From left: Caesare, Angelo, Matilda, Mary (baby), Lorenzo (in front), Joseph Ferraro, Mary Ferraro (Madalena), c. 1929
Fred (Federico) Moramarco was the author and editor of Containing Multitudes: Poetry in the U.S. since 1950; Men of Our Time, (an anthology of world poetry); and Deliciously Italian, a book about Italian cooking and cuisine. He was a poet, literary critic, professor of literature at San Diego State Universtiy, producer, director, and actor.
Moramarco died of cardiac arrest the evening before Valentine’s Day, 2012.
Editor's picks of stories Moramarco wrote for the Reader:
- It's been nearly a century since Freud asked his famous question about the nature of female desire, and very few men that I know are any closer to an answer than Freud was. (October 2, 2003)
- I’m at a party in Point Loma celebrating the successful conclusion of a literary event that took a great deal of time and effort to put together. Everyone involved is letting go after months of pre-planning, meeting deadlines, corresponding with finicky writers who demand this and that. We’re partying hearty, as they say in San Diego. (January 2, 2003)
- There’s a reason why Italian cooking is one of the world’s great cuisines, and it doesn’t have much to do with four-star chefs, innovative cooking techniques, or secret ingredients. The reason can be summed up in a common Italian saying: Dalla terra alla tavola, “From the earth to the table.” Freshness is all. (July 3, 2002)
Dennis Wills: "I really identified with Larry Darrell, that character in W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Razor’s Edge. I was rather inspired by Darrell’s remarkable curiosity — someone who went through World War I, whose best friend was killed, and he’s still alive. The arbitrariness of this puzzles him."
Photo by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
- One of the most famous bits of literary advice in the 20th Century was Sherwood Anderson’s suggestion that William Faulkner write not about aviators and New Orleans bohemians (the subjects of his first two novels) but about that “little postage stamp of native soil” he knew so well, Jefferson County, Mississippi. (Sept. 7, 2000)
- My All-Star vigil begins on Monday, July 10 at about eleven a.m. when I arrive at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel to pick up what I think will be just a press pass to gain admittance to the game itself. As I walk up to the hotel entrance, I notice Padre outfielder Dave Winfield standing next to a dazzling red and beige Rolls Royce Silver Wraith II. (July 20, 1978)
- I asked Dennis Wills, proprietor of D.G. Wills Books in La Jolla, how he came to be a bookseller. “That’s a very long story,” he said. “It involves espionage, intrigue, years working for the National Security Agency and for Zbigniew Brzezinski — right before he became Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser — encounters in Europe with great bookstores like Blackwell’s in London, and, especially, two books that made a deep impression on me. (Sept. 21, 2000)