“All Lit Up!”: Lit Crawl Boston’s Immigrants in Conversation

Like a table filled with different dishes from all over, there is a beauty in what makes all of us unique. Jennifer and Julia’s interview is a great reminder as to how important it is to reach out and listen with love to the stories of those we may think are different from ourselves. Immigrants in Conversation is sure to bring people together to absorb the inspirational experiences and art of the immigrant community here in Boston. Read more about this event below and after you are done check out the schedule for Lit Crawl Boston posted on our website.

1. Tell me a bit about how your session came to be? Was there something that inspired you to form your group?

Jennifer: This was Julia’s idea. She had been hosting the Italian American Writers Association Reading Series at I AM Books for about a year when she asked if I’d co-curate/host with her. I AM Books has become the heart of Italian American writing in the city. In this day of scant independent bookstores, Nicola and the staff have created something special. And of course, the North End has always been a haven for immigrants to America—the Eastern Europeans, the Irish, the Italians. We wanted to explore, via conversation with recent immigrants, this deeply American history—especially in these fraught times. We’re trying to establish this conversation with literary works.

2. What is one thing you hope those attending Lit Crawl Boston will gain from your session?

Jennifer and Julia: We hope people will stop by, listen to some beautiful writing, and simply appreciate the conversation. And of course, we want Boston to discover this little bookstore!

3. In honor of Lit Crawl including drinks or food, what would your session be if it could be any type of drink and or type of food item?

Jennifer and Julia: Oooooh. This is tough! For a drink, we’d have to choose a nice Chianti, or a deep espresso. How about a sweet limoncello? Food? How about octopus (polpo) simmered in a red sauce (gravy???)? I’m thinking those long arms, reaching!
Actually, octopus is Jenn’s idea; Julia is embarrassed to admit as an Italian that octopus freaks her out. She prefers the circles of calamari grilled. Either way hands reaching out, circles of love!

4. Boston is such a historic and literary city! If you could have any historical figure attend your session who would it be and why?

Jennifer and Julia: We chose Margaret Fuller, who was our first full-time female journalist and critic and would have come to our event if she lived today. She reported on Italy’s unification struggles, married an Italian, and if their boat had not gone down off the shore of Fire Island, would have raised one of Boston’s earliest Italian Americans.

Thank you Jennifer and Julia, it was a pleasure getting to interview you. Now let’s get ready to “lit crawl!”

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