New York State Poet Laureate Emeritus, Joseph Tusiani,
was a 2008 Columbus Celebration Honoree. He was also a
devoted brother to our Foundation Member, Michael Tusiani.
Joseph Tusiani was an acclaimed poet and writer in four
languages. Born in San Marco in 1924, he earned a doctorate
from the University of Naples in 1947 with a thesis on
William Wordsworth. Later that year, he emigrated from
Italy to the United States where he began his career as a
successful academic.

Tusiani was the author of numerous collections of poetry.
His Latin works included Melos Cordis (1955), Rosa Rosarum
(1984), In Exilio Rerum (1985), and In Nobis Caelum (2007). In
Italian, he was the author of (among other works) Lo Speco
Celeste (1956), Odi Sacre (1957) and Il Ritorno (1992). Earlier
English collections of note were Rind and All (1962), The Fifth
Season (1964) and Gente Mia and Other Poems (1978).
One of his later English collections, A Clarion Call, was
published in 2016. Columbus Citizens Foundation had the
great honor of distributing signed copies to our High School
and College Scholarship recipients the year of its
publication.

Tusiani will be remembered for his Italian, English, Latin and
Apulian poetry and the numerous awards and accolades he
received for his work. In 1954, he was the first American to
receive the Greenwood Prize of the Poetry Society of
England. In 1986, The American Association of Teachers of
Italian nominated him as the first recipient of the AATI
Distinguished Service Award. In 2007, he was presented
with the Keys to the City of Florence for his contributions to
the English-speaking world’s knowledge of Florentine poets
from Dante and Boccaccio to Petrarch and Machiavelli.

Joseph Tusiani's 2008 CCF Gala Speech



A Tribute To Professor Joseph Tusiani - Introduced by Board Chairman Angelo Vivolo. Featuring readings from Kathleen Chalfant and Annette Bening