JOHN PIETARO is a writer, poet, spoken word artist and musician from Brooklyn NY. Columnist/critic of the NYC Jazz Record, curator of the West Village Word series at Café Bohemia, and director of the Dissident Arts Festival, his latest published work, 'The Mercer Stands Burning: Night Poems' (Atmosphere Press 2021) was completed during the covid-19 lockdown as was short fiction collection, 'Enduring Neon Moments'. In partnership with photographer Sherry Rubel, Pietaro is currently engaged in a study of NYC’s downtown experimental and post-punk underground arts, 'Beneath the Underground'. He is also in the final stage of non-fiction collection 'On the Creative Front: Essays on the Culture of Liberation'. In 2019, he launched poetry chapbook 'Smoke Rings'.
Other recent credits include several entries in the upcoming edition of 'The Encyclopedia of the American Left' (Verso 2021), poetry or fiction for the anthologies 'Who Are We?' (UK: Willowdown 2020), 'Father and I' (Wingless Dreamer, 2020) and 'Poems from the Lockdown' (UK: Willowdown, 2020), 'Il Biglietto 2' (Italy: Sibello, 2018), and journals Sensitive Skin, Lucent Dreaming, Headline Press, Rye, Genre: Urban Arts, Ovunque Siamo, International Human Rights Arts Festival and Harbinger Asylum. Pietaro also penned contemporary proletarian fiction collection 'Night People & Other Tales of Working New York' (2013) and contributed a chapter to Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar’s 'SDS: A Graphic History' (Hill & Wang 2007). Pietaro is a contributing writer to the Wire (UK), Z, the Nation, Please Kill Me, the Village Sun, Counter Punch, People's World, All About Jazz, Political Affairs, Fifth Estate and others.
A guest speaker at Left Forum and the Vision Festival, Pietaro has been a featured reader at Great Weather for Media’s Spoken Word Sundays, the Workers United Film Festival, the UpSurge JazzPoetry Festival and numerous other venues. As a percussionist, guitarist and/or spoken word artist, he’s collaborated with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Amina Baraka, Karl Berger, Steve Dalachinsky, Nora Guthrie, Erika Dagnino, Ras Moshe, Ngoma Hill, historian Paul Buhle, record producer Kramer and many more. He also fronts post-punk neo-Beat ensemble Shadows and spoken word/free jazz quartet the Red Microphone; the latter collaborated with Ms. Baraka on the recording Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone (ESP-Disk, 2017). Ms. Baraka also performed Pietaro’s “Her Side of the Road” as a dramatic reading in 2017. Pietaro is a member of the Author’s Guild, Jazz Journalists Association, Academy of American Poets and National Writers Union
Websites: http://JohnPietaro.com , www.DissidentArts.com
Cell phone: (646) 599-0060
Awards and Recognition
- Commissioned by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice to collaborate on the photo/essay book Shifting the Jazz Narrative with photographer Sherry Rubel.
Press and Media Mentions
- People's World-review of 'Night People'
- Artist Trove review of ensemble John Pietaro's Literary Warriors
- Denver Post- review of SDS: A Graphic History
- Toward Freedom-review of SDS: A Graphic History
- Buffalo New- review of SDS: A Graphic History
- San Diego Free Press -quotes from my Hazel Dickens obit
- The Handsome Ladies-quotes from my Hazel Dickens obit
- Levure Litteraire- Pietaro interview
- DooBeeDooDeeDoo-review of Dissident Arts Festival 2015
- The Journal of Poverty
- Chicago Now-quotes from my article on Rod Serling
- Open Culture-quotes from my articles on Woody Guthrie