I went to Maria Lisella’s apartment in Queens, a walk from the train, the elevated N. She thoughtfully had prepared a meal for me, soup, bread, cheese, grilled vegetables. Her cooking like her poetry takes what is everyday and elevates it to an exceptionally rare place, the extraordinary—my that’s good!—and it’s universal too, meant just for you.
Before we ate, we recorded. I had first heard her read in NYC at a Bryant Park event back when she was Poet Laureate of Queens and her book, Thieves...
A trio of manageable museums are currently exhibiting some of the most talked about work in town: the Hudson River Museum, the Jewish Museum, and the Morgan Library and Museum are three off-the beaten track venues for pint-sized immersions in carefully cultivated and curated shows.
This year, when giving holiday gifts, skip the gift cards, the Amazon Prime products and deals and think way outside that digital, impersonal box, give and share a LIVE experience instead. Let others jam malls and ...
A few days ago, during the inauguration of the new President of the United States in Washington DC, there was a moment when the whole world rediscovered, if ever there was a need, the power of poetry. It was when 22 years old Amanda Gorman, the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate, delivered her beautiful poem "The Hill We Climb".
2021 is also the year that Italy dedicates to the greatest poet in the history of mankind, Dante Alighieri, whom we in Italy call “il sommo poeta” ...
You let me, your stepmother,
Take your hand to walk
into the surf, let
slippery seaweed wrap
around your ankles
like emerald ribbons.
We step on the edge
of lacey waves that feel
like butter on hot skin.
You hold back, your mother’s
fear of the sea, fear of me,
sways you. She warns you
Yemaya, the Santeria god,
will swallow you into the sea
here in Puerto Rico, la isla bonita,
land of your Borinquen bloodline.
I tip the balance, study Santeria,
pin a benevolent picture
of Yemaya on my bulleti...
We cannot gather in person just yet, so in the midst of a pandemic defined by isolation, Queens Public Library will gather a circle of poets who will share their work, telling stories celebrating the power of kindness and empathy in poetry. Join us for a special evening of readings of original work by Maria Lisella, Queens Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow; and a circle of Thursday Morning Poets, Nadia Bongo, Marcia Elwarari, Luvon Roberson, and Judy Trupin. Join us: ...
This episode of “Queens Creative” spotlights Queens Poet Laureate, Maria Lisella. Awarded the Poet Laureate position in 2015 by then Borough President Melinda Katz, Queens native and current Astoria resident Ms. Lisella is the sixth poet to hold the borough’s esteemed Laureate title. In 2020, Maria was also named a Poets Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets and to date has three books of poetry to her credit as an author. In addition to her work as a poet, Ms. Lisella has also tau...
The call came
A three-story roof,
not a big building
to break bones.
A day later,
another call comes.
I’m the passenger.
She’ll be there, you know.
I know, I hear myself say,
the mother is always there.
the stereotype, but it fits.
The mother takes him back.
He doesn’t get better.
He never leaves except
a passive remote control.
ward to ward.
From the p...
Making Poetry An dynamic four-week workshop with Queens Poet Laureate, Maria Lisella, recent Academy of American Poets Fellow, designed to inspire, encourage and lead to poetry making. Participants will write in response to a prompt – visual or verbal - or a poem. No previous writing experience is necessary to participate; sharing your work is optional as is time for supportive feedback.
NEW YORK – When Helga Weissova was 12 years old, the Nazis deported her and her parents to the Terezin Ghetto. Precocious and resourceful, the budding artist brought enough art supplies that lasted nearly to the end of her internment.
During this terrible time, she smuggled her drawing of a snowman to her father Otto, who was housed in a different barrack. He advised her, “Draw what you see.” After that, she produced more than 100 drawings.
Now in her 90s, she lives in Prague and she is the s...
Queens native Maria Lisella is the sixth Queens Poet Laureate and was named a Poets Laureate Fellow 2020 by the Academy of American Poets (poets.org/poet/maria-lisella). As part of her civic poetry programs, she has been leading poetry workshops with Teachers and Writers Collaborative, SAGE, the Noguchi Museum, the Greater Astoria Historical Association and the Queens Library. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated work appears in Thieves in the Family (NYQ Books), Amore on Hope Street (Finishing Line ...
"When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us:
Be still! Be still! Look at me!"
-- Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
The Pic-Nic, oil on canvas by Thomas Cole, 1846; Brooklyn Museum, New York
Today we share a wonderful poem by Maria Lisella, who was named a Poets Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets in 2020.
Maria is the author of three books of poetry, including Thieves in the Family (NYQ Books, 2014), available at the local, indepen...
Registration Required! Tues, Apr 20 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Virtual
Join American Academy of Poets Fellow and Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella for a prompt-based, interactive workshop designed to inspire, encourage and lead to a poem. Participants are welcomed to write in response to a prompt. No experience necessa...
Each April, National Poetry Month, sponsored by The Academy of American Poets is an opportunity to increase awareness & appreciation of poetry. Join Greater Astoria Historical Society for its annual "April is National Poetry Month" reading, featuring Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, Olena Jennings (Poets of Queens), + poetry open mic. Join …
Queens is seldom the first NYC borough most people think of when it comes to show biz glamor, but its sprawling identity is somewhat deceptive. Queens...
What happens when a group of strangers join a workshop on Webex during a pandemic? Join us to hear the work of our “Thursday Morning” poets who wrote in a safe place, inspired first by prompts, ideas, and poems and finally each other to produce original poetry. Reading: Nicolette Barsamian; Isabella Calisi-Wagner; Anastasiya Denysenko; Marcia Elwarari; Beth Evans; Julie Forgione; Bruce Grossberg; David Hinchliffe; Melva Lewis; Laura Pantoja; Luvon Roberson; Megha Sood; Judy Trupin; and Maria ...
Pastrami kings, queens and deli mavens kibitz, cajole and peddle a NY Jewish (and Italian) experience…
By Maria Lisella
New York City is the land of delicatessens, aka delis and salumerias, stacked with nostalgic foods that followed immigrants from their old countries.
Observant Jews arrived in the 19th century from Eastern Europe while Italians, also yearning for home, created salumerias featuring mother-country delicacies.
Kosher Jews keep double kitchenwa...