Contributors of Issue 5: “…the old fallback: computer solitaire until writing slips in on its own.”

Summer 2015 Issue 5

TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS: Tell The Sigh Press an indispensible component to your creative practice.


FRANCESCO CHIACCHIO lives and works in Florence. His drawing and collages have illustrated books, cds, posters, comics and more. From 2010-2012 he was the cultural illustrator for the newspaper La Repubblica, Florence. In 2010 he made images for the multimedia project X (Suite for Malcolm), composed by saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti for his “Tinissima Quartet,” which was performed in Europe and in the US. In 2013 Florence art gallery Il Ponte di Firenze, together with Galleria Tornabuoni, co-curated an exhibit of his work, Il segno come racconto (The Narrative Line).

BEFORE BEGINNING TO WORK, I try in vain to free my mind of insecurities, of expectations, of that damned performance anxiety that blocks the hand and distances ideas. In order to do this, I give myself over to the pages of my sketchbooks where there is complete freedom and I can lose myself in dense marks or swim in pools of color, forgetting all sense of time, age, logic, without following a set goal, until I touch the bank of concentration.


D. S. BUTTERWORTH teaches literature and creative writing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Algonquin Books published his creative non-fiction book, Waiting for Rain: A Farmer’s Story. Lost Horse Press published his books of poems, The Radium Watch Dial Painters and The Clouds of Lucca.

WHEN I WRITE I have to be present enough in the world to feel it call for me to do it justice, and present enough to the words that I can feel them push back.

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SINÉAD BEVAN: I am an Australian who escaped to Florence several months ago as a good excuse to get out of going to school. (I was the teacher.) I really like making people laugh.

I AM WILDLY UNDISCIPLINED when it comes to writing. Rather than invite the words in at first knock, I ignore them until they are banging down the door. When they turn aggressive and demand to be penned, I am usually on the bus. Or the loo. So most of my scribblings are born on a bus ticket. Or a roll of toilet paper.

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JEFF SHAPIRO, born and raised in Massachusetts, is a former columnist for the UK edition of Cosmopolitan and has had non-fiction articles published in New Society and International magazine. He has authored two novels, Renato’s Luck (with movie rights optioned to Mango Productions, Inc.) and Secrets of Sant’Angelo. He teaches English at the Università Popolare Senese, and Creative Writing at Siena School for Liberal Arts and the Siena Art Institute. A resident of Italy since 1991, Jeff and his wife, Italian singer Valeria Indice, live outside Siena. He is currently at work on his third novel.

Siena School for Liberal Arts

Siena Art Institute

Università Popolare Senese 

MUSIC. SOMETHING GOOD and hypnotic—Bach, more often than not—to smooth the bridge from worldly stuff into the daydream of whatever I’m working on. If that doesn’t do the trick, there’s the old fallback: computer solitaire until writing slips in on its own


LYALL HARRIS is an artist and writer who travels back and forth across bodies of water, with lives in Italy and the US. She is a published poet and critical writer and her artwork has been widely exhibited and recognized with numerous awards. Her book art can be found in Special Collections across the United States. She co-founded The Sigh Press in 2014.

MY CREATIVE PRACTICE, it seems, depends on having more than one thing going on, in fact several, at any one time: a series of paintings, at least two new book art projects, editioning earlier books, writing weekly poetry, organizing community art events, publishing a literary quarterly, and remembering to make dinner for the family.