This week meet Michelle Messina Reale, author of four collections of poetry including Birds of Sicily, and The Legacy of the Sidelong Glance: Elegies. She won the Twin Antlers Prize for poetry, along with poets Meg Tuite and Heather Fowler. The winning manuscript, “Bare Bulbs Swinging” was published by Artistically Declined Press in the 2014. She is also one of the authors in the collaborative anthology Shut Up/Look Pretty. Her work has been published in Verbsap, 3711 Atlantic, Underground Voices, Moondance, Lily, Philadelphia Poets, Yellow Mama, Unfettered Verse, Grey Borders, La Fenetre, and others. Michelle is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She conducts ethnography among African refugees in Sicily. Her Italian-American way of life is a prominent source of her research, as well.
She blogs about many of her experiences and topics of research at http://www.sempresicilia.wordpress.com
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Praise for Birds of Sicily
Birds of Sicily is an exploration into the geography of proximity. Dipping relentlessly and empathically into the “shadow of lack,” Reale unravels travel to reveal the “life of hard work and paradox” that links us all.—Cameron Conaway, Author of Malaria, Poems
Michelle Reale’s Birds Of Sicily is an outstandingly powerful poetry collection which has personal resonance for me due to our shared Sicilian background. In these wonderfully written poems, Michelle explores themes of migration and finding one’s place in a new, unfamiliar world and culture. Not much literature is written on the Italian-American experience and Reale’s work is a most welcome contribution to that end. This is a work you will come back to again and again.—Julian Gallo, Author of Breathe
Michelle Reale fashions lines that bite and burn. The delicate yet fanged poetry in Birds of Sicily draws from the depths of history and blends voluptuous landscapes with raw depictions of human fragility. Weaving and blending together various poetic forms and structures, the language of each piece sings. This collection, both universal and deeply personal, remains with the reader long after they’ve turned the final page.—Janie Cannarella, Editor-in-Chief, HOOT Review
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