JOHN PIETARO, M.A. is a writer, poet, journalist, spoken word artist and musician from Brooklyn NY. A staff columnist/critic of "the NYC Jazz Record", he is currently working on a novel, “Of Seconds and Shadows”, and a photo-journalism book project “Beneath the Underground” chronicling outsider jazz and punk artists in downtown NYC. Pietaro recently a poetry chapbook, “Smoke Rings” as well as a full collection “Dancing ‘round My Atom Fire”, and is in the final stage of a non-fiction work, “On the Creative Front: Essays on the Culture of Liberation”.
Other recent credits include poetry published by International Human Rights Arts Festival (September 2019), Harbinger Asylum journal (Spring 2019), and a short fiction selection in Italian-language anthology, "Il Biglietto 2" edited/translated by Erika Dagnino (Genoa Italy: Sibello, 2018). Pietaro also self-published “Night People and Other Tales of Working New York” (2013), a book of short proletarian fiction, and wrote a chapter for Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar’s “SDS: A Graphic History” (NY: Hill & Wang 2007). Pietaro has also been a contributing writer to Z, the Nation, Levure Litteraire, the Wire (UK), CounterPunch, People's World, Political Affairs, the Industrial Worker, Struggle, the Socialist, Way Out West (Japan) and other progressive and arts periodicals. He is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Academy of American Poets, the National Writers Union, the Poetry Society of New York, the Jazz Journalists Association, the Italian American Writers Association and PEN America.
Founder, host and producer of the annual Dissident Arts Festival, Pietaro has curated numerous performance and discussion events. He’s been a guest speaker at Left Forum, the Vision Festival, Workers United Film Festival and the first annual UpSurge! JazzPoetry Festival. As a multi-instrumentalist and/or spoken word artist, he’s performed with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Amina Baraka, Karl Berger, Erika Dagnino, Ras Moshe and others. He also leads post-punk/neo-Beat duo Flames of Discontent and free jazz poetry quartet the Red Microphone; the latter collaborated with Ms. Baraka on the recording "Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone" (ESP-Disk, 2017) and a series of performance dates following that album’s release.
On the communications front, Pietaro and his wife/partner Laurie Towers founded New Masses Media as a publicity, publishing concert production company. The firm has been engaged by a variety of underground artists and independent businesses in the NYC area since 2014.
LITERATURE AS A WEAPON OF SOCIAL JUSTICE is at the core of John Pietaro’s arts philosophy. A primary influence remains the work of Leftist militant writers of the 1910s-60s, the bold auteurs of literary fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, theatre works, reportage and screen- and teleplays that forged a new day. His work is also inspired by the performance poets of the Harlem Renaissance, Beat generation and Black Arts Movement as well as New York’s punk, post-punk and downtown underground arts movements.
Websites: http://JohnPietaro.com , www.DissidentArts.com
Cell phone: (646) 599-0060
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