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Chichetto, James William 1941-

Chichetto, James William 1941-


Born June 5, 1941, in Boston, MA; son of Frank A. (a lawyer and realtor) and Christina (a realtor) Chichetto. Ethnicity: "Italian/English/Irish/Scot." Education: Stonehill College, B.A., 1964; College of the Holy Cross, M.A., 1968; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, M.A., 1978; also attended University of Chicago and Catholic University of America. Politics: Independent. Hobbies and other interests: Sketching, painting, walking, travel.


Home—North Easton, MA. Office—Stonehill College, 320 Washington St., North Easton, MA 02357. E-mail—[email protected]


Ordained Roman Catholic priest of Congregation of the Holy Cross (Congregatio a Sancta Cruce; C.S.C.); missionary and assistant pastor in Peru, 1968-72; Holy Cross High School, Waterbury, CT, teacher and chaplain, 1976-81; Stonehill College, North Easton, MA, incorporator and professor, 1982—, fellow, 2006—. Wheaton College, Norton, MA, chaplain. Member of Easton Cultural Council, 1992-97, and Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.


World Literary Academy (fellow), Association of Literary Critics and Scholars, Poets and Writers, National Association of Humanities Education, Connecticut Literary Forum, Holy Cross History Conference.


Grants from National Endowment for the Arts, 1981, 1983, and National Endowment for the Humanities, 1993, 1994; Sri Chinmoy Poetry Award, 1986.


Poems, Commonwealth Press, 1975.

Dialogue: Emily Dickinson and C. Cauldwell, Commonwealth Press, 1975.

Stones: A Litany, Four Zoas Press (Boston, MA), 1981.

Gilgamesh and Other Poems, Four Zoas Press (Boston, MA), 1983.

Homage to Father Edward Sorin, Connecticut Poetry Review Press (Stonington, CT), 1997, revised edition, 1998.

Dream of Norumbega: An Epic Poem on the United States of America, Saybrook House (Stonington, CT), Volume 1, 2000, Volume 2, 2005.

Reckoning Genocide: Poems on Native Americans, Indian Heritage Council (Morristown, TN), 2002.

Author of the plays "The Bakers' Wind," 1990; and "Emily Dickinson and Sitting Bull on Dakota." 1999. Work represented in anthologies, including Anthology of Magazine Verse Yearbook and American Poetry, Monitor Book (Beverly Hills, CA), 1988; Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, Texas Tech Press (Lubbock, TX), 1991; What the Rough Beast: Poems at the End of the Century, Ashland University Press, 1999; and Perversions of Justice: Indigenous Peoples and Englo-American Law, City Lights Press (San Francisco, CA), 2003. Contributor of more than 300 poems, articles, translations, and reviews to periodicals, including Manhattan Review, Colorado Review, Boston Phoenix, Paterson Review/Footworks, Tablet of London, Other Side, Christian Century, National Catholic Reporter, Plains Poetry Journal, and America. Editor and illustrator, Connecticut Poetry Review; assistant editor, Gargoyle.


James William Chichetto once told CA: "As a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, I am very interested in faith and history. In this regard, I am interested in the history of the United States, especially in relation to the indigenous peoples of the Americas and African Americans. I write to make sense of my own life and of the life around me. I'll read anything I can get my hands on in history, religion, and literature. That would include work by Barbara Tuchman, Kevin Phillips, David McCulloch, John Eisenhower, Kevin Spicer, Timothy Johnson, Dee Brown, Ward Churchill, Joseph Ellis, Dante, Emerson, Whitman, all of Shakespeare, Robert Peters, Edwin Honig, Richard Wilbur, Milton, Yeats, Dickinson, and everything Harold Bloom has ever written. Bloom is just great.

"I write all the time in my head, as if hearing my own silence through different characters. When I have time, I put down their voices on paper.

"I write on the subjects I have chosen because I am fascinated by all of them. Maybe I'm obsessed by them. It's as if they extend their hands to me daily and pull me toward them to discern something they left unsaid, behind their unfinished lives. That makes sense to me.

"I still write as I have always written in the past. I write in longhand, in notebooks. The epic poem I am editing now was written ten years ago. I just sit on it and take my time trying to figure it out before making any new changes. I am pleased, too, that one of my mentors, Robert Peters, called the epic ‘a contemporary masterpiece, an epic unrivaled in American literature.’ I think it is, too, or will be once it gets out there, all eight volumes of the poem."

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