“Freedom is being able to get an equal good education as everyone else. Freedom is being looked at as a person an individual someone who matters. Freedom is not the color of my skin or where I live. Freedom is being able to make mistakes and learn from them.” – from a participant in City Gospel Mission’s Journey in Words, a writing circle for men in transition.
Annette Januzzi Wick. Author, Writer, Facilitator and Mother. Annette embarked on her own journey in words in a ninth grade English class. Students were asked to write a superhero story. As an Italian whose nickname was “Netti”, she drew her inspiration from her background and developed a character named “Netti Spaghetti.” When Annette decided all superheroes needed a sidekick, she created a supporter named, “The Meatball Kid.”
The story was lost in the crush of many moves to college and beyond. But, Annette shares, “What I remember most, was that Netti Spaghetti was me, in a way, and stood for what I wanted in the world. It was my first experience of using my writing as a stand-in for me.”
Over the years, her college English prof inadvertently praised Annette’s personal essay, “A Sunday Drive,” based on experiencing her grandfather’s death, while he lay in the hospital room. “It was my first look at loss.” Later, when her first husband died of cancer and she published her memoir, “I’ll Be the Car”, Annette came to a stark realization. “The event was so traumatic and my spoken words often failed me. But my pen never did. Now, every story I write is written from that lens.”
Today, Annette is a writer, teacher, blogger and poet. She sees herself making connections in the community, to people, places and particulars. Her work spans across many fields, including dementia, homelessness, city living and sometimes, politics.
She contributes to Movers and Makers and online dementia publications, and facilitates workshops with organizations across the city, including the Art Museum and the Alzheimer’s Association. Annette is currently a board member of the Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society and member of Impact 100, Over-the-Rhine Community Council, and a long-time tutor for St. Francis Seraph’s students.
Where to find her
Annette works with various entities to organize writing events, facilitate dialogues and publish, in many forms, the words of others. Visit her Events/Workshops link, for more information on “Connecting in Community.” See Women Writing for (a) Change, to learn more about a creative, feminist writing center dedicated to inspiring and lifting up the individual voice while developing a sense of community in which to share those words.
- Her latest novel under construction, currently titled, “Find You in the Sun” is about the power of music to rescue our memories even when we’ve lost our minds. Visit Find You in the Sun for a real-life preview!
- Read her memoir, I’ll Be in the Car: One Woman’s Story of Love, Loss and Reclaiming Life. Visit I’ll Be in the Car Amazon page.
- Check out her 30 day journey, which includes reflections, poetry and resources, in recognition of Alzheimer’s Awareness month at Dementia Dilemma.
- Her most recent blog has everything you always wanted to know about adjusting to city living in Over-the-Rhine. Getting’ My City On. She is currently walking all 52 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods, to find what makes each relevant to her. Follow #GettinMy52On for more.
- Story Machinery is a social media site for local writers to connect with venues and outlets for their words.
- Annette also produces content for Movers & Makers, an online and print publication dedicated to highlighting the positive outcomes of those who work in Cincinnati. Read more here….
- Find more information on books, workshops and blogs, under “Events/Workshops/Services.
- Late April, Annette co-led a workshop with Diane Debevec, at the Cincinnati Art Museum, in conjunction with the Poetry of Place exhibit.
- On February 25, together with Cincinnati’s Poet Laureate Pauletta Hansel, Annette co-led a writing circle for caregivers of loved ones experiencing dementia. This workshop was the second in a series, co-hosted with the Alzheimer’s Association of Cincinnati. Read more here.
- On February 6, March 10 and April 10, and May 8, stop by Arnold’s Bar and Grill for another Meaningful Monday: Women Poets in the Courtyard. Annette is co-creator for these events, using her connections to promote the words of women in the city. More in Fall, 2017.
- Annette was a featured poet at WWfaC V-day event, February 10, 2017. Visit womenwriting.org for more details.
- On April 11, 2016, Annette appeared on Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva.
- Look for Annette at Books by the Banks, October, 2017.
- She meets regularly with Write Me, I’m Yours, an outgrowth of her work with young adults with developmental disabilities. WMIY is a community writing group where all are invited for coffee and words.
- She is a three-year mentor for Community of Stories, a gathering of high school students and social services clients to connect and understand.
- She attended 2016’s Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, hoping a little bit of Erma rubbed off on her writing.
Publishing & Poetry
- Annette’s blog was recently features in Movers and Makers.
- Poem in Picture – March, 2016, Movers and Makers.
- Her essay about a mother with dementia, a precursor to “Find You in the Sun” was awarded an Honorable Mention by Sinclair Community College.
- Her poem, Sister in Memoir, was named second place for the Greater Cincinnati Writer’s League.
- Annette has been a featured contributor to Alzheimers.net, promoting less hospitalization and more understanding for those patients who experience dementia.
- Annette’s Poem the Town concept was a finalist for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Big Idea award. Annette is a regular contributor to SOS: Poems on Peace and Justice and regularly performs that work.
- Annette is a freelance writer for Mover and Makers. Read more here.
- Her recent experiences at the Erma Bombeck Workshop were profiled at HumorWriters.org.
- She has been published online at Midlife Boulevard, Spillwords.com and various dementia-related sites.
- On January 22, 2016, Annette co-hosted a conversation with Mary Pierce Brosmer, founder of WWfaC, and Krista Ramsey, former journalist, on The Importance of Women’s and Girls’ Voices in Our Changing World. The event will kickoff a year-long celebration of WWfaC at 25.