Author Jhumpa Lahiri Presents Winners of 2013 Italy Writes Contest

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On June 20, a crowd of enthusiastic guests, students, faculty and 2013 Italy Writes contest winners accompanied by their parents and teachers welcomed Writer in Residence Jhumpa Lahiri.

Italy Writes is John Cabot University’s English-language writing competition for Italian high school students. Included on its panel of judges are professors from one of America’s most highly-ranked creative writing centers, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.

This year, Italy Writes received 123 entries from 41 different Italian ‘licei’ from from Turin to Naples. Students were given free choice of a topic and a 1000-word limit.

Professor Tara Keenan, interim English Department chair announced the Italy Writes Winners and Ms Lahiri presented them with their certificate and prize.

The Italy Writes 2013 Awards are:

In the category of Non-Fiction:

  • 1st Place – ‘”The Colors of History” by Vittoria Borghese, from Liceo Statale “Dante Alighieri,” Rome
  • 2nd Place – “Children are the Future – Let’s Educate Them'”by Laura Giani, Liceo Classico “Sant’Apollinare,” Rome
  • 3rd Place – “The World as the Waste of a Perfect Idea” by Roberta Cardone, Istituto Statale di Istruzione Superiore “Enrico de Nicola,” Naples

In the category of Fiction:

  • 1st Place – “Atacama Blues” by Gilda Carlotta Isernia, Liceo Ginnasio Statale “Virgilio,”, Rome
  • 2nd Place – “Reach for the Sky” by Alessia Auricchio, Liceo Ginnasio Statale “Gaetano De Bottis,” Ercolano (Naples)
  • 3rd Place – “The Paper Airplane Island” by Valeria De Lucia, Liceo Classico Statale “Luciano Manara,” Rome

In recognition of the endeavor of these talented young writers who have succeeded in expressing themselves so well in a foreign language, Pulitzer-prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri read a message in Italian that she composed especially for them.

Read Ms. Lahiri’s message.

The Italy Writes Award Ceremony was followed by an on-stage ‘Conversation and Reading with Writer in Residence Jhumpa Lahiri’ in which Italian writer Francesca Marciano and JCU professor George Minot, interim director of JCU’s Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation, engaged Ms Lahiri in a conversation about her work. The conversation included a discussion of writing in a language other than one’s own and the new source of creativity that is tapped during this process.

The event concluded with a reception and book-signing opportunity in the Lemon Tree Courtyard.