Poems published in the following newspapers and magazines:

  The Long Islander
Budding Branches
The Taproot Journal
Country and Abroad
Performance Poets Literary Review
Sicilian Dawn
(Journal of Sicilian Folklore and Literature)
Sicilia Parra (Language and Culture of Sicily)
Lumie di Sicilia. (Cultural Association of Sicily-Florence, Italy)  
Newsday (Long Island, NY)
The Daily
Star & Mountain Eagle (Stamford, NY)
Oneonta Daily Star
(Oneonta, NY)
The Oyster
Bay Guardian & Enterprise Pilot (Oyster Bay, NY)
Long Island Poetry Calendar

The following are several of the above mentioned articles:

The Long Islander - Huntington Weekly
94-Year-Old Poet Has a Way With Words
Josephine Geluso readies to publish 5th poetry collection
By Jano Tantongco
     In the April 8, 2004 issue of The Long- Islander, Aunt Rosie wrote about Josephine Geluso, an 82-year-old woman who started writing poetry just two years earlier.
     “It never fails-- as soon as I start feeling my age, something comes along to provide a bit of inspiration and remind me that you’re never too old to start something new,” Aunt Rosie wrote.
     A year earlier, Geluso had just published her first book of poetry, “Memories Served Here.”
     Today, Geluso stands at 94, just as sharp as she ever was, and is on the heels of publishing her fifth book, “Bow To Time.” She writes every day from her Oyster Bay Cove home, just outside of the Huntington township, reflecting on the past, a seemingly endless reservoir of material at her disposal. . . Continued
Click on image to read entire article            

The Daily Star - The Newspaper for The Heartland of New York


Stamford woman, 84, to share poetry talent
By Patricia Breakey

Delhi News Bureau

STAMFORD — Writing poetry never occurred to Josephine Geluso until she was 80, she said. Now, at 84, she is working on her third book of poems.

Geluso said her first book, Memories Served Here, was published in 2003 and her second book, Flowering in December, was issued this year.

She will begin the Stamford Village Library’s Fall 2005 Reading and Lecture series at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, reading selections from her second collection.

Inspiration for her first poem came from a conversation about a photograph, Geluso said.

She said her youngest son, Greg, is a private pilot for Don Axinn, a poet, novelist and fellow pilot. She said she was talking to Axinn about a photo of an open gate with peeling paint.

"I told him, ’This photo is asking to be written in verse. Why don’t you write it?’" Geluso said. "And he said, ’Why not you?’ So I went home and started to write. The next thing I knew, I had a poem."

Axinn wrote the introduction to Geluso’s first book. He wrote, "What makes Jo. Geluso’s poetry special is the particular manner in which she will relate an experience or a feeling. It is rare that a creative talent has waited so long to be expressed. But now, it rushes forth with the vigor and excitement of youth."

Geluso said she was born in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn, where she was raised by her Sicilian grandparents, who spoke no English. She said when she began school, she spoke only Sicilian.

On Thursday, she was translating one of her poems about her grandfather’s Sicilian folk lute from English into Sicilian for publication in a Sicilian magazine.

"I’m trying to find the word for lattice," Geluso said, holding a dictionary. "I don’t remember my grandparents ever using a word for lattice. I’ve been searching for hours."

The stanza she was translating is from "Only Yesterday": "beams of sunlight/ pry through the lattice/ brush snow-white hair/ streak it silver."

She weaves funny moments into her poems. Geluso said she and her husband, Nick, have

been married for 62 years. They met when they were 11 and were childhood sweethearts, and many of her poems are about their love.

In "Old Love," she writes, "our sight failing/ our hearing diminished/ he says "squeak"/ I hear "weak"/ I call "I’m going to read"/ his response/ "I weeded this morning"/ amusing sometimes/ maddening at others/ grateful to be/ gathering years together."

Geluso said she knows she has written a good poem when someone laughs or cries at the end of her poem.

Geluso graduated from Columbia University with a degree in science. While she was still in high school, she began swimming competitively and vied for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Swimming surfaces in several of her poems, including "Shed the Tank Suit," which she described as risque.

"I said we couldn’t put that one in the book, but my editor said we had to, it was part of who I am," she said, laughing.

Geluso’s eyes filled with tears when she read poems about her sister, Carmella, who died six years ago, but lit up again when she recited another poem, "Old Enough."

As she sat on her couch, riffling through pages of poems that are known as Book Three, she said she has written about 275 poems, which are "not all good" but still have unlimited subject matter.

"I love to play with words," she said.

Refreshments will be served after Geluso’s reading.

The second event in the library series will be Oct. 1, when poet Larry Rapant will present "What Are We Laughing At? The Comic Poetry of America." All the events in the series are free and open to the public.


lumie di sicilia - numero 60                                    giugno 2007

Translation of Italian Article in Lumie di Sicilia

Josephine Geluso was informed by telephone (in NY) that another of her poems was published in our journal Lumie di Sicilia. She expressed her thanks and requested a copy of the publication. this was followed by an e-mail written in her dialect in appreciation for the publication of her poem. then a touching letter arrived which she wrote in English. It traced the life and sentiments of a second generation Italian-American.

Josephine's grandfather of Caltabellotta (Agrigento) immigrated to the United States in 1897 sent for his family four years later. Josephine was raised by her grandparents and because they hadn't learned to speak English, the only means of communication with them was the Sicilian Dialect. At 85 years - her respectable age - she regrets that "there is no one left to talk with in Sicilian"; another regret is (the fact that) she understands that since she writes phonetically there is the risk that what she writes in Sicilian might result in little understanding.

Instead there was no difficulty with the cousins she met in the later years of her life on three trips of ten days each in Caltabellotta in spite of the differences in the language from the time of her grandfather (the great universality of sicilian!). Josephine (but let's call her Giuseppina) received her degree in science and sports with high honors, at 80 years (!) drawing from the stories she heard from her grandfather, she started to write poetry with the intent of "leaving my ancestors something of their Sicilian roots ...they contain some stories of my beloved Sicily". She has already written two books well acclaimed (received) by the critics and a third is in publication. After A conzunedda di me Nanna (Grandma's Song) which she translated in Sicilian - and then the prize - *Only Yesterday, dedicated to the flute (lu friscalettu) of her grandpa of which she is the religiously faithful custodian. What else can one add to such a genuine consuming dedication of love?

*Only Yesterday (in another publication and book) written in English - translated into Sicilian


Only Yesterday

under an arbor
of sweet muscat grape
face turned upward
Grandpa plays
a melancholy tune
on his Sicilian folk flute
of a lonely shepherd

beams of sunlight
pry through the lattice
brush snow-white hair
streak it silver

calloused hands
gently move over
his treasured friscalettu
carved from sugar cane
by his grandfather
he is once again a boy
in Sicily

my little girl legs
climb beside him
on the wooden bench
rest my head
against his shoulder
wish the song to
go on forever

now I hold the flute
lovingly in my hand
wasn't it only yesterday
that I sat and listened
to that unadorned melody
and wished it would never end?


Mario Gallo's Blog                              December 7, 2012      
     The above article in Lumie di Sicilia is an English translation of an article that also appeared in Mario Gallo's online blog on 12/7/12 entitled "Caltabellotta- Brooklyn" . The article in his blog is followed by a selection of 12 of Jo's nicely illustrated poems written in English and translated into both Italian and Sicilian. Please click on the following link to view Mario's online article: