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A Cup of Coffee with Poet Rocco de Giacomo

I met up with poet Rocco de Giacomo at the Java House last week to talk about his new poetry collection Leaning Into the Mountain. De Giacomo, 34, was nice enough to give me a free copy.

Influenced by contemporary poets, de Giacomo enjoys the book Know Your Monkey by Elyse Friedman and doesn't deny having Allen Ginsberg's audio recording of America on his ipod.

"When I was 21, I had a really rough two months and during that time, the actual writing helped me get through it," de Giacomo said. "As I took writing more seriously, I realized how much more natural it was for me to do it."

De Giacomo was born in Toronto and is Canadian and Italian. His "rush" in poetry is travel writing, which is evident in how he compares being home to feeling like home. He has lived in Vancouver and Korea during the years he was trying to find himself.

"I prefer my 30s over my 20s, because in my twenties I was trying to find myself, so I was looking for other places to live, but I have lived in Toronto majority of my life."

Published by Fooliar Press, Leaning Into the Mountain is an 18-poem book, filled with honesty and enlightenment. The cover is a light brown colour and appears to be simple, however the context inside is complex and at times so memorable it's beautiful.

De Giacomo's descriptions in his poems are well written and after reading his words I thought, "Wow, I have been here before."

He writes in the poem All The Sunny Places: "Lurching through the heat / to the nearest bar, our hearts / beating so loudly / we can no longer whisper."

Recently married to a wonderful lady, De Giacomo is the Editor-In-Chief of Latchkey.net, which is a Canadian e-zine dedicated to poetry, art, music and other forms of literature.

De Giacomo will be reading at the Art Bar, upstairs of the Victory Cafe on Tuesday, Nov.28. He admits he was terrified during his very first poetry reading in 1997 at the University of Toronto, but since then De Giacomo has become much more comfortable with his stage presence.


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