93-year-old Alice Donnelly of Forest Hills Publishes Second Book
Forest Hills resident will publish a book of poetry in 2011, following the third release of her novel, “Beyond the Golden Gate.”
At 93, Alice Donnelly never slows down.
In fact, she's more active than most people half her age. This year, she's publishing her second book, all while working each day in her son's t-shirt shop in Forest Hills.
Donnelly's second book, "I Shall Come but Once," is a collection of poems she has written throughout her life, the oldest dating back to when she was 9 years old.
"The book is a philosophy on living," Donnelly said. "Some poems are funny, some are very serious and some are historical."
This compilation follows the 2002 release of her novel, "Beyond the Golden Door," recounting the story of her parents' immigration to America from Italy during the 19th century.
Donnelly, a native of Pittsburgh and Forest Hills resident since 1974, chose an image of the Cathedral of Learning to don the cover of her new poetry collection.
She received a bachelor's degree in public speaking and a master's degree in rhetoric and communication from the University of Pittsburgh. She also taught communications at the Pitt's College of General Studies for 28 years.
It was during her undergraduate years that Donnelly began composing stories of her family's immigration experience, leading to her first novel. She also was inspired to continue writing poetry and many of these pieces are included in her new collection. One poem in particular, "The Stone on Top," is about the Cathedral of Learning.
Donnelly and her son have worked together in the family shop, "T-shirts and Moe" on Ardmore Boulevard since it opened two years ago.
"Mom is our best salesman," Jimmy Sapienza, Donnelly's son, said.
Before Donnelly worked in the shop, she and her late husband, Salvatore, owned their own business in the North Side, "Pennsylvania's Original One Hour Cleaner."
In addition to publishing her book of poetry, Donnelly plans to re-release her first novel for the third time, this time publishing it herself.
Donnelly's currently seeking a printer for "I Shall Come but Once," but she doesn't mind dedicating time to the T-shirt shop.
Between writing and editing, she always finds time for the family business.