Roots, Routes and Recognition: Italian Canadians in Literature and the Arts

Carmine Starnino, photo supplied

Carmine Starnino, photo supplied

Award winning poet, essayist, and educator, Carmine Starnino is the key-note speaker for the Roots, Routes and Recognition: Italian Canadians in Literature and the Arts 17th Biennial Conference that runs from September 27 – 29, 2018. The conference features writers, artists, academics and researchers from all disciplines presenting academic papers, literary readings and artistic works in Italian-Canadian literature and culture that engage with themes of
heritage, passages and appreciation. 

Topics include writing and transmitting cultural memory, representations of place, space, and (dis)location, Italian diaspora and globalization, cinema and the visual arts, translation and self-translation, and representations of queerness. This conference is collaboration with UWinnipeg’s Italian Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW).

The three-day conference also includes award winning Italian-Canadian authors of all ages and genres;  short stories, poems, memoirs, and excerpts of plays and novels in English, French, Italian, and a variety of Italian dialects. Books will be available for purchase including a landmark anthology of Italian Canadian literature by nearly 100 contributors. 

It also features award-winning photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo, a documentary photographer and social historian, and the world premiere of the short-film Matters of Great Unimportance by award winning filmmaker and spoken word artist, Liana Cusmano. 

Keynote’s biography
Carmine Starnino
 has published five volumes of poetry, including This Way Out (2013), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His most recent collection is Leviathan (2016). Among his awards are the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize, the Canadian Author’s Association Prize for Poetry, and the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Starnino is the editor of The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (2005), and his critical writings have been collected in two books: A Lover’s Quarrel: Essays and Reviews (2004) and Lazy Bastardism: Reviews and Essays on Canadian Poetry (2012). He lives in Toronto, where he is deputy editor for The Walrus magazine.

About the short film,  Matters of Great Unimportance
In Matters of Great Unimportance, Alex, Brad and Julia’s friendship was built on years of debate tournaments and high school memories. Now, a year since Julia left to study abroad, the three are reunited at a dinner party where old memories and forgotten feelings make their reappearance. Alex and Brad each have a confession to make to their old friend and it won’t be easy, especially with Julia’s new boyfriend on the scene. The events of the night will test the limits of their endurance and of their friendship. Matters of Great Unimportance is an adaptation of the short story of the same name.’

Roots, Routes and Recognition: Italian Canadians in Literature & the Arts Program

For more information, contact Rosaria Moretti-Lawrie at

1 Comment

  • Kenneth Meadwell said...

    Roots, Routes and Recognition: Italian Canadians in Literature and the Arts promises to be an original and significant conference on the diverse contributions made to Canadian society by Italians, in literature, art and cinema. That it is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures speaks to the importance that we accord to this rich and varied component of Canadian culture, literature and art.
    I would like to congratulate and thank the organizers of the conference for undertaking this important endeavour, and in particular commend the efforts and enthusiasm of Professor Rosaria Moretti-Lawrie for her visionary commitment to this project, as well as for her development of the UWinnipeg Italian Studies curriculum.

    Kenneth Meadwell, PhD, OPA
    Professeur émérite d’études françaises • Professor Emeritus of French Studies
    Département des langues et littératures modernes • Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
    The University of Winnipeg (Canada)