Luciana Ricciutelli 1958-2020

The Miramichi Reader is saddened to announce that Luciana Ricciutelli, Editor-in-Chief of Inanna Publications of Toronto has passed away. She and Inanna were such vital supporters of TMR while it was in its infancy. She, along with their extraordinary publicist, Renee Knapp, kept a constant flow of new releases coming our way over the years. It was through them that I was introduced to such remarkable authors as Lisa de Nikolits, Carole Giangrande, Valerie Mills-Milde, Anita Kushwaha, Sonia Saikely and many, many others. They had a knack for knowing good writing and for standing behind their authors, as only a small, personally invested small press publisher can.

It was only eleven days ago that she and I were sharing an email correspondence regarding Inanna’s advertising with us into 2021. She concluded her email with this thought:

…thanks so very much, for everything you do! and especially for your kind support of Inanna! all the very best to you, luciana

ps. i think we might advertise a special for xmas … will get back to you about this …

luciana

Of course, I never heard back, but it wasn’t unusual for her. Sometimes she would respond immediately, other times, you just knew she has so many balls in the air that something had to be dropped for the time being. She wasn’t the type to totally forget, so I waited for a response…

On her obituary page here, there are many beautiful sentiments expressed by her friends and authors. I would like to share some.

“I am so saddened by the news of Luciana’s passing. As an editor, she was tirelessly giving and generous. Her personal warmth would rival the sun. In so many ways, she was fearless and inspiring, and simply put, she made the world a better place.”

Valerie Mills-Milde

“I could not have asked for a better Editor-in-Chief; she was so supportive and encouraging. One of the warmest and kindest women I have ever met.” 

Heather Babcock

“Luciana was a powerhouse. A superb editor and a champion of women’s writing. She launched so many fresh new voices and reserved a space for older women writers who are often overlooked in publishing.”

Ami Brodoff

I would like to conclude this small memorial to Luciana by sharing this photo that is so typical of her: standing with and supporting two of Inanna’s authors, Carole Giandgrande and Lisa de Nikolits. Happy times!

Luciana (center) with Carole Giangrande (left) and Lisa de Nikolits (right) at Toronto’s Word on the Street, 2014

To read a 2020 interview with Luciana, please visit this link: An interview with Luciana Ricciutelli, editor-in-chief of Inanna Publications, the oldest feminist literary press in Canada : Women Writers, Women’s Books (booksbywomen.org)

Inanna Publications has a post honouring Luciana which you can read here: Honouring Luciana Ricciutelli, Editor-in-Chief – Inanna Publications

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James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. Started in 2015, The Miramichi Reader strives to promote good Canadian books, poets, and authors, as well as small-press publishers, coast to coast to coast. James works and resides in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife and their dog.

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