The Blue Room

2013 Cabot Trail Writers Festival Press Release

Musical Book Launch Celebrates Art and Poetry of Carlo Spinazzola

Carlo Spinazzola was a poet, songwriter, musician and visual artist. Now, 10 years after his death at the age of 33, his brother Angelo has teamed with Cape Breton University Press to publish the Blue Room, a collection of Carlo’s art and poetry. As Angelo explains, in the Spinazzola house where they grew up, there was a blue room where ‘Carlo sometimes found inspiration and outlet. After his death, the blue room housed an eclectic array of his art, instruments, notebooks and clippings.’ Blue is also a mood, a state of mind, and Carlo struggled with the blues. The blues is music, and Carlo was a superb musician who played it well and understood its source. From that blue place in his soul, Carlo drew a wealth of art, poetry and music. As friend and fellow musician and artist Otis Tomas writes in the book’s foreword, ‘Carlo and his blues lived together, and together they created for us a powerful legacy of words, music, art and memory.’ Or as Carlo himself wrote: ‘Twist until the light squeezes out the ends’.

Carlo once described himself as a ‘fine roots artist, primitive in line and colour as well as raw in verse and melody.’ In the Blue Room, Carlo’s poetry mingles with line drawings, sketches and vivid colour plates of his powerful, haunting paintings. Mike Hunter, Editor in Chief at Cape Breton University Press, writes that ‘this book, in a way, now has the same purpose that the blue room once had; it contains some of the art that the room once housed, and it is our hope that the book will continue to inspire people the way Carlo did.’

Angelo and Mike will host Tales from the Blue Room, a book launch and ceilidh, at the Gaelic Singers Hall, 43594 Cabot Trail, Breton Cove, on Friday, October 18, at 3 pm. This event is sponsored by the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and is a Celtic Colours Community Event. There will be a light lunch provided by the Dancing Moose Café. And of course there will be music. Angelo is an accomplished musician and songwriter, as was his brother Carlo. It seems only fitting to celebrate Carlo’s literary and artistic legacy with music and song. Everyone is invited to bring their musical instruments and join Angelo and friends in exploring Tales from the Blue Room.

by Sue McKay Miller