Film Screening, Poetry Reading: ‘Finding Joseph Tusiani’

May 1, 2013 10:10 am Languages and Literatures Dept, School of Arts and Humanities

Lehman Professor Emeritus Joseph Tusiani’s (Romance Languages) life and career as a poet and educator has been immortalized in a new documentary by Sabrina Digregorio, titled Finding Joseph Tusiani: The Poet of Two Lands. The film will be shown during a special tribute celebration in honor of Professor Tusiani, who will be present and will read from selected works.

The program, which is open to the community, will be held on Thursday, May 2, at 11:30 a.m. in Room 313 of the Music Building. A reception will follow.

Professor Tusiani led a fifty-year career at Lehman in what was the Romance Languages Department. He is an international award-winning poet who writes in four languages: Italian, English, Latin, and Gargano dialect. In the film, he is portrayed as a major voice in American and Italian letters.

Born in the Apulia region of Italy, Professor Tusiani earned his Ph.D. in Letters from the University of Naples in 1947. The following year, he emigrated to the United States, where he and his family settled in the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx. He soon began teaching at the College of Mount St. Vincent.

Among his early influences was writer Frances Winwar, who encouraged him to write in English. His first poem in English, The Return, earned him the Poetry Society of England’s prestigious Greenwood Prize in 1955—he was the first American to receive this honor.

He is the author of a number of books, poems, and translations, including Carmina Latina, Dante’s Purgatorio, Italian Poets of the Renaissance, and more. His work has been published in multiple languages.

This event is hosted by the Department of Languages and Literatures and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College. For more information, contact maria.dipaolo@lehman.cuny.edu.