Lori Sebastianutti is a writer and teacher from Stoney Creek, Ontario. Her experiences as the child of Italian immigrants growing up in Hamilton figure considerably in her creative nonfiction, as do her struggles with anxiety, depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and sensorineural hearing loss. Central to the essay collection she building is how first-generation settler Canadians try to navigate spiritual and cultural traditions in the face of the mandate to build a new world that is sustainable, equitable, and just.
As a daughter of the Italian diaspora, Lori is acutely aware that she is not simply writing for herself but for her female ancestors—known and unknown who never had the chance to learn to read or write. Political systems such as feudalism and fascism and the economic devastation brought on by World War II left them with few options. Through her, their stories will be told.
Lori’s goal in her nonfiction is to tell personal stories with detail and candour, allowing the reader to identify with her experiences. By chronicling the tales of a woman straddling two cultures in one dynamic city, she hopes that her essays resonate with others, generate awareness and empathy, and spark action for social change.
Lori’s essays have been published in Canadian and American journals, including The Hamilton Review of Books, The Humber Literary Review, The New Quarterly, Nurture, Porcupine Literary, and Serotonin Poetry, among others. Her award-winning essay “Cutting Ties and Letting Go” is forthcoming in An Anthology of Canadian Birth Stories, published by Praeclarus Press.