I believe we must create spaces that allow us to converse openly about ourselves. In those moments, we will find connection to those around, as well as deep inside us.
Annette Januzzi Wick is a writer, teacher, and author of two memoirs, I’ll Be in the Car and I’ll Have Some of Yours, a selection of the Ohioana Book Festival, and a featured speaker at caregiving and writing conferences. A committee member of Cincinnati’s Books by the Banks and former board member of the iconic Cincinnati Music Hall, she created Found Voices, a writing workshop for those with cognitive decline, is co-founder of Gugel Alley Writers, and is also a former board member of Women Writing for (a) Change.
A second-generation Italian American, with families hailing from Calabria and Abruzzo, Annette’s favorite pastime in her youth was biking daily to the town’s awe-inspiring sandstone library. Later, during ninth-grade English, her teacher asked students to write a superhero story. With a nickname “Netti,” she drew inspiration from her background and developed the character, Netti Spaghetti. All superheroes needed a sidekick. She created the Meatball Kid to join “Netti.” The story was lost in the crush of dozens of cartons moved from home to college and beyond. But she learned Netti Spaghetti stood for what she wanted in the world.
Born in northern Ohio and trekking weekly to Italian American grocery stores, festivals, and family tables, Annette earned a computer science degree from the University of Akron and worked in tech for many years before writing became a passion and vocation. She now makes her home in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, in an Italianate-style home built by German immigrants and later occupied by a few good Italian tailors.