Zia Rosa’s obituary lists
her date of death as August 8, 1960.

There are several reasonable guesses
as to where she was born –

Corleto Perticara, Provincia di Potenza,
Catanzaro, Cosenzo.

But as was the way with so many of the old Italians,
hardly anyone could even venture a wild guess at a birthday.

But what matter?
We were all so blessed that she came at all,

and stayed as long as she did.


John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections Ecstasy Among Ghosts (Antrim House), Sleepwalking (Antrim House), Dance Against the Wall (Antrim House), After the Bell (BigTable), Hallelujah Time! (Big Table), High Tide – Ebb Tide (Kelsay Books), Four Bits (Grayson Press), Chants (Cervena Barva), Sundowning Main Street Rag, POND (imspired – UK)), and The Tree That Lights The Way Home (Antrim House). Besides Rabid Oak, John’s work has been widely published and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Cortland Review, American Life in Poetry, Praxis, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Laurel Review, The Caribbean Writer, Blue Mountain Review, Rust + Moth, Tar River, Poetlore, Rattle, Hawk & Handsaw, Plainsongs, Patterson Literary Review, Potato Soup Journal, and many others.  His work has been translated into Italian and appears widely in Italy, including in El Ghibli, The Journal of Italian Translations Bonafini, Poetarium, and others. His translator is the Italian poet, Angela D’Ambra. His nonfiction has been published in Literature and Belief, Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide, Scarlet Leaf, Evening Street, Praxis, Potato Soup Journal, The Red Lemon, after the pause, and others.  John is the Flash Fiction Editor of Abstract Magazine TV, and he has read at venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage, and many others.   For many years, John coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut.  He was also a “teaching artist” for the national poetry recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud; he spent a decade with Poetry Out Loud.   A former Wesleyan University Etherington Scholar, and New England Poet of the Year (1998), John has just been awarded a 2021 Artist Fellowship in Creative Non-Fiction from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and Culture for work on his new memoir.