January 19 is the birth date of the remarkable Italian American poet Pascal D’Angelo. D’Angelo emigrated from Introdacqua at the beginning of the last century with a group of local men to work as manual laborers at various locations in the United States. After a number of years during which he executed grueling and underpaid and underappreciated jobs (building roadways and railways, among others), D’Angelo became intrigued by the idea of learning English well enough to write humorous sketches for his fellow “pick and shovel” men. Having achieved some success in this endeavor, he turned his ambitions in a more lofty direction and began to study to become a Romantic poet in the tradition of Keats and Shelley–and he did it. Although his poems did not appear in a host of publications and whereas he never earned serious money for his writing and died young (in wretched poverty), nonetheless his poetry did gain some favor at the time and is recognized for its quality to this day, particularly in light of the distance he traveled, metaphorically as well as geographically, from shepherd in Abruzzo to architect of sophisticated and beautiful verse in New York City. Click here to see Bordighera Press’s tribute to D’Angelo and to hear one of his poems, “The City,” recited aloud.