Bensonhurst native John Biscello is an author, poet and playwright and has been living in Taos, New Mexico, for the past 11 years. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Biscello is returning home to share some authentic Brooklyn-inspired stories from his latest work, Broken Land, A Brooklyn Tale.
Despite spending the last decade far away from anything resembling a good pizza or bagel, Biscello said that the borough and Bensonhurst has never left him.
“There’s always this Brooklyn ‘movie’ running inside me, 24-7, that I can tune in to,” he told the Daily Eagle. “The Brooklyn–inside-me has grown stronger, sharper, more visceral… it’s had time to transform into fiction and personal mythology.”
The Daily Eagle describes the nature of Biscello’s story, which center around the spirit of Bensonhurst and the stories he heard on the street:
Biscello says that his stories are largely inspired by the “character” of his old neighborhood. He recalls Bensonhurst – largely inhabited by working-class Italian-Americans – as having “saltiness, grit, coarseness, and aggressiveness, not to mention the underlying sensitivities and desperation.” Biscello notes that hanging out with his friends, who would rap and tell stories on the streets and in the park, was helpful in developing his ear for dialogue, language, and storytelling. “Some of the greatest oral storytellers and comedians I ever encountered were kids I knew and hung out with when I was younger,” he contends.
Those looking to catch Biscello share some of his tales can find him at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street) on Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m. for a reading and book signing. Biscello will be joined by fellow author and poet Michael Ferrara. Admission will be free. If you can’t make it to the KGB Bar, Biscello will also appear at the Cornelia St. Café (29 Cornelia Street) on Wednesday, July 3. Lisa Marie Basile will join Biscello a this event and the $8 admission will include one drink.