Happy New Year to all and welcome to the second issue of Pummarola! We are excited to share with you some extraordinary new work from our earlier contributors, as well as from multiple new voices. From one coast to the other, Italian Americans and allied supporters are producing meaningful, creative and intriguing work that addresses a wide range of subject matter of significant value to the Italian diaspora in the U.S. and beyond. We are very pleased to share the fruits of their labors with you.
So much has happened since our relaunch of Pummarola in October 2021 during the week of Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day. Pummarola has attracted visitors from Basilicata in the south of Italy and Venice in the north to Ireland and other European countries; from multiple locations in Canada to others across South America. This has shown us two things: that there is room at the table for our new magazine and that there is a hunger for new voices.
We encourage our followers to continue sharing with us your thoughts, opinions and comments. We also urge our readers to submit your own writings and other creative efforts and to share this call for contributions with your networks. We hope that you will also engage with our new issue on social media. This issue, we have added a set of sharing buttons at the end of each piece.
Our January 2022 issue continues to demonstrate the robust range of talent and interests of the diaspora, with subject matter from soup to Confederate monuments to storied folk songs:
- In “The Triangle Fire Comes Full Circle for Edvige Giunta,” Interim Managing Editor Marci Merola talks with Sicilian-born writer, editor and activist Edvite Giunta about her relationship to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and her new collection of essays, co-edited by Mary Anne Trasciatti, Talking to the Girls, Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.
- We are delighted to announce the publication of our first work of fiction, “Transfiguration,” by the talented Marianne Leone.
- Charles Tocci’s “A More Useful Public History: An Interview with Jerry Wilson” describes the protests surrounding University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Confederate soldier statue Silent Sam and the lessons to be learned for anti-racism organizing and monument activism.
- Forced displacement around the world sharpened in 2021, as economic collapse, war and climate change continued to drive increasing numbers of migrants from their homelands, some to die in secret prisons and some to drown in cold Mediterranean waters. Read Elena Marcheschi’s opinion piece “Fighting the Good Fight & Celebrating Together: Post Holiday Ruminations on Migrant Prisons,” for an Omicron winter’s meditation on how themes of oppression, resistance and hoped-for liberation have haunted humanity’s holidays for a very long time.
- Peter Fortunato’s poem, “An Epiphany: January 6, 2021,” juxtaposes the Magis bearing gifts for the baby in Bethlehem with the January 6 insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol.
- Joan Tortorici Ruppert’s “Shoe Box Negatives,” features a selection of her father’s mesmerizing photographs and preceded by her evocative introduction.
- Douglass De Candia’s beautifully lyrical and evocative poem, Ros’e Argende, is inspired by a haunting original recording of the folk song, captured by Alan Lomax.
- “Who’s Allowed in the “Melting Pot?: The Impact of Whiteness on the Assimilation of Italian Identities,” grapples with issues of racism, assimilation and white culture as its own monolithic identity.
- Joanna Clapps Herman returns with another essay-recipe mined from her trove of memories of family and food.
New additions include the very important subscription button which will ensure you receive notice of everything we publish, as we publish it. Feel free to share and spread the word! Please don’t forget to also peruse Breve, our news in brief feature, where you will be connected to a cornucopia of articles, essays, book reviews, art shows and other relevant information from across the world that may be of interest to the Italian diaspora and friends.
Our overall objective at Pummarola remains to cultivate a diverse range of voices that will deepen and expand a left-progressive vision that is already shared by many within the Italian diaspora.
The Editorial Collective