John Calabro was born in Sicily and lived in France from 1955 to 1966, at which point he came to Canada and became a Canadian Citizen. John is an educator, publisher, cultural entrepreneur, a published author and lives in Toronto. He Taught Business Studies and English, becoming Curriculum Leader with the Toronto District School Board, from where he retired. John Calabro was one of the founding members of the reading series, Toronto WordStage (2005-2008), a well-received reading series, supported by the Canadian Council for the Arts, dedicated to all types of literary works. He is a founder, past president and former publisher of Quattro Books, a publishing house that specializes in poetry and novellas (2006-2013). He lectured and wrote extensively on the Novella as a literary genre and attended various Canadian and International Book Fairs in support of Canadian Literature. He is the founder and past president of the Association for Art and Social Change, which created QSPACE (2012-2014) an artistic event space, and which produced Inspire, Toronto International Book Fair (2014-2015). He was the founder of AMIA, the Association for Music and Innovative Arts (2012-2019), produce of the Prism Prize, a music award show that rewards Canadian Music Video which continues today under the direction of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Retired, he now dedicates his time to writing. John is fluent in English, French and Italian.
· Bellecour, a novella, published in May 2005 by Guernica Editions. 88 pages
o Bellecour named by the Globe and Mail First Fiction Reviewer as one of the top 5 First Fiction in 2005.
§ Jim Bartley of the Globe and Mail called Bellecour, “… a small masterwork of erotic candour and psychological acuity.”
o Film Treatment created my Moze Mossanen (The film Bellecour did not get produced due to Financing issues)
· The Cousin, a novella, published in October 2009, by Quattro Books. 144 pages
“The Cousin is a delightful novella. Calabro’s style is gentle and effortless, his character creation so absorbing and so right on, and of course it is a great narrative, so surprising, so bizarre, and yet so honest.”
– Sky Gilbert, author of An English Gentleman and Brother Dumb
“Calabro’swork erases the line between the ordinary and the haunting, as if he has peeled back the skin of the real to make it ‘realer.’”
– Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints and The Origin of Species
“John Calabro’s The Cousin is the best written and the most successful at exploiting the form [of the Novella]
– Quill and Quire, December 2009
“The Cousin is essentially a tale of unmasking the truth. The language is crisp and clear and the Sicilian setting is beautifully recreated in fresh realistic brushstrokes… The Cousin’s use of sexuality is an original look at finding the truth about your roots and identity… the book sizzles with erotic power.”
– Prairie Fire
“Travelling between diverse dimensions, in his book, The Cousin, John Calabro offer startling images, disquieting insights into Freudian-like psyches, sexually distinctive experiences, and culturally nostalgic and realistic sentiments of a Sicily of the present and the past.”
– Marco Lettieri, University of Wisconsin-Madison
· Le Cousin, a French translation of The Cousin, published by Lévesque Editeurs (Quebec) in 2012. 158 pages
o Short listed for a Governor General’s Award.
· An Imperfect Man, published in June 2015, by Quattro Books. 138 pages
· Un homme imparfait, A French Translation of An Imperfect Man, to be published by Lévesque Editeurs (Quebec) in spring 2017.
Short Story Collections
· Somewhere Else, a collection of short stories, published in October 2006 by LyricalMyrical Press. 54 pages
· ”My Uncle Angelo” and A glass of Wine”: two short stories, published in Italian Canadiana Volume 18 (University of Toronto) pages 82-90
o “[The short story A glass of wine is] … a subtly subversive piece of fiction.” – Descant
· “The Turret”: a short story, published in Strange Perigrinations, 2007, (The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Studies, U of T)
· “Awake in Memory”: a short story, in Sweet Lemons II in 2010, published by Legas.
· “Interview with Ray Robertson”, an interview, published in Books In Canada, Jan/Feb 2006.
· “Who speaks for the children?” an essay, published in Italian Culture in the New Millennium (University of Toronto 2009)
· “Taking the Novella out of the Canadian Closet”: an essay, Maple Tree Literary Supplement. Issue #10 | Sept - Dec 2011