Saturday, February 28, 2015

Maria Mazziotti Gillan Interviewed on Cover to Cover


If you missed the live radio broadcasts of Cover to Cover with Jack Foley on KPFA radio this month, he interviewed Maria Mazziotti Gillan twice.

The second program also features Maria's friend and colleague at the Poetry Center and the Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council, Susan Lembo Balik reading and talking about her collection of poems, Sinatra, The Jeeperettes & me
.

Listen to the archived programs:
part 1: Feb. 18 show
part 2: Feb. 25 show



Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Reviews From Readers


Maria's books are reviewed by any number of publications, but some of the most interesting and heartfelt reviews can be found from readers on sites like Amazon.com.

Here's a recent review of The Silence in an Empty House that was posted to the book's page on Amazon.

My Ph.D. dissertation, What Forever Means, was a treatise on bereavement. I read hundreds of articles and books on what it means to lose a loved one. But nothing I read then or since has captured the multiple profiles of what it's like to lose someone you loved as Maria Gillan's remarkable poetry collection, "The Silence in an Empty House." If I was still in practice, I'd put this book in my waiting room. It's a book that those of us who knew Maria was dealing with the loss of her husband to Parkinson's disease, a man with whom she was fiercely in love for 46 years, didn't want to pick up, but once picked up, couldn't put down. Almost everything about grief abounds in this book: the sadness at watching a wonderful man be consumed with a devastating illness, the guilt at wishing the end would come so everyone's suffering would end, the horror and shock when the end does come, the regret after the loved person dies, the endless repetition of scenes of illness and death. Someone once asked me if I thought of writing a book on how to deal with the bereaved. I said it would only be one page long with the word "Listen" written over and over again. Maria teaches the reader to listen to her grief, without judgement, only with compassion. She has given everyone who has ever lost a loved one a tremendous gift with this volume. I recommend it without reservation.

- Charlie Brice





Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Submit for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards 2015

The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards honor Allen Ginsberg’s contribution to American Literature.

Poets may submit up to five unpublished poems (four of copies each poem)

The awards are: first prize, $1,000; second prize, $200; third prize, $100.

Winners will be announced in Summer 2015. Winners will be asked to participate in a reading to take place in the Paterson Historic District. The winning poems, Honorable Mention poems, and Editor’s Choice poems will all be published in the  Paterson Literary Review.


Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Maria Gillan and Susan Lembo Balik Interviewed on Cover to Cover Radio Program


Jack Foley's radio program on Public Radio (KPFA 94.1 FM in California), COVER TO COVER, will feature Maria Mazziotti Gillan on February 21st and again, along with Susan Lembo Balik, on February 28th.

"The show features the always delightful bundle of Poesia and New Jersey Italian-American energy, Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Maria, a much-published poet, is founder and director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College and editor of The Paterson Literary Review. Among the many Mazziotti-Gillan books discussed on today’s program are What We Pass On, The Place I Call Home, Ancestors’ Song, The Silence in an Empty House, Writing Poetry to Save Your Life, and The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (which features the author’s paintings as well as her poems).

To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
— Wordsworth

In one of the blurbs on the back cover of Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s book, Where I Come From, Liz Rosenberg writes that “Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s poems…always make me cry.”

Gillan’s poems are indeed like that. They deal with matters —primarily family matters— that do often elicit tears. One might say, in opposition to Wordsworth, that the “depth” of Gillan’s poetry is, precisely, tears."

On the January 28, 2015 show, Maria will read selections from of her books along with her friend and associate Susan Lembo Balik.

Balik is the Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs at Passaic County Community College and the author of the poetry collection, Sinatra, The Jeeperettes & Me. Susan is also an animal rights and environmental activist.

The Quiet
by Susan Lembo Balik

I love the quiet
of the woods on a weekday

of my kitchen at 4 a.m.
when I’m perched on a stool writing

of a roomful of yogis
on brightly colored mats meditating

There, I slip into the quiet
like a cozy sweater or a faded pair of jeans

But this small town quiet was different—it followed
me like a swarm of gnats into the Iowa nursing home

where I walked past bunches of purple lilacs,anticipating
the visit with my father-in-law

where I welcomed the drone of the TV in his room, a distraction
from the sharp angles of his face, skin stretched over bone

where he lay dying in a hospital bed, his once able farmer’s body
now limp like a spent corn husk


The programs will be archived at www.kpfa.org/archive/show/101


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Eileen Myles and Maureen Seaton in Distinguished Poets Series

Myles
Seaton
Eileen Myles and Maureen Seaton will read their poems on March 7 as part of the Distinguished Poets Series at PCCC. The reading is at 1 pm at the historic Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church St., downtown Paterson.

The program is free and an open reading follows.

Poetry workshops, conducted by Myles and Seaton are 10 am to noon at the same location. Pre-registration required; workshop fee $20.

Parking is available for the workshops and reading at the PCCC lot on College Blvd., between Memorial Dr. and Church St.

Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1971, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She gave her first reading at CBGB's, and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where she studied with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley and Bill Zavatsky. She has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and fiction including Not Me (1991), Chelsea Girls (1994), Cool for You (2000), and Skies (2001). Recent books include Sorry, Tree (2007), The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009), and Inferno: a poet's novel (2010). 
http://www.eileenmyles.com 


Maureen Seaton earned an MFA from Vermont College in 1996. She is the author of the poetry collections Fear of Subways (1991), winner of the Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize; The Sea Among the Cupboards (1992); Furious Cooking (1996), winner of both the Iowa Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; Little Ice Age (2001); Venus Examines Her Breast (2004), winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award; and Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen (2009).
Seaton is author of the Lambda Literary Award–winning memoir Sex Talks to Girls (2008), in which she addresses motherhood, sobriety, and sexuality. She teaches at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. 
http://www.maureenseaton.com



Call 973-684-6555 or visit pccc.edu/poetry for more information.


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Allen Ginsberg still inspires poets in awards made in his name

Allen Ginsberg and Maria Mazziotti Gillan

"Allen Ginsberg still inspires at Paterson poetry event" via www.northjersey.com/news/ - on the recent reading by winners in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards at the Poetry Center at PCCC.


Ginsberg, a prominent voice of the so-called Beat Generation, was raised in Paterson and graduated from the city’s Eastside High School.

Maria Mazziotti Gillan, executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, started the poetry awards in 1976 and named them for Ginsberg in the late 1980s.

“I wanted to honor Ginsberg’s contribution to American literature,” said Gillan, herself a native Patersonian and a poet of renown.

continue reading


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poetry Center's Spring Workshop for Mature Adults



The Poetry Center's Spring Workshop for Mature Adults (50+) will be held March 5, 12, 26 and April 9, 2015.

 

The cost for the 4 sessions is $60.  For more information or to check on availability, contact sdesai@pccc.edu





Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.