Joan Albarella
About the Author

I was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in a suburb called Gardenville. Our neighbor was the artist, Charles Burchfield, and in looking back, I think the contrast between his realistic and surrealistic paintings seems a symbolic parallel to my life and writing.
                My first publications were in high school poetry anthologies. I still love the meter and conciseness of that literary form. My newest poetry collection is Again For the First Time. It follows my earlier: Mirror Me; Poems For the Asking; Women, Flowers, Fantasy, and Spirit and Joy, and over two-hundred individual poem, essays, articles, and short stories in anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers. I'm still a poetry editor for the online Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal.
                I was a teacher, acted, directed, and wrote for children’s theater, and coordinated a Performing Arts Program for a boy's detention facility. I ran a small publishing company and worked in a print shop. I spent time visiting the ashram of Guru Maharaj Ji and the home of the  Sisters of Social Service. 
                Life continued as a collection of contrasts as I worked as a Production Assistant for the Catholic Diocese radio/ television programs, then as a  journalist/photographer for their newspaper. This was where I honed my skills in researching, interviewing, and writing dialog. I returned to teaching at the University of Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center and became their first female full professor.
                My interest in oral histories led me to write firsthand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement and  two biographies. I've also finished four biographical one-woman plays: Mother Cabrini's Mission to America; Always In My Heart: the Story of St. Marianne Cope;  Light and Dark: the Story of Sr. Judith Fenyvesi, and This Little Light of Mine, The Story of Sister Karen Klimczak, SSJ.
                My Nikki Barnes Mystery Series; Agenda for Murder, Called to Kill, Close to You, and Evil examined the grittier side of life and post-war trauma. They are in the genre of amateur detective where good always prevails. I still love mysteries but my writing is more eclectic now. Sister Amnesia is a humorous modern-day allegory about finding yourself and finding home. My play, Katharine Hepburn's Brownies, is about murder and the power of friendship. Guardians of Gardenville, the Fourteen Holy Helpers is a short play about my hometown saints, and I've started taking piano lessons. Life is good. 


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