.

 

These poets are among the academics who will be taking part in the 10th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI) entitled "The European Mind: Narrative and Identity," that will take place at the University of Malta between the 24th and the 29th July (ISSEI Malta 2006).

 

More info on the US writers can be found in the following links:

 

 

This meeting is open to all those working within Inizjamed, those who are attending the creative writing workshop coordinated by Clare Azzopardi, as well as to the general public. Anyone requiring more information regarding this activity can send an email to roderick.mallia@gmail.com.

 

 
 
 
     
 
Jennifer Gillan is an Associate Professor of English at Bentley College in the Boston area. With Maria Mazziotti Gillan, she edited Italian American Writers on New Jersey, the 2003 Rutgers University Press anthology, as well as three multicultural anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin Books). In 1999, the American Library Association listed Unsettling America, currently in its twentieth printing, as an Outstanding Book for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners. Booklist named Identity Lessons an Outstanding Book and the New York Public Library named Growing Up Ethnic in America to its Year 2000 Best Books List. Gillan’s articles on race and ethnicity in American literature have appeared in journals, including American Literature, American Drama, African American Review, Mosaic, North Dakota Quarterly, and Arizona Quarterly. Her work on American television and film has appeared in Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law, Cinema Journal, and several anthologies.

Jennifer Gillan will be reading an excerpt from a memoir.

 
     
 

Poems by Maria Mazziotti Gillan, M. L. Liebler and Anca Vlasopolos

 
     
 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan hija l-fundatriċi u d-direttriċi taċ-Ċentru tal-Poeżija fil-Kulleġġ tal-Komunità tal-Kontea ta’ Passaic, editriċi ta’ The Paterson Literary Review, u hija l-koeditriċi, flimkien ma’ bintha Jennifer Gillan ta’ l-antoloġija mfittxija, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Viking/Penguin) u ta’ żewġ antoloġiji oħra, Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing About Learning to Be American (Penguin 1999) u Growing Up Ethnic in  America (Penguin/Putnam 1999). Ħafna mix-xogħol tagħha deher work f’antoloġiji. Hija rebħet għadd ta’ premijiet letterarji, inkluż il-Premju May Sarton Award mill-Poetry Club ta’ New England (1998), l-American Literary Translator's Award għall-ktieb tagħha Winter Light, u Chester H. Jones Foundation Award. Fl-1999, ħareġ il-ktieb tagħha Where I Come From: New and Selected Poems (Guernica) u fl-2002, Things My Mother Told Me (Guernica).

 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College  in Paterson, NJ  She is also a Professor and  the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-State University of New York .She has published eight books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons(Cross-Cultural Communications, 1988), Where I Come From(1995) and Things My Mother Told Me(Guernica Editions,1998).Her latest book is Italian Women in Black Dresses(Guernica,2002). She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of three anthologies published by Penguin/Putnam: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing up Ethnic in America. She also has co-edited with her daughter Jennifer Gillan and Edvige Giunta, Italian American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers University Press).She is the editor of the award-winning Paterson Literary Review. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, the New York Times, Poetry Ireland, Connecticut Review, LIPS, and Rattle, as well as in numerous other journals and anthologies.  She has won the Angelie Lauri award, the John Fante Award, May Sarton Award, the Fearing Houghton Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and the American Literary Translator’s Award through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

 

My Daughter’s Hands

 

My daughter tells me she has grandma’s hands

referring to her father’s mother who lived with us

for nine years after she had a heart attack.  Later

she went senile and imagined people were coming

out of the TV to get us.  She called me over to her

 

ten times a day to warn me.  My daughter’s hands

are strong with pronounced veins and she is convinced

they are her grandmother’s.  She remembers grandma

fondly, the way she’d serve bowls of spaghetti or count out

the meatballs so each child would have the same number

 

and how she’d put M & M’s in tin pie plates for them.

She does not remember the grandmother who was so angry

finally that she made a hole in the wall with her rocker,

but rather the woman who cooked bacon for her

and bought Sara Lee cakes. I tell my daughter

 

I think her hands are like mine and my hands come down

to me from my mother, the same square shape, the small

fingers.  If you looked at our hands, you’d think we were

delicate, but we are all have a core of steel that runs

through us. We never give up, keep working until

 

we’re too sick to move. Sometimes when I look at my

hand, I imagine my mother reaching for my hand

as she did so often when she was still alive, imagine her

hand, brown from all the gardening she did, tough

and calloused, imagine that she is still sitting with me

 

when I see Dennis, slumped and broken in his chair,

when he says I can’t do this anymore, and I use her hands,

to give him the courage to go on as my daughter uses her

hands to pat my back while I cry.

 

 

© Maria Mazziotti Gillan (New Jersey)

 
     
     
  Daddy, We Called You

"Daddy" we called you, "Daddy"
when we talked to each other in the street,
pulling on our American faces,
shaping our lives in Paterson slang.

Inside our house, we spoke
a Southern Italian dialect
mixed with English
and we called you "Papa"

but outside again, you became Daddy
and we spoke of you to our friends
as "my father"
imagining we were speaking
of that "Father Knows Best"
T.V. character
in his dark business suit,
carrying his briefcase into his house,
retreating to his paneled den,
his big living room and dining room,
his frilly-aproned wife
who greeted him at the door
with a kiss. Such space

and silence in that house.
We lived in one big room-
living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom,
all in one, dominated by the gray oak dining table
around which we sat, talking and laughing,
listening to your stories,
your political arguments with your friends,

Papa, how you glowed in company light,
happy when the other immigrants
came to you for help with their taxes
or legal papers.

It was only outside that glowing circle
that I denied you, denied your long hours
as night watchman in Royal Machine Shop.
One night, riding home from a date,
my middle class, American boyfriend
kissed me at the light; I looked up
and met your eyes as you stood at the corner
near Royal Machine. It was nearly midnight.
January. Cold and Windy. You were waiting
for the bus, the streetlight illuminating
your face. I pretended I did not see you,
let my boyfriend pull away, leaving you
on the empty corner waiting for the bus
to take you home. You never mentioned it,
never said that you knew
how often I lied about what you did for a living
or that I was ashamed to have my boyfriend see you,
find out about your second shift work, your broken English.

Today, remembering that moment,
still illuminated in my mind
by the streetlamp's gray light,
I think of my own son
and the distance between us,
greater than miles.

Papa,
silk worker,
janitor,
night watchman,
immigrant Italian,
I honor the years you spent in menial work
slipping down the ladder
as your body failed you

while your mind, so quick and sharp,
longed to escape,
honor the times you got out of bed
after sleeping only an hour,
to take me to school or pick me up;
the warm bakery rolls you bought for me
on the way home from the night shift.

the letter
you wrote
to the editors
of local newspapers.

Papa,
silk worker,
janitor,
night watchman,
immigrant Italian,
better than any "Father Knows Best" father,
bland as white rice,
with your wine press in the cellar,
with the newspapers you collected
out of garbage piles to turn into money
you banked for us,
with your mouse traps,
with your cracked and calloused hands,
with your yellowed teeth.

Papa,
dragging your dead leg
through the factories of Paterson,
I am outside the house now,
shouting your name.
 

© Maria Mazziotti Gillan  (New Jersey)
 

The Mediterranean

At 23, my mother followed my father to Paterson from San Mauro,
that small town that clung to the top of a mountain in Italy.
From her window in that southern Italian village, she glimpsed
the Mediterranean, glistening and blue in the distance.

In the village, they heard stories of storms that rose up
out of the placid sea and swallowed fisherman and their boats.
As a child she heard the fearful stories, but she loved the sea
anyway, her own secret jewel with its incredible light....

In Paterson, inside our tenement, my mother made
the food she'd grown up cooking, and filled the house
with the unforgettable aroma of Mediterranean cuisine,
told us stories of San Mauro, the stone house

where she grew up, the well where they drew their water,
the stream where they washed their clothes, the fields
built like steps up the sides of the steep mountain,
but it was the glittering sea she remembered and described

that warm, clear water, the huge horizon,
the sky scrubbed clean by salt air, the sand
white as a bleached handkerchief. We saw
the water through my mother's eyes until we came to see her

as the Mediterranean, deep and warm, the vivid flowers
of Italian summers always with us.
 

© Maria Mazziotti Gillan  (New Jersey)

 

 
  M. L. Liebler is the author of 13 books of poetry and fiction, most recently Greatest Hits (Pudding House Press, 2005). He is the editor of three volumes of Midwest poets, including Brooding the Heartlands: Poets of the Midwest from Ohio’s Bottom Dog Press. He is the director of the Arts and Humanities Program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and teaches English and Labor Studies at Wayne State University. Liebler formed the Magic Poetry Band in 1987. "I write about aspects of everyday life," Liebler has said. "My background is really as a working class suburbanite, so a lot of my poetry deals with my childhood and what I know best, growing up in the suburbs in a working class family. . .I like people who have never been to a poetry reading before in their lives to come."

A journalist for The Muskegon Chronicle (Bill Reed) has written of Liebler:
"[He] is rescuing poetry from the ivory tower and putting it back on the street. With his long white beard and ‘Solidarity Forever’ t-shirt, Liebler looks like a cross between Santa Claus and a grizzled biker. And in a way, he is [. . .] ‘My mission is to bring poetry to as many people as possible and to present it in a way that they can relate to,’ Liebler said from his Detroit home. ‘I like to work with audiences that have never been to a poetry reading before. I want them to say, Gee, I didn’t know poetry could be like that. I thought it was something for geeky, college professor types.’ "

 
     
 

Rock'N'Roll

 

I've thought

About the many nights

Of rock 'n' roll I've spent

In my youth

Hardcore----

 

My grandma taught me

How to rock.

She hummed Elvis

While she hemmed my pants.

She liked Elvis.

She liked him so much

That she bought me

A black leather jacket

With zippers and a motorcycle hat

Life Marlon Brando's

That really pissed Mrs. Taylor off!

She kicked me out of first grade.

She said I'd be a bad influence

On all the other kids.

 

Ah—I didn't like those snotty-nosed kids

     anyway.

They couldn't rock

Like grandma.

 

© M. L. Liebler (Detroit)

 

 
     
 

Poet and novelist Anca Vlasopolos is Professor of English and Director of the Comparative Literature Program at Wayne State University in Detroit. She specializes in comparative literature, feminist studies, and contemporary women's drama.

 

About her literary work: No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement (Columbia University Press, 2000), awarded the YMCA Writer’s Voice Grant for Creative Non-Fiction in 2001, the Wayne State University Board of Governors Award and the Arts Achievement Award in 2002; a poetry collection, Through the Straits, at Large; a chapbook of poetry, The Evidence of Spring; and a detective novel, Missing Members; as well as over two hundred poems short stories in literary magazines such as The Rambler, Porcupine, Typo, Perigee, Poetry InternationalBarrow Street, Adagio, Avatar, Terrain, Nidus,, Short Story, Natural Bridge, Center, Evansville Review, Santa Barbara Review, River Styx, Spoon River Poetry Quarterly, Weber Review, etc.; The Poetry Harmonium, music and poetry compact disk collaboration with composer Christian Kreipke and poets Carol Carpenter and Suzanne Scarfone.

 
 
 

Optical Function

the moon has already begun to subtract
itself in slivers
as if a child becoming proficient
in the borrowing function

friends', fathers' hearts each day pump a little
harder past those layers of stored
fright, good times, ache, the brutal world
a catheter can read as text
without design

we are moving toward full
clogged supersaturated
to where excess sweet excess salt
fall like flakes in those cheap plastic globes
with a crude cityscape
a past we can only recall in outline
in events disproportionate looming
like an Eiffel Tower a snowman
vaster than space
catching the eye
leaving covered
at bottom
the small graves
of what at one time had been
our greatest joys our crimes
 

© 2004 Anca Vlasopolos  (Detroit)

 
     
     
 

The Maltese Poets

 
 

compiled by Roderick Mallia

 
     
 

ANTOINE CASSAR

 

Born in London to Maltese parents in 1978, Antoine Cassar was brought up and educated in England, Malta and Spain. After completing a B.A. in Modern Languages at the University of Durham, he moved to Madrid in order to write a PhD thesis on Medieval Literature, whilst working as a language teacher and translator. After long years of nostalgia for his village in the centre of the Mediterranean, Antoine returned to Qrendi in 2004, where he continues to translate on a freelance basis. In September 2006 he will begin a new job in the city of Luxembourg.

 
     
     
 

VICTOR FENECH

 

Hailed as one of the most prominent modern poets in Malta, Victor Fenech is a bi-lingual writer (Maltese and English) whose poems have been widely anthologised. Since his first co-authored anthology, Kwartett, in 1965, he has figured in seven new poetry collections; of these Altamira (1979) introduced the prose-poem in Maltese literature.

 

Poems of his were translated into Italian, German, Esperanto and French, and were published in international anthologies such as Orizzonte Senza Fine, Malet-Literatur aus Malta, Souffles, Poet India, Limestone 84 and Crosswinds.

 

Victor Fenech has also published a number of anthologies in the UK, such as London Pictures and other Poems, Today I waited, and Let Now Mdina Sleep, the latter had also a Dutch version Laat Mdina nu Slapen published in 2000.

 

Victor Fenech won the Golden Pen in 1974, and the National Literary Award for Poetry in 1997.

 
     
     
 

MARIA GRECH GANADO

 

Maria Grech Ganado was born in Ħal Lija, in 1943. She studied at the Universities of Malta, Cambridge and Heidelberg. She was the first Maltese woman to be appointed full-time lecturer at the University if Malta in 1971. Maria is a bilingual poet, writing both in English and Maltese. She also translates works from Maltese to English.

 

Maria has published 3 collections of Maltese poetry, Iżda Mhux Biss (1999), which won the National Book Council’s firs prize for poetry in 2000, Skond Eva (2001) u Fil-Ħofra Bejn Spallejha (2005). Some of Maria’s English verse has appeared in Orbis, Envoi, Imago. Her first collection of English poetry - called “Ribcage” - was published in October 2003. In late 2005, she published a collection of translated poetry entitled ‘Memory Rape’. Some of her works have appeared in a number of anthologies in Maltese, Italian and French. In 2000, she was awarded the Medal for Service to the Republic.

 

Bibliography

 

Other links:

Maria G. Ganado’s showcase on Laura Hird’s site

 
     
     
 

ADRIAN GRIMA

Adrian Grima is a lecturer in Maltese literature at the University of Malta. He is the coordinator of the cultural organization Inizjamed (www.inizjamed.org) and the Maltese correspondent of the Babelmed.net website about culture in the Mediterranean. His doctoral thesis dealt with the creation of the Maltese national imaginary in Maltese literature. Adrian Grima has read papers about Maltese literature, the Mediterranean and cultural activism at conferences and seminars in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean. In 1999 he published It-Trumbettier, (The Trumpeter) a collection of poems in Maltese with translations in English which placed second in the Tivoli Prize for books by Young European poets. In 2006, he published his second collection of poetry entitled Rakkmu. His poetry has also appeared in publications in France, Italy, Israel and Cyprus. He is the editor of F’Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera (Inizjamed, 2003), Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed, 2005) and other collections of contemporary Maltese literature.

Bibliography 

  • It-Trumbettier, 1999
  • Gżejjer - Letteratura mill-Periferiji, 2001 (editor)
  • Gżejjer ta' Diversità Kulturali/Islands of Cultura Diversity (with Kevin MacNeil), 2001
  • Bliet (u Miti), 2002 (editor)
  • F'Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera, 2003 (editor)
  • "Dgħajjes Qodma u Maħmuġin" - Dun Karm, id-Dielja u l-Barranin, 2004
  • Ktieb għall-Ħruq, 2005 (editor)
  • It-Trankwillità Qarrieqa tat-Test, 2005 (editor)
  • The Tragedy of the Elephant, 2005
  • Rakkmu, 2006

Personal Website: www.adriangrima.com

 
     
     
 

SIMONE INGUANEZ

 

Simone Inguanez was born in 1971.  In her first years, she was brought up in the maritime city of Cospicua in Malta.  She graduated in law, in criminology and in youth studies, and is currently training in gestalt psychotherapy and family mediation.  Simone forms part of the coordinating and organising teams of literary groups Inizjamed, Poeżijaplus and Ghaqda Letterarja Maltija.  She has taken an active role in a number of literary projects in Malta, ranging from workshops to fora to multimedia presentations.  In late 2005, she published a collection of translated poetry entitled Water, Earth, Fire, and I which was followed by her first collection of poems in Maltese "ftit mara, ftit tifla" (some woman, some girl).  Some of her works have appeared in a number of anthologies, journals, published materials of literary projects and exhibitions, while others were set into music.

 

Bibliography

  • Water, Earth, Fire and I, 2005

  • Ftit Mara, Ftit Tifla, 2005

 

 
     
 

RODERICK MALLIA

 

Roderick Mallia was born on the 20th February, 1982, the elder of two brothers. He was raised in Senglea, but now lives in the small, maritime village of Kalkara. In 2004, he graduated B.Sc. (Hons.) in Medical Science from the University of Malta, and is currently reading for Doctor of Medicine and Surgery. Roderick is a member of Inizjamed, with whom he has been working since 2005, and has published poetry in the collection Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed, 2005). Some of his works have also appeared in local newspapers.
Roderick’s main interests lie in the arts and being also a musician and painter, he is always trying to find interesting and innovative ways of bringing these various forms together since he believes much in the marriage between different forms of art.

 
     
     
 

IMMANUEL MIFSUD

 

Immanuel Mifsud was born on 12 September, 1967, the youngest in a working class family of eight children. He was raised in Paola, a town in the southern parts of Malta. At sixteen years of age he started writing poetry and co-founded the literary group Versarti at the New Lyceum, where he studied Maltese, English and Philosophy. He also started writing scripts for experimental theatre groups, and directed his first theatrical piece Dal-Bniedem ("This Man") at Sliema Sea Front.

 

Immanuel Mifsud has also been involved in organising conferences about theatre and theatre making organised by the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta. He also directed the first ever Malta International Poetry Festival organised by the Malta Arts Council in September 2004. Immanuel Mifsud lectures Maltese literature at the University of Malta Junior College.

 

Bibliography

 

Personal Website: www.immanuelmifsud.com

 
     
     
 

WALID NABHAN

 

Walid Nabhan was born in Amman, Jordan in 1966. His mother and father left Qbeybeh, a small village outside Hebron, the family's original city in Palestine, together with many other Palestinians in 1948, after the start of the war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. They were told they would be able to return to their homes within a few days. Today, almost sixty years later, they are still waiting to return. In the meantime, his mother and father have died, but they have entrusted him with this responsibility, that of one day taking the family back home.

Walid went to school in Amman. In 1990 he arrived in Malta to study as a medical laboratory technician. In 1998 he graduated with a B.Sc. in biomedical sciences from the University of Bristol in the UK and in 2003 he graduated with a Masters in Human Rights and Democratization from the University of Malta.

 

Walid Nabhan's short story in Maltese “Il-Mutu” was published in the anthology Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed 2005). His translation into Maltese of Ghassan Kanafani's short story "L-Art tal-Larinġ Imnikket" ("The Land of Sad Oranges") appeared in the anthology Storja Tinkiteb (KKM 2006).

 

 
     
 

LESLIE VASSALLO

 

Leslie Vassallo was born on 17th October 1955 in Siggiewi, Malta. Formally educated at the local Primary School (today named for Maltese poet Ġużè Delia), at the Lyceum, Harnrun. (at one time called The Zoo), the Junior College, Valletta and at the University of Malta from where he graduated B.A.(Hons.) in English. Teaches at a Girls' Junior Lyceum. Single (cum friends). Literature is his first love. But also likes travel, nature, other art expressions.

 

Leslie started writing poetry (and occasional short stories ) at 15 - and got addicted. Poetry is the diary where he tries to understand, explain and give meaning to life and to his life. He read his works on radio and appeared in a few television interviews, participated in various activities organized by Literary Societies and is a regular contributor to Literary Pages and Magazines. However, it was Inizjamed which enticed him to open the drawer and read in public.

 

Leslie's verse has appeared in the anthologies Nisga (1983) and Ilwien fil-Kelma (Ħeġġa Letterarja, 1985), Tlaqna Ghal Rasna (short stories, S.K.S., 1989), lsfera (Inizjamed, 1999), Gżejjer (Inizjamed, 2001), Bliet (u Miti) (Inizjamed, 2002), Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed, 2005). His haiku has been regularly published in HQ (ed. Kevin Bailey), in The Acorn Book of Contemporary Haiku (2000), and in Japan and France.

 

Vassallo was Highly Recommended in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2000-2001 for “Indicator Joe,” a story about a returned Maltese-Australian emigrant. He has been occasionally awarded in local poetry 'competitions'. He is proud to have written lyrics for The Giant Drearn (2004) by the Maltese folk band Etnika, a group of excellent musicians. Once he finds time from being a poet i.e, writing and talking, he hopes to publish some of his lines. Interview here.

 

 
     
 

PRESS Releases

 
 

Ara l-verżjoni bil-Malti

 
     
 

Maltese and American Poets at Ġnien il-Gardjola in Senglea


On Tuesday, 25th July, at 8:00pm, four poets from Detroit and New Jersey in the United States will be reading their work together with their Maltese counterparts at Ġnien il-Gardjola in Senglea at 8.00pm. Entrance to this event, which is open to the general public, is free.

 

"Poeżija Gardjola" is being organized by Inizjamed, in collaboration with the Senglea Local Council. The Gardjola Garden is found just above Senglea Point and it enjoys a breathtaking view of the Grand Harbour, with Valletta across the harbour and Vittoriosa to the right.

 

The American writers are poet and singer songwriter M. L. Liebler, Italo-American poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan, prose writer Jennifer Gillan, and poet Anca Vlasopolos. They are among the academics who will be taking part in the 10th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI) entitled "The European Mind: Narrative and Identity," at the University of Malta in the last week of July.  

 

The Maltese poets taking part in “Poeżija Gardjola” are Antoine Cassar, Victor Fenech, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Simone Inguanez, Immanuel Mifsud, Walid Nabhan, and Leslie Vassallo. There will also be readings of poems by Roderick Mallia who coordinated the event.

 

Poet and singer songwriter M. L. Liebler is the author of 13 books of poetry and fiction, most recently Greatest Hits (Pudding House Press, 2005). He is the director of the Arts and Humanities Program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and teaches English and Labor Studies at Wayne State University. Liebler formed the Magic Poetry Band in 1987.

 

Poet and novelist Anca Vlasopolos is Professor of English and Director of the Comparative Literature Program at Wayne State University in Detroit. She specializes in comparative literature, feminist studies, and contemporary women's drama. Shehas published poetry, creative non-fiction, short stories, a detective novel, and The Poetry Harmonium, a music and poetry compact disk.

 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College  in Paterson, NJ  She is also a Professor and  the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-State University of New York. She has published eight books of poetry.

 

Jennifer Gillan is an Associate Professor of English at Bentley College in the Boston area. With Maria Mazziotti Gillan, she edited Italian American Writers on New Jersey, as well as three multicultural anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin Books). Gillan’s articles on race and ethnicity in American literature have appeared in leading American journals. At “Poeżija Gardjola” Jennifer Gillan will be reading an excerpt from a memoir.

 

More information about the writers and about the event is available from Inizjamed's website at www.inizjamed.org or by writing to inizjamed@maltaforum.org.

 


 
     
 

Poeżija Gardjola

Poeti Maltin u Amerikani fl-Isla nhar it-Tlieta fit-8.00pm


Nhar it-Tlieta, 25 ta' Lulju, fit-8.00pm, poeti Maltin u Amerikani se jiltaqgħu biex jippreżentaw uħud mix-xogħlijiet tagħhom f’attività miftuħa għall-pubbliku fi Ġnien il-Gardjola, l-Isla. Din l-attività, bl-isem ta' "Poeżija Gardjola," se tittella’ minn Inizjamed, bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-Kunsill Lokali ta' l-Isla. Dħul b’xejn.

 

Ġnien il-Gardjola jinsab fuq il-Ponta ta' l-Isla u minnu hemm possibbilment waħda mill-isbaħ veduti tal-Belt Valletta u tal-Birgu. Dan il-ġnien huwa mibni fuq sensiela ta’ ħitan qishom swar. L-isem ta’ dan il-ġnien ġej mill-gardjola li hemm fuq dawn is-swar. Fuq il-bini tal-gardjola hemm ghajn, widna u ghasfur. Hemm ukoll kitba bl-ilsien Latin. Biswit il-gnien hemm il-Knisja ta’ San Filippu Neri li nbniet fis-sena 1662.  

 

L-erba’ kittieba minn Detroit u New Jersey fl-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika huma fost l-akkademiċi li se jieħdu sehem fl-għaxar edizzjoni tal-konferenza internazzjonali tas-Soċjetà Internazzjonali ta’ l-Istudju ta’ l-Ideat Ewropej (ISSEI) dwar “The European Mind: Narrative and Identity," li ser issir fl-Università ta' Malta fl-aħħar ġimgħa ta’ Lulju. Dawn il-kittieba li se jieħdu sehem f’”Poeżija Gardjola” huma l-poeta u l-kantawtur M. L. Liebler, il-poetessa Italo-Amerikana Maria Mazziotti Gillan, il-kittieba tal-proża Jennifer Gillan, u l-poetessa Anca Vlasopolos.

 

Fost il-poeti minn Malta li se jieħdu sehem hemm Antoine Cassar, Victor Fenech, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Simone Inguanez, Immanuel Mifsud, Walid Nabhan, u Leslie Vassallo. Se jinqraw ukoll xogħlijiet ta' Roderick Mallia li għandu f’idejh il-koordinazzjoni ta’ dan din l-attività.

 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan hija l-fundatriċi u d-direttriċi taċ-Ċentru tal-Poeżija fil-Kulleġġ tal-Komunità tal-Kontea ta’ Passaic, editriċi ta’ The Paterson Literary Review, u hija l-koeditriċi, flimkien ma’ bintha Jennifer Gillan ta’ l-antoloġija mfittxija, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Viking/Penguin) u ta’ żewġ antoloġiji oħra, Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing About Learning to Be American (Penguin 1999) u Growing Up Ethnic in  America (Penguin/Putnam 1999). Jennifer Gillan hija professoressa ta’ l-Ingliż f’Bentley College fl-inħawi ta’ Boston. Waqt “Poeżija Gardjola se taqra parti minn rakkont awtobijografiku.

 

Il-kittieb u l-kantawtur M. L. Liebler huwa l-awtur ta’ 13-il ktieb ta’ poeżija u narrattiva, fosthom Greatest Hits (2005). Huwa l-editur ta’ antoloġiji ta’ poeżiji mill-istati tal-Midwest, fosthom Brooding the Heartlands: Poets of the Midwest. Jgħallem l-Ingliż u l-Istudji dwar ix-Xogħol fl-Università Statali ta’ Wayne f’Detroit. Liebler għaqqad il- Magic Poetry Band fl-1987. Liebler jistqarr li jikteb dwar aspetti tal-ħajja ta’ kuljum. "My background is really as a working class suburbanite, so a lot of my poetry deals with my childhood and what I know best, growing up in the suburbs in a working class family... I like people who have never been to a poetry reading before in their lives to come."

 

Minbarra li hija poetessa u r-rumanziera, Anca Vlasopolos hija Professoressa ta’ l-Ingliż u Direttriċi tal-Programm tal-Letteratura Komparata fl-Università Statali ta’ Wayne f’Detroit. Tispeċjalizza fil-letteratura komparata, fl-istudji femministi, u fid-drama kontemporanja miktuba min-nisa.

 

Dawk kollha li jixtiequ aktar tagħrif dwar “Poeżija Gardjola” jistgħu jżuru s-sit ta' Inizjamed, www.inizjamed.org, jew jibagħtu ittre lil inizjamed@maltaforum.org.