Volume XXXVI No. 2 Summer 2018

Volume XXXVI No. 2 Summer 2018

Table of Contents

  • Letter from the Editor v
  • Notes on Contributors ix


  • The Delivery of Mussolini’s Rings in Rhode Island: A Collaboration between
    Catholic Priests and Italian Fascist Officials
    Valeria Federici 121
  • Membranza Sì Cara e Fatal: Verdi’s “Va, pensiero” as an Icon of Italian
    Culture from the 1850s to the Present Date
    Stephanie Ruozzo 151
  • Michael Parenti, Un leone italoamericano della sinistra
    Bob Masullo 165
  • Interview with Joe Castiglione, the Voice of the Boston Red Sox
    Richard Bonanno 173


  • Featured Poet Thomas Centolella
    • Essay, “The Country Inside Me” 185
    • Solo 187
    • Memo to Self 188
    • The Visito 189
  • 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. Davies105
    • 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 Wittman111
    • 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

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 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