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Reviews & Interviews


The Lucky Seven Interview: Joseph Maviglia Talks Authenticity, Rhythm, and His Gritty New Novel

February 06, 2020

Author Joseph Maviglia's new novel, The Sicilian Cowboys (Quattro Books), follows the story of Bobby DiRienzo, a young construction worker who flees to southern Italy after being involved in an on-site accident due to drug use. While there, he falls under the protection of an older ex-user, and the two embark on a harrowing adventure that will test the limits of each..

Catching Up With Joseph Maviglia, Author Of “Critics Who Know Jack”

by Tony Morris/ Mirror Columnist

Joseph Maviglia is a singer-songwriter, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in journals and media across North America and Europe. His tribute poem jazz dharma was commissioned the the CBC’s The Sunday Edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Alan Ginseberg’s iconic poem "Howl."


by Karen Shenfeld

Years before we met one another, I had spied poet and singer/songwriter Joseph Mavigliahanging out at the original Bar Italia on College Street in Toronto’s Little Italy. He would stroll in and sit alone, sipping an espresso, quietly absorbed in a book he was reading or jotting down notes. Even in stillness, he had an overtly theatrical air. So, I wasn’t surprised to discover that he was indeed a poet and performer. Maviglia has previously released two CDs of roots/rock music and has had four books of poetry published, including A God Hangs Upside Down (Guernica Editions), Movietown (Streetcar Editions), Winter Jazz (Quarry Press), and Mitla (Eternal Network).

Highland Music Express: Joseph Maviglia’s “Critics Who Know Jack: Urban Myths, Media and Rock & Roll” By V. Morris

By V. Morris

Joseph Maviglia is a poet, musician and essayist from Canada with a strong sense of the sublime and a keen eye for detail. When you need to sort out for yourself what matters in contemporary culture, and laugh while you try, read this book. In it, Maviglia explores tv (beginning with The Fugitive), films, various kinds of literature, music (popular song, rock & roll-even opera), reflects on his day-to-day life (including dreams and memories) and gives us both his serious and not so serious reactions to the culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century world we live in (particularly in North America) and his thoughts on what–in art and life-has (or hasn’t) value. 

Canadian Bookseller, Poetry Corner: Winter Jazz by Joseph Maviglia

by Ronnie R. Brown

It is not surprising that Joseph Maviglia, singer-songwriter and performance poet, has chosen a musical title for his third full length collection of poetry.  Using a colloquial style reminiscent of the young Leonard Cohen, Maviglia allows the reader to travel with him along dark, often dangerous, streets and hear, through his words and cadences, the sultry rhythms and music of his world.

By Cindy Waxer

Poet and singer-songwriter Joseph Maviglia's collection of poems will make you scratch your head in contemplation of men who are stereotypically known for their street machismo. A God Hangs Upside Down, Maviglia's first full-length collection, dignifies the immigrant Italian construction worker and renders his catcalls "cantos".  Maviglia, drawing from his own experiences as a construction worker, poeticizes the passion, determination and struggle experienced by the men who built North America's cities and contributed greatly to its cultural mosaic.

Joseph Maviglia: Writings and Performance

by Francesco Loriggio

Joseph Maviglia was born in Ottawa and moved to Toronto in the 1980s. An accomplished poet and an equally refined musician, in the last twenty years he has published several books of poetry, three of which – A God Hangs Upside Down, Winter Jazz and freakin’ palomino blue – are of substantial length, and most recently – this year to be exact –  a book of essays, Critics Who Know Jack : Urban Myths, Media and Rock and Roll, on pop music and pop culture. In addition, he has released two CDs, Memory to Steel and Angel in the Rain. He has performed at the Molson Centre, the Harbourfront Centre and the celebrated Hugh’s Room, in Toronto, and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. He has also presented his music on tour in the US and in Europe. One of his songs from Memory to Steel, “Father, It’s Time”, was included in the compilation entitled The Gathering which received a Juno Award. Add News Story here

On "streetcar incident 504"

Review by Elana Wolff

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Joseph Maviglia: Moving Across Boundaries: A God Hangs Upside Down


Add NewThe complexities of ethnicity, characterized by the interaction of assorted cultural and social factors, which modify and contest each other and which at times achieve a kind of coexistence, underline Joseph Maviglia's poetic exploration of the multi- facetedness of Italian-Canadian experience in his first full-length collection of poems, entitled A God Hangs Upside Down. The text's stylistic diversity generates a multi-layered reading of Italianness and Canadianness and places at its centre issues about social class, the treatment of immigrant labour, the process of cultural adjustment and intergenerational conflict, and the reconstruction of an ethnic identity in the new world. However, in its discursive sophistication, A God Hangs Upside Down refuses to point to one overriding issue and instead implies that Italian- Canadianness constitutes itself as a result of and in response to numerous and constantly shifting social forces. Powering this discourse on ethnicity is the voice of the poet figure, who is an active participant in the world that is presented to the reader. s Story here

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