Here is “Librissimi”, the Italian Book Festival: from 3 to 5 May in Toronto

TORONTO – “Librissimi”, the Toronto Italian Book Festival, is coming soon in collaboration with Villa Charities and Comites Toronto: the event, which reaches its sixth edition and will take place from 3 to 5 May at the Columbus Center (901 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto), will launch this year the Librissimi Lifetime Achievement Award. The prize will be awarded to Antonio D’Alfonso (in the pic below), with a special celebration during the opening evening of the literary event.

Poet, novelist, essayist, publisher and translator, Antonio D’Alfonso has published more than sixty books (including translations) and has made five feature films. In 1978 he founded the ground-breaking Guernica Editions which he managed for over thirty years before passing it on to new owners in 2010. Through Guernica and his work as publisher and editor, Antonio D’ Alfonso has helped nurture, develop, and promote Italian Canadian writing, giving many Italian Canadian authors their first home. For his own writings, D’Alfonso won the Trillium Award and the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize. He is also an award-winning film-maker with his film “Bruco” which won the New York Independent Film Award. Antonio D’Alfonso will be honoured during the opening reception of Librissimi on Friday May 3rd, at Columbus Centre (click here for information and RSVP).

During the festival, two other “collateral” events are also planned: the festival will host the Second Di Cicco Poetry Price which will be presented during a special event on May 4th; furthermore, a collaboration has been started with the Toronto section of AIRIcerca (International Association of Italian Researchers) to develop presentations of scientific books with the aim of disseminating scientific research and this year the spotlight will be on a book about an approach innovative treatment of Parkinson’s disease written by a patient, Benjamin Schecter, with Dr. Alfonso Fasano, neurologist from Toronto.

The festival program will take place as follows: 3 May, 7pm: opening event, presentation and cocktail of the Librissimi Lifetime Achievement Award; 4 May, 7pm: presentation of the “Pier Giorgio Di Cicco” poetry prize; 4 and 5 May, from 10am to 5pm: festival programming; 5 May, 2.30 pm: programming for children.

Visitors will also be able to admire an exhibition of book covers by Italian writer Italo Calvino translated into dozens of languages, courtesy of the Italian Cultural Institute of Toronto (Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto).

Also the Department of Italian Studies of the University of Toronto collaborates in “Librissimi”.

For details on the festival’s programming, visit