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Annie Rachele Lanzillotto is the author of “L Is For Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir” SUNY Press, a Lambda Literary Award finalist; and the book of poetry “Schistsong,” Bordighera Press. Forthcoming in 2018 from Guernica is a flip book of two volumes of poetry and short prose: “Hard Candy,” and “Pitch, Roll, Yaw.” Lanzillotto narrated the audiobooks of “L Is For Lion” and “Schistsong” for She is singer/songwriter of the albums “Swampjuice,” “Never Argue With a Jackass,” “Blue Pill,” “Carry My Coffee,” and “Eleven Recitations.” Lanzillotto’s original performance-art plays include: “Rule 23” (Umami Festival), “Pocketing Garlic” (Franklin Furnace), “How to Wake Up a Marine in a Foxhole” (The Kitchen), “Confessions of a Bronx Tomboy” (Manhattan Class Company, and Under One Roof), “The Flat Earth: Wheredddafhuck Did New York Go?” (Dixon Place Mondo Cane Commission) and “a’Schapett” (Dancing in the Streets commission, Rockefeller MAP Fund, Puffin Foundation Grant) site-specific performance in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, Bronx. She was one of “200 essential New Yorkers” (NY Times), for her performance installation “A Stickball Memoir” at The Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in the City Lore NYC Neighborhood Tent. Lanzillotto was awarded New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Non-Fiction Writing, and Multi-Disciplinary Performance; a Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund Grant, a Dancing In the Streets OnSite/NYC commission grant, a Puffin Foundation grant, two Franklin Furnace Awards, and a Mondo Cane commission from Dixon Place. She was a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow. She’s had writing residencies at Hedgebrook and Santa Fe Arts Institute, and was Writer-in-Residence at New Jersey City University. Lanzillotto is featured in the documentary films: “New York Street Games” directed by Matt Levy, “Let’s Get the Rhythm: The Life and Times of Miss Mary Mack” directed by Irene Chagall, “The Barese Icemen of New York” directed by Carlo Magaletti, “Molly O’Neill’s New York” directed by Pat Harold, “Then and Now and Then” directed by Neil Goldberg, and the feature film “Alto” directed by Mikki del Monico. Lanzillotto’s own short films include “Nailpolish Madonna” produced by CityLore, and “Eggs and Bells,” which was screened at Rooftop Film Festival. Lanzillotto’s book tour performances include her “Blue Mailbox Book Crawl” commissioned by Franklin Furnace and co-produced by CityLore. Lanzillotto performed this walking tour of the East Village, where she sat on blue corner mailboxes and regaled her audience with stories, while text from her books was projected onto the walls of buildings in the spots where scenes in the books occurred. CityLore’s PoemMobile accompanied this journey, leading her street procession of her readers, musicians, audience members and passers-by. Her poem “Diminished Capacity: an Indictment” won 1st place for the Allen Ginsberg Award from The Paterson Literary Review. “Triple Bypass” won the first Italian American Writers Association Paolucci Award in Poetry; “Manhattan Schist,” and “My Grandmother’s Hands” both won Rose and John Petracca Awards – second place – from Philadelphia Poets. Lanzillotto has taught master class workshops in solo-performance for the Acting Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky; and her signature “Action Writing” workshops at Sarah Lawrence College, Naropa University, The Kitchen, and in New York City where she teaches a writing intensive called LOL: Literary Outlaws for Liberation. Lanzillotto put together the audio collection, “StreetCry: A Collection of Pushcart Cries from Around The World.” She was the visionary of the “146 Shirtwaist Kites” which became a community art project of Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition, to commemorate the workers lost at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911. As a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow, she was part of a collaboration of artists, scientists, philanthropists and business women that created “Mandela Freedom Gardens” for two sites; Saint Ann’s Orphanage in Kisumu, Kenya, and The Newark Conservancy in New Jersey, both sites Lanzillotto visited to help design the project, her input let to youth understanding Mandela’s action of burying his memoir manuscripts in the prison gardens as a way of smuggling the words out of jail. Lanzillotto was also part of The Arts and Social Change collaborative, touring The United States to explore the impact of artists upon communities and social change. Lanzillotto was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She received a B.A. with honors in medical anthropology from Brown University and an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Annie Rachele Lanzillotto



Author's Timeline



L Is For Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir
SUNY Press - Excelsior Editions
978-1-4384-4525-0 (Hardcover) / 978-1-4384-4526-7 (Paperback)
FINALIST ��� 2014 Lambda Literary Award in the Lesbian Memoir/Biography Category, presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation A 1960s Bronx tomboy learns how to survive her brutal but humorous Italian family and all the rest that life throws her. The harder you hit the pavement, the higher you fly. This vivid memoir speaks the intense truth of a Bronx tomboy whose 1960s girlhood was marked by her father���s lullabies laced with his dissociative memories of combat in World War II. At four years old, Annie Rachele Lanzillotto bounced her Spaldeen on the stoop and watched the boys play stickball in the street; inside, she hid silver teaspoons behind the heat pipes to tap calls for help while her father beat her mother. At eighteen, on the edge of ambitious freedom, her studies at Brown University were halted by the growth of a massive tumor inside her chest. Thus began a wild, truth-seeking journey for survival, fueled by the lessons of lasagna vows, and Spaldeen ascensions. From the stoops of the Bronx to cross-dressing on the streets of Egypt, from the cancer ward at Memorial Sloan-Kettering to New York City���s gay club scene of the ���80s, this poignant and authentic story takes us from underneath the dining room table to the stoop, the sidewalk, the street, and, ultimately, out into the wide world of immigration, gay subculture, cancer treatment, mental illness, gender dynamics, drug addiction, domestic violence, and a vast array of Italian American characters. With a quintessential New Yorker as narrator and guide, this journey crescendos in a reluctant return home to the timeless wisdom of a peasant, immigrant grandmother, Rosa Marsico Petruzzelli, who shows us the sweetest essence of soul.



Bordighera Press - VIA Folios
Poetry. LGBT Studies. An urban songline of New York. From the author of the memoir L Is For Lion, comes a panegyric of the geology of Manhattan. These poems glitter. Manhattan schist is rendered as a template for the skyline and characters of New York. Grit and stardust collide in this debut collection of poetry and song. The book begins with the bright reflective quality of Mica and ends with the gentrified vision of the city where "New York is nine millions doors, and you have not one key." In between are stories of urban icons: iceman, fish peddler, heart butcher, meter maid, San Gennaro, the magic of grandmothers' hands, the vision of the oldest living tree in the city, immigrants who fell out windows and died in explosions, Italian phrases that link the essence of the sun to a rose to a heart, crushed tomatoes, sunsets, supermarkets, the glory of hot tar, the lessons of marines and lesbians. You will learn history and geology, Italian American heroes, and spiritual imperatives, through the syllables of this one poet's soul.

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