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NLAF 2015 Biographies

(in order of appearance)

 

The Black Lantern Experience is a Welland based arts syndicate made up of independent artists that have come together for different collaborative projects intended to advance skills, improve community perception of new art forms, and develop a market for the arts. In the spirit of developing a market for the arts the BLX Artists have come together for a project called the BLX Studio in at the Seaway Mall.

At the BLX Studio you can find paintings, photography, music, and merchandise created in Welland. Experience the culture and history of the rose city in ways that a museum could never deliver. Experience art events beyond the municipally sanctioned arts and crafts community. Experience something different and in many cases better than any other arts facility in Niagara.

For more information about the artists visit: www.blacklanternexperience.com/artist

 

Shirley Camia was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She has traveled throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Asia, sleeping alongside the rice fields of rural Japan and falling in love with Canada’s far north. She lives and writes in Toronto.

 

Ron Schafrick was born and grew up in Welland, Ontario, and studied English and history at Carleton and Concordia before travelling to Korea where he taught English for nine years.Since returning to Canada his stories have appeared in a number of journals, both in Canada and abroad. His first collection of stories, Interpreters, was generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

 

Stan Galloway teaches English at Bridgewater College in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013 and Best of the Net in 2011 and 2012. His collection Just Married (Unbound Content, 2013) focuses on early relationship lessons from the point of view of a new groom. His chapbook Abraham (Sierra Delta Press, 2012) looks at the life of the biblical Abra(ha)m and the perplexities of his experience. A Bird’s Life (Books on Blog, 2012) gathers poetic observations about, and sometimes from the point of view of, various feathered creatures. He has had more than 100 other poems published (in such places as Boston Literary Magazine, Contemporary World Literature, Muddy River Poetry Review, Red Booth Review, and vox poetica) and has also written a book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan (McFarland, 2010). He has been featured at the Niagara Literary Arts Festival (St. Catherine’s, ON) and the Turner Cassity Literary Festival (Douglasville, GA). He has a determined interest in the production and influence of poetry around the globe.

 

Top ranking romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood believes the flair for fantasy is anything the mind wishes it to be, and she is a master at this. Within her expressive mind is found an endless array of romance, passion, textures and colors to sweep the reader to exotic, faraway places where anything is possible, proving that her words really do leave you breathless.

Canadian born Blackwood grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in south-western Ontario, Canada, where she developed her love of writing while still in grade school, entering numerous  competitions  and writing exhibitions throughout her area, and attributes her love of writing to her late father James, and to Gladys Carroll, her elementary teacher. Although unprofessionally trained in the field, Rusty has always had an affinity for the written word, a gift to express it, and  has demonstrated this talent many times since becoming a serious writer in 2001.

Ms. Blackwood now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario and when not at her keyboard, enjoys art, music, nature, gardening, and spending quality time with family, friends, and her loyal cat, Tipper.

 

Eleanor Lawrie, retired flutist (Niagara Symphony) enjoys writing for a hobby. Shelby F. Squirrel is a book of 24 stories about a young flying squirrel who is curious, fun-loving, and full of adventure. He hiccups and stutters when he's upset or frightened. Other forest animals and also farm animals become his friends along the way. Colour photographs accompany each story. Growing up, responsibility and nature are subtly woven in. Wonderful reading for children aged 4 to 11. 148 pages.

 

Bryan MInnes writes stories based on the adventures of living. His stories seek to touch the readers memories, cause a smile or a pause to reflect. A retired Grandfather, now living in the Niagara Region, Bryan is self publishing his stories on Amazon Kindle. ***Preserve Your Memories, They Are All That's Left You*** Simon & Garfunkle

 

Ryan A Gaio is a 22-year old writer from Niagara-on-the-Lake. He writes about drifters and rock n roll and heartbreak, and so, he mostly writes about himself. Twice a month, he reads something that he wrote in a podcast called "Something That I Wrote," which is available on iTunes or on his website at www.ryanagaio.com

 

Sarah Burgess is currently 28 years old. She was born in November of '86 and has lived in St. Catharines all her life. At the age of 13, the back tire on her bike was hit by an oncoming train, leaving her with severe brain damage, the inability to vocally communicate, spasticity, and numerous other difficulties. Despite these challenges, she has the courage of a lion, and the heart of a saint. She has a younger brother, Ron (21), an older sister, Andrea (32), and two loving and supportive parents Barb and Doug. She also has three nieces and nephews, Daniel, Owen, and Ryleigh. Sarah has written poetry on/off since she was as young as 6, when the art was first introduced. She finds poetry to be very therapeutic for her, as she can express her inner feelings in any manner she sees fit.

Sarah enjoys many things however writing has always been the most captivating aspect. She enjoys such things as writing, reading, going for walks, voicing her opinion about any topic…. It has ALWAYS been VERY important to be opinionated as possible in her own experiences. For most of her life she has been inspired to become famous, and travel. Due to her train accident, the need to adapt and alter her dreams became a must.

 

Vibrant and dynamic, Lindsay Jack writes testaments and performs conversations. The child of three generations of French Canadien/ne textile and steel workers, s/he creates art-tools with the conviction that a person's greatest power rests in knowing where they come from and who they are. A rich, queer, gender bending coming of age experience, her poetry and storytelling is both uproarious and challenging. Above all else, it is an invitation to hope, that one day we can do more than simply survive, we can actually live. Lindsay Jack was a co-founder of the Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam and served as team captain of the Flying Vs who placed as a semi-finalists at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2012. S/he performed as a finalist at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and toured throughout Western Canada in the spring of 2013. Selected as a recipient of the Word of Mouth grant from the Ontario Arts Council, Lindsay Jack is currently developing her upcoming project about working class experiences of life and death titled "Conversations with my Father".

 

David Meaner is described as an edgy, urgent, gritty and often ‘transgressive’ short story writer with a soft heart and a sense of humour. That place where Salinger meets Cormac McCauley for tea. In well under two years of writing, his stories have been snapped up and published in several Canadian literary magazines. A publisher sought him out and produced a short story chapbook in June 2014, that sold out in 4 months. A story of his was selected for an anthology to be on-shelf this March 2015. Now, at a point where he’s well into writing his first novel, ‘Cave Drawings’. David has spent most of his life between Toronto and Montreal, but has also lived in big city England and quaint tiny village France. He studied art in New York City. David has won numerous international advertising awards for his creativity. Currently, he is back in Toronto at ‘The Beach’, writing hard and playing tennis with terrifying enthusiasm and some mediocrity.


My name is Annie Tsotas, I am 20 years old and I was born and raised in Montreal. I am a student at Concordia University, studying English Lit., and Harlequin Confessions is my first published book. At the age of 16 I started reading my poetry in cafés but since the age of 18 I have been performing and competing in poetry slams at various cafés and venues in my hometown. Writing and poetry are my prime passions and I have been working on teaching a class at an after school program, to bring awareness on the importance of art, specifically poetry and spoken word.

 

Keith Henderson has published two previous novels, (The Restoration, DC Books, 1994 and  The Beekeeper, DC Books, 1990), a collection of political essays from when he was Quebec columnist for the Financial Post (Staying Canadian, DC Books, 1997), and a prize-winning book of short stories (The Pagan Nuptials of Julia, DC Books, 2006). He led a small provincial political party in Quebec during the separatist referendum of 1995 and championed English language rights and the “poison pill” strategy of partitioning Quebec if ever Quebec partitioned Canada, positions covered in full-length articles in the Los Angeles and New York Times as well as on CBS 60 Minutes. He has had extensive media experience.

 

C.D. Onofrio is a pop songwriter and poet. His songs and concerns range in genre and influence and touch on diverse subject matter. He began writing songs at 17, when he learned to play guitar. It was natural for him to retire to a room and spend an hour or two coming up with inventions and creating songs. At one point, he read that Thomas Edison had hundreds of inventions before he had any success. This fact stuck with C.D., he has written prolifically since his first song, learning and growing as an artist and musician. He continues to learn everyday. C.D. has released two albums with Sea of Gold and Burgundy, Two Solo albums and one album with the Adores.

 

Dr Beasley has written many books of fiction and nonfiction and received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to history, art and literature.

Jean Rae Baxter writes for both adults and young adults. Her two short story collections A Twist of Malice and Scattered Light and her literary murder mystery Looking For Cardenio are for the adult reader. For young readers, she writes historical fiction to tell the story of Canada’s past. Her “Forging a Nation” series includes The Way Lies North (2007) and Broken Trail (2011), Freedom Bound (2012), The White Oneida (2014) and Hope’s Journey, which will be released in September 2015. Jean’s historical fiction has received awards in the United States and Canada.

In 2013, Marenga Publishers of Tel Aviv released a collection of her stories translated into Hebrew. The title, Hazut Mehugenet, means “Respectable Appearance.”

Patrick Bowman is the author of the Odyssey of a Slave trilogy, published by Ronsdale Press, retelling the classic Greek story of Homer’s Odyssey in three adventure novels for a teenage audience. The first book of the trilogy was nominated for a Red Maple Award by the Ontario Library Association; the second was chosen as a Top Shelf for Middle Readers selection by VOYA magazine. Patrick will be reading from the final book of the trilogy, Arrow through the Axes, released in 2014.

 

Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of four national bestselling novels, all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. It was also adapted as CBC Television miniseries and will debut as a stage musical in Vancouver in September 2015. His fourth novel, No Relation, won the 2015 Leacock Medal. His fifth, Poles Apart, hits bookstores in October 2015. The Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the 2013 Libris Award as Author of the Year.​ Terry will read from his latest novel, No Relation.

 

Janet Turpin Myers is a Canadian novelist and poet. Her début novel, Nightswimming (2013) was short-listed for the Hamilton Art's Council Fiction Prize in 2014. Her second novel, The Last Year of Confusion, was released in May, 2015. Her short story, Crashing, won 3rd place in Hamilton's 2013 gritLit Short Fiction competition and her poems have been published in ‘Hammered Out’ and ‘Tower Poetry Society’ anthologies. Her recent public appearances include: the Ottawa Writer's Festival; Hamilton's gritLIT Festival; Burlington's, Meet-the-Author series; North Words Writers' Festival in Muskoka; Hamilton's LitLive Reading Series; and Toronto's Rowers Pub Reading Series. Janet was born in Montreal and grew up in Burlington. She lives on the Niagara Escarpment in beautiful north Burlington on the edge of the woods, where, as it happens, The Last Year of Confusion is set.

 

In 2015 John B. Lee was appointed Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life and in 2004 Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford in perpetuity thus making him the only double Laureate in Canada. His work has appeared internationally in over five hundred publications, he is the recipient of over eighty prestigious awards for his writing and he is the author of nearly seventy published books. His most recent titles are Burning My Father, (Black Moss Press, 2014); Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania, editor (Hidden Brook Press, 2014); and along with JR (Tim) Struthers he guest edited a special issue of Windsor Review dedicated to work by authors inspired by Nobel Laureate Alice Munro. 2015 will see the publication of his next book The Full Measure (Black Moss Press) and he is currently collecting work for two anthologies We Travel Through Each Others Lives (Hidden Brook Press, 2016) and As We Speak (Black Moss press, 2016). He lives in a lake house overlooking Long Point Bay in Port Dover where he works full time as an author.

 

 

Amber Homeniuk works as an expressive arts therapist and sustains a variety of individual and collaborative arts practices. Her writing appears in The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, and online at Numéro Cinq, as well as in Windsor Review’s tribute to Alice Munro. Amber’s poems are anthologized in Beyond the Seventh Morning (SandCrab, 2013) and Window Fishing: The night we caught Beatlemania (Hidden Brook, 2013). Her first chapbook is Product of Eden: Field of Mice (Norfolk Arts Centre, 2013). So far this year, she’s been a finalist in the PRISM InternationalPoetry Contest and is shortlisted for Arc’s 2015 Poem of the Year. Amber lives in rural southwestern Ontario, blogs groovy outfits at Butane Anvil, and is kept by a small flock of hens.

 

John Smallwood is, yes, vaguely related to Joey going back several generations. He, John that is, is a teacher who had the honor of teaching John B. Lee’s Hockey Player Sonnets to brilliant students such as Deborah Cox in a CanLit class a few years ago, even before Keith Inman, with his scrupulous editor’s eye, picked up on a grammar error in one of Smallwood’s pieces, much to John’s continuing embarrassment. Nevertheless, John is pleased to be reading on this occasion and hopes that the audience finds the works as enjoyable as he did writing them.

 

Michael Power was born, raised and educated in Windsor, Ontario. He has an MA in philosophy and a masters degree in library science, a thirty-five-year career writing reviews, research papers, articles and history books and a retirement devoted to poetry, journal writing and correspondence. His poems have appeared in the University of Windsor Review, Voices de la Luna (San Antonio, Texas), Verse-Virtual, Pilgrim: A Journal of Catholic Experience, Slant: A Journal of Poetry, The Nashwaak Review, The Saving Bannister (vol. 29), The Shot Glass Journal, The Ultra Best Short Verse 2014 and Tower Poetry. He lives and works in Welland.

 

Alia Wall is a poet and freelance writer who lives in the one stoplight town of Smithville, Ontario. She is one of the 2014/15 recipients of the Anna Pidruchney Award for Young Writers for her poem ‘1924' and her personal essays have been published online at The Huffington Post as well as The Purple Fig.

 

Author of two chapbooks, Keith Inman’s work was shortlisted for the Being at Work Poetry Prize and the Canadian Aid Charity Literary Award. His poems have been published by Descant, Studies: An Irish Review, CV2, The New Quarterly and The Windsor Review. A first full length book, The War Poems: Screaming at Heaven, from Black Moss Press was published last fall to excellent reviews. Keith lives in Niagara.

 

Matthew R. Loney is the author of That Savage Water (Exile Editions, 2014), a collection of travel stories interwoven around the events of the 2004 Asian tsunami. His work has appeared in a range of publications, including instalments Three and Four of the Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Anthology Series, the political short fiction anthology Everything Is So Political, Plenitude Magazine, Cha (Hong Kong) and Nether Magazine (Mumbai, India). He was short-listed for the 2013 and 2014 Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Competition. He lives in Toronto.

 
Joseph Maviglia is a Toronto 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 by CBC’s The Sunday Edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Alan Ginsberg’s iconic poem Howl. His latest CD is Angel in the Rain, and his song Father, It’s Time appeared on the Juno Award-winning compilation The Gathering. His composition, Calabresella/Sooner or Later, is featured in the film The Resurrection of Tony Gitone. A selection of his poetry will be published in Italy in the anthology A Nord del Sogno (North of the Dream). His poetry collection, A God Hangs Upside Down, was published by Guernica.

Stuart Ross is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist. He is the author of about a dozen books and countless chapbooks. His story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog won the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction, and his novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew co-won the Mona Elaine Adilman Award for Fiction on a Jewish Theme in 2012. Stuart was the 2010 Writer in Residence at Queen’s University, and has led writing workshops across the country. After half a century in Toronto, he moved to Cobourg, Ontario, in 2009. You Exist. Details Follow., his seventh full-length poetry collection, was shortlisted for the Ontario Poetry Society’s People’s Poet Award and won the Exist Through the Gift Shop Award, the only prize given to an anglophone writer in 2013 by the Montreal-based l’Académie de la vie littéraire au tournant du 21e siècle.

 

Joseph Forte is the author of two children’s stories, At the Window, and most recently, Always There. He is an elementary school teacher at Mary Ward Catholic School and he continues to be inspired by the students he teaches. Joseph was born and raised in Welland, Ontario where he grew up playing competitive hockey. He is an avid fan of Canadian music and enjoys the beautiful images that written words can paint. Joseph resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario with his wife, Alejandra.

Steve Greenwood is from Niagara Falls, Ontario. He is currently finishing up his MA in English at Brock, where he has been writing about sexuality, vampires and 90’s TV shows. Next year, he will be serving as the vice president of Brock’s creative writing club, and he is excited to share some of his work with the Niagara Literary Arts Festival.

Born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, not far from the Welland Canal, Terri Favro is an award-winning freelance copywriter and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction and humour articles. Her work has been published by magazines, journals and sites, including Prism, Geist, Grain, Accenti, Lies With Occasional Truth, More and Riddle Fence, among others. Terri is currently collaborating with artist Ron Edding on a series of graphic stories based on the Facer Street area of St. Catharines. Terri lives in Toronto.

Ron Edding was born in Montreal. He was educated at Dawson College, Concordia University and the University of Western Ontario. Ron has exhibited artwork and presented performances in Canada, England, Chile, Serbia and Mexico. Along with a lifelong individual art practice, Ron has always had strong collaborative relationships with other artists and writers. His latest collaborative venture is in the area of graphic novels. For over a decade, Ron has been involved, at a variety of levels (from board room to bake sales) in Toronto’s lively world of artist run culture.

Stan Skrzeszewski is a philosopher, writer, library consultant, entrepreneur and librarian. My focus now is on curating creative projects, such as writing poetry, history, displays and performance pieces. I continue to think about public library development, entrepreneurship, trend analysis and trends in the arts. A frequent speaker in Canada and internationally on topics ranging from Canadian history, library trends, philosophical analysis, entrepreneurship, ethics, cosmopolitanism, nomadism to the animate nature of information. I tailor my presentations to each audience; rates on request.

 

John Terpstra has written nine books of poetry. The latest, Brilliant Falls, won the Hamilton Literary Award for 2014 and was short-listed for the Raymond Souster Prize. He won the Mayor’s Challenge and read two of his poems to open a city council meeting during National Poetry Month. One of those poems, Giants, is on a Project Bookmark plaque that stands on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking downtown Hamilton. He has also written 4 works of creative non-fiction. The most recent is called, The House with the Parapet Wall. An earlier work, The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, was short-listed for both the RBC Taylor Prize and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction. By trade, John is a cabinetmaker and woodworker.

 

Debbie Okun Hill is Past President of The Ontario Poetry Society and for eight years was a co-host of Sarnia's Spoken Word event. She is the recipient of two Ontario Arts Council Writers' Reserve grants and her poems have appeared in over 100 different publications including Descant, Existere, The Literary Review of Canada, Vallum, and The Windsor Review in Canada plus Mobius, Phati'tude and The Binnacle in the United States. She has read her work throughout Ontario including the Fringe Stage of the 2011 Eden Mills Writers' Festival and in April was one of 19 poets who participated in the 2015 Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour. Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) is her first full collection of poems.

 

Fran Figge's life-long love of poetry came into focus several years ago when she discovered her own writing muse. She is currently president of The Ontario Poetry Society, president of Hamilton’s Tower Poetry Society and a member of the Canadian Authors Association, enjoying reading and work-shopping with many other experienced and aspiring poets. Fran has a chapbook entitled hope and despair in the ark and Encompass II featuring her work with that of four other poets. She recently finished the editing the PoeTrain Anthology, a culmination to the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour which took a group of 20 poets from Ottawa to Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver, introducing her to many new friends. She has read and won contests from Vancouver to Toronto and is published in many anthologies. The escarpment in Stoney Creek Ontario is her calming breath, her back yard refuge and her inspiration.

 

Anne Osborne has edited five years worth of Canadian Author & Bookman, one edition of The Canadian Writer's Guide and several other books; freelanced for periodicals; taught English at Senior Elementary level for many years; produced study units in English literature and conducted teacher training for her Board of Education. In May 2006 she was appointed editor of the CAA’s National Newsline. In October 2010 she completed her term as editor. She has been writing poems for many years, and has participated actively in the Canadian Authors Association – Niagara Branch poetry group workshops for several years.

 

Mori McCrae is a fine arts graduate from The Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. She moved to Niagara in 1988. She exhibits her work in Jordan as a founding member of the Jordan Art Gallery, which opened its doors in 2001 to promote and sell fine art and craft from the region. She has completed two residencies; the first to Ireland, the second; Iceland, where she began to write poetry. Her work attempts a wholly integrated union of poetry and visual art which shies from pasted, simplistic solutions. This works fall under the title; Borderlands; the word within, and explore the fragile, temporal nature of the body and the eternal nature of word.

 

Jade Alyssa Wallace is a St. Catharines writer living in Toronto who divides time between sleeping, drafting stories, working at a legal aid clinic, and being part of a band called The Leafy Greens that does ukulele covers of metal songs.

 

TERRY TROWBRIDGE is a Ph.D. candidate in Socio-Legal Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario. His research focuses on St. Catharines, Ontario, the city in his poem.

 

Daniel Perry is the author of Nobody Looks That Young Here, a short-story collection forthcoming from Guernica Editions. His fiction has been short-listed for the Carter V. Cooper Prize, and has appeared in more than 30 publications including The Dalhousie Review, Exile, Riddle Fence, Black Heart Magazine (U.S.)Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Little Fiction, The Prague Revue (Czech Rep.), and the Stone Skin Press anthology The Lion and the Aardvark (U.K.). He lives in Toronto, and on Twitter @danielperrysays.

 

Nafée Nelly Faïgou is a Poet, novelist, Playwright, literary critic, actress, director, and artistic director (works mostly in french, but does work in English as well).

 

Despite a rather secular early childhood, since the tender age of ten, Roberto Angelis was raised under the shadow of a fundamentally restrictive cult. An old world religion steeped in tradition, filtered through a graceless love, rooted in fear. Thus caged, stripped of song and clipped of wing, the young Roberto was most vehemently denied the opportunity to further explore his multi-faceted artistic gifts, or simply experience a normal childhood, and the freedom of choice which might have been found just outside the insidious confines of the order.

As an adolescent growing up, denied the influence of television, radio, literature, to wit, any form of mainstream media whatsoever, Roberto found himself secretly penning his mind's escape from the vicious cycle of violent conditioning and abuse. Reaching ever deeper despite his surroundings, creating beautifully broken poetry where vile words were spoken, retreating further still into his tormented being, and immersing himself within the sweetest symphony of sound, with every connecting blow. Drowning out the curses, fists, and buckles, with angelic harmonies, celestial woodwinds, and sadly sometimes, red violins.. Convincing himself that it could not be, that this was somehow all just a bad dream which couldn't really be happening. Knowing all too well that if he were to speak out, were he to mention anything to anyone at all, the violence would only become worse. Much, much worse. Thus, compelled, he went deeper still within himself, as he continued to write out the closet whispers of his innermost being.

After an indescribable period of suffering, and many tumultuous years of struggling to overcome the demons of his past, there is little wonder why the Poet's tenacious grasp of hook and rhyme bleed with a devotion to life, and freedom seldom heard.

Roberto has been described as a truly unique and groundbreaking presence on the music and art scene, whose main influences and inspirations are not necessarily those of our modern culture, rather a truthful portrayal of an innocence lost. A paradoxical missive upon a steep and thorny road less travelled, tinged with a preternatural haze more often felt than seen. Remnants of the antagonist and protagonist vying for position within the man, as clawing shades of grey warring within an ancient, ravaged soul.

In his own words Roberto once described his cathartic journey as, 'A quest to find God.. I endeavor to embrace the unsung beauty I find strewn amongst the broken pieces of my life, writing the songs and painting the pictures which well up within me.. not necessarily because I want to, for the colors I'm drawn towards are rather those born of conviction... Indeed, I feel compelled somehow, some would venture to say possessed.. This thing they call a gift, has often come at a price-less-ness verging upon suicide.. A gift to be certain, as I earned it not, but perhaps also more of a staggering burden, and less of a blessing.. Although one simple turn of phrase might inspire yet another, it would seem I die a little with each line.'

Roberto's hauntingly distended vocal texture, combined with his lyrical genius and infectious phrasing, testify to a brutal truth. An axiom at times jagged and hard to swallow, yet so often sweet, brimming with pregnant promise for a brighter tomorrow. Perhaps more poignantly, Roberto's music resonates within the deeper chambers and unswept places of the heart. It speaks to those who are willing to walk a mile upon the sands of self discovery, place their crutches aside and lay down their implements of war. It beckons with subtlety, bidding us come closer, begging unanswered questions of ourselves, daring us to stand nude before the blinding reflection of the mirror on the wall.

Often spiritual, yet ever plagued with the frailty of our human condition, Roberto's melodic musings take the listener on an emotional kaleidoscope of color and passion as could only be woven by one who has laughed and cried with you, held your hand, and called you friend.