The BOOK LAUNCH for One House Down launched to a standing-room only crowd of over 100 poetry-lovers and friends on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm at The University of Tampa Music Room. Director of the MFA program at UT, Erica Dawson, hosted the reading and celebration. The night opened with a poem by UT alum and friend Amanda Forrester, then moved on to a reading of three poems by Orlando Poet Laureate and friend, Susan Lilley. I read six poems from One House Down, received a standing ovation and an encore call. What a great night! Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and One House Down.
What writers are saying about One House Down:
Fred Dale for Aquifer, The Florida Review online: https://floridareview.cah.ucf.edu/article/one-house-back-from-one-house-down/
Colette Bancroft of Tampa Bay Times https://www.tampabay.com/arts-entertainment/arts/books/2019/09/27/gianna-russos-new-book-captures-a-poetic-side-of-tampa/
” filled with story-poems from the unsung American South . . . an original exploration of a very particular place.” Heather Sellers, author of You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: a True Story of Family, Face-Blindness and Forgiveness
Each poem, a song. Each song, a swoon. Ira Sukrungruang, author of In Thailand It is Night
A “wonderful collection [that] examines the emotional spaces we occupy as we strive for satisfaction, safety, and meaning.” Erica Dawson, author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God
“A precise and lovingly rendered tour of the rhythms, movements, and loves of a city and its people.” Steve Kistulentz, author of Panorama and Little Black Daydream
A “luminous, thoughtful collection [that] explores the bittersweet legacies of old Florida.” Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves
“grief, grit, guile and tenderness” Mary Jane Ryals, Poet Laureate of the Big Bend of Florida and author of Cookie and Me.
“gorgeously rich collection” Susan Lilley, First Poet Laureate of Orlando, Florida and author of Venus in Retrograde.
“a her-story in compelling rhythms” Earl Sherman Braggs, author of Negro Side of the Moon
“Looks straight at our human flaws, with warmth and generosity” Helen Wallace, Poet Laureate of Saint Petersburg, Florida and author of Shimming the Glass House
“I don’t think a story of a neighborhood has ever been told so well. I am grateful for this wonderful work.” Jeff Klinkenberg, author of “Son of Real Florida: Stories from my Life” and recipient of the Florida Humanities Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing.
“One House Down is a beautiful collection of rich poems that fully represents the conflicts and conflicting identities of the South.” Madville Publishing reviewer