Send in Your DNA Today!

You might find family members you don’t know exist: half-brothers, half–sisters living not too far away to visit. Might I find a better welcome than I had? I ask other family to be tested, but they shrug. They know who they are, don’t care about the dead, don’t want to uproot trees or discover locusts, […]

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Genome Analysis

Numbered and lettered genes listed in thousands of pages. Increased or decreased risk for this or that cancer, bone strength. Three genes say I’m likely lactose intolerant (I’m not) and prone to anxiety (I am). All my genes argue about Parkinson’s and heart disease and breast cancer, good and bad, they say, without any certainty […]

About Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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Tales of Immigrant Ancestors

Another conversation with my aunt, who tells me about her father’s trip who made his crossing to America when he was fifteen. Alone, he traveled from Canicatti, no money or education, for vague hope of a better life, sponsored by his sister, my grandmother, who arrived at Ellis Island, 1917. His younger brother was a […]

About Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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Map of My Origins

My grandparents are all from Sicily, brave, unschooled souls who came through Ellis Island in their twenties, married paisans who did the same. My DNA test tells me more, smears my ancestry across all of Southern Europe to include Spain, Portugal, France, Greece. The swirl bleeds to touch Turkey, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Tunisia. Did those poor […]

About Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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Italiano

An Italian heart is an artichoke,prickly-petaled, not inviting to eat. Every leaf ends in a little nail, a claw that forces you to navigate your way to tenderness, discover a taste that lingers, on your tongue and fingertips, embedded in the mushrooms, rice, chicken simmered with it. A platter of artichokes, stuffed and drizzled with […]

About Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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Grandma Josephine

My godmother tells me stories of my mother’s mother, her aunt, called Pepina. In her forties, she climbed into a dumpster in the Bronx to scrounge for food, discovered a case of celery, but not before the dumpster was hooked up to be carted off, stopped by her screams. Grandma’s father was a daredevil, jumped […]

About Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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