Volume XXXVI No. 1 Winter 2018

Volume XXXVI No. 1 Winter 2018

Table of Contents

  • Letter from the Editor  1
  • Notes on Contributors  3


  • A Calabrian in Minnesota: The Tales of James Mancina
    Matthew Reza  9
  • Dual US-Italian Citizenship: New World Italians Come Full Circle
    Susan Perri  29


  • Stephen Sartarelli
    Carla Simonini  45


  • Ned Balbo
    • Essay, “The Song I Sing and the Book I Read”: Becoming Italian American  55
    • For a Mother Born During the Great War  57
    • A New Moon for Neptune  58
    • Wren  60
  • The Fourth of Seven
    Simona Carini  61
  • Anatomy Lesson
    Marian Calabro  62
  • OCD
    Ron Pavoldi  63
  • In the Dark
    Michael Palma  64
  • Ol’ Blue Eyes
    Connie Post  65
  • On Maria Blanchard’s “Portrait of Regina Barahona”
    Diane Kendig  66
  • For My Brother Sal
    John Barrale  67
  • The Shepherd of Filizzolo
    Gil Fagiani  68
  • Kind
    Dona Luongo Stein  69
  • What I Will Tell Our Future Child
    Christine DeSimone  70
  • Parenting an Emily Dickinson
    David Albano  71
  • Haven
    Tina Tocco  72

Fiction & Creative Non-fiction

  • How Marco Got the Business
    David Anthony Natale  75
  • The Cascino Stories
    Stefania Patinella  87


    • 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  97
    • Performing Gender and Violence in Contemporary Transnational Contexts edited by Maria Anita Stefanelli
      Review by Maria Galli Stampino  100
    • 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  101
    • Gli indiani Pellerossa Abnaki e la loro storia by Eugenio Vetromile. Trans. by Aldo Magagnino.
      Review by Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.  103
    • Baltimore’s Little Italy: Heritage and History of the Neighborhood by Suzanna Rosa Molino
      Review by Robert Casillo  104
    • 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  105
    • After Identity: Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture by Peter Carravetta
      Review by Chiara Fabbian  107
    • Hemingway and Italy: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives edited by Mark Cirino and Mark P. Ott
      Review by Clorinda Donato  108
    • Rope and Soap Lynchings of Italians in the United States by Patrizia Salvetti
      Review by Patrizia Fama Stahle  110
    • The 13th Sunday after Pentecost: Poems by Joseph Bathanti
      Review by Laura Wittman  111
    • Il cucchiaio trafugato by Angelo Spina
      Review by Francesco Corigliano  113
    • The Short List of Certainties by Lois Roma-Deeley
      Review by John Paul Russo  115
    • The Hunger Saint by Olivia Kate Cerrone
      Review by Tera Reid-Olds  116
    • Second Thoughts by Dennis Barone
      Review by Maria Terrone  118

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 story-telling 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, cul-ture, 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 ori-gins 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 Pal-ma, 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 Rus-so, 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 spe-cial welcome, also, to our new student assistant, Shanon Maple, who joined the Italian Americana staff this fall and provided hands-on assis-tance in producing the current issue, including the layout of our 2018 cover, which features a photo of the life-sized sculpture “The Next Jour-ney 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 permis-sion 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