Valentino Assenza has been writing and performing his poetry in Toronto for nearly two decades. He has published four chapbooks of poetry, his latest entitled “Make Our Peace With Rattlesnakes” from LyricalMyrical Press. His individual pieces have appeared in various journals and literary magazines such as Descant, Mic Check: An Anthology Of Canadian Spoken Word Artists (Quattro Books), and Labour Of Love Magazine.
Valentino was a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam team in 2009 and 2010, performing in both the Canadian Festival Of Spoken Word and the National Poetry Slam in the U.S., and for six years he ran his own poetry reading series, Cryptic Chatter, at the Renaissance Cafe on the Danforth. He sits on the committees for the Toronto Poetry Project and the ArtBar Poetry reading series.
A few of us from BWS have seen Valentino read before, and we think he’s awesome. But don’t just take it from us — we’re totally biased! Instead, hear what some of Valentino’s colleagues around the Toronto poetry scene are saying.
“A lot of spoken word has graced Toronto stages, but little has been as memorable as the work of Valentino Assenza. His charisma and fine eye for imagery shine with almost every line, while his stage presence perfectly compliments his strong text. Valentino is a poet’s poet. His writing is polished and devoid of cliche, always offering fresh nuances on experiences we’ve all gone through…”
–David Silverberg, Toronto Poetry Slam Artistic Director
“…His poetry is no holds barred, punch in the gut honesty, full of love, loss, social commentary, and personal discovery…”
–Norman Cristofoli, Labour Of Love Magazine
“…Valentino Assenza’s poetry is both luminous and wistful, but far from naive. There is a sharp worldliness in his narratives, the situations he describes with an enveloping verbose style. Through lyricism, simile, and metaphor, Valentino doesn’t just point out the unusual in the mundane, he has the reader live it and experience it for themselves.”
–Rocco De Giacomo, Leaning Into The Mountain
“…Valentino Assenza is one of the most dynamic spoken word performers on the Toronto scene today. His commanding presence and powerful voice bring life and immediacy to his poetry. Valentino passionately chronicles life’s emotional highs and lows without the defensive cynicism or cleverness that so many poets of his generation bring to their work when writing affairs of the heart…”
–Luciano Iacobelli, Quattro Books & LyricalMyrical Press
Valentino Assenza visits visits the Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 – full of beans Coffee House & Roastery, 1348 Dundas St. W., Toronto (7pm, PWYC) – along with Catherine Hernandez, Christine Miscione and Sheila Toller. Come early (6:30) for a talk by Patricia Westerhof about writers and school visits!