Friday, December 19, 2014

Poem: Driving into Our New Lives

Maria Mazziotti Gillan's poem, "Driving into Our New Lives", appeared today on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. The program is featured on many public radio stations and is available online and as a podcast. You can hear Keillor read the poem and talk about some literary events of December 19th.

The poem is from Maria's collection  All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions, 2007) and is also in What We Pass On: Collected Poems: 1980-2009

Driving into Our New Lives


Years ago, driving across the mountains
in West Virginia, both of us are so young
we don’t know anything. We are twenty-eight
years old, our children sleeping in the back seat.
With your fresh Ph.D. in your suitcase, we head out
toward Kansas City. We’ve never been anywhere.
We decide to go the long way around
instead of driving due west.

Years ago, driving across mountains; your
hand resting on my knee, the radio playing the folk
music we love, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, or you
singing songs to keep the children entertained.
How could we know what is to come?

We are young. We think we’ll be healthy
and strong forever. We are certain we are invincible
because we love each other, because our children
are smart and beautiful, because we are heading

to a new place, because the stars
in the coal-black West Virginia sky are so thick,
they could be chunks of ice.
How could we know what is to come?




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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Year Poetry Marathon Reading


Join poets Maria Gillan and Laura Boss as they host a New Year Poetry Marathon Reading on Thursday, January 8, 2015. This special evening is part of the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series held at the Montclair Public Library (Auditorium) at 50 South Fullerton Ave. in Montclair, NJ. The reading starts at 7 PM and is, as always, free and open to the public.

Poets reading that night will include:

SUSAN AMSTERDAM
SUSAN LEMBO BALIK
RON BREMNER
ANTHONY BUCCINO
LINDA CRONIN
GAIL FISHMAN GERWIN
MARTIN GOLAN
JIM GWYN
ELIZABETH MARCHITTI
MARILYN MOHR
FRANK NICCOLETTI
KEN RONKOWITZ
BOB ROSENBLOOM
and others.

For information, contact the library at 973-744-0500 or Maria Mazziotti Gillan



Friday, December 5, 2014

'The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets' Named Best Mixed Media Book for 2014

Grace Cavalieri founded and still produces “The Poet and the Poem” on public radio, for national distribution from The Library of Congress, celebrating 38 years on-air, in 2015. She is the monthly poetry columnist/reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Her new books of poems are, The Mandate of Heaven (Bordighera Press) and, The Man Who Got Away (newacademia/scarith).

With Dragonfly Press, she has made a list of the "15 BEST BOOKS I READ THIS YEAR." 

Her selection in "Best Mixed Media" is the watercolors and poetry collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Cat in the Sun Books) by Maria Mazziotti Gillan. 









Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Martin Espada and Lauren Schmidt Reading in Montclair

The Montclair Monthly Poetry Series, coordinated by Laura Boss and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, is presenting a reading by Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt on Thursday, December 4, 2014. This free event is at 7 p.m. at the Montclair Public Library (auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ.

Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His forthcoming collection of poems is called The Leaves of El Moriviví (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball, The Republic of Poetry, Alabanza, A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen, Imagine the Angels of Bread and City of Coughing and Dead Radiators. His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), has been banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A graduate of Northeastern University Law School and a former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.




Lauren Schmidt is the author of three collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and A Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of the Dining Room:, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Nimrod, PANK, New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, and The Progressive. Her awards include the So to Speak Poetry Prize, the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor, The Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry, and the Bellevue Literary Review’s Vilcek Prize for Poetry. Schmidt is an Instructor of Developmental English at Passaic County Community College and a Poet-in-the-Schools for Paterson Public Schools.



An open reading follows the featured readers.

The Montclair Public Library 
Google Directions
Parking Map
Public Transit Map


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Poem: Forgetting to Give Thanks





Forgetting to Give Thanks


I watch the public TV program on Rwanda
and the water they are lifting out of polluted
wells to drink, though there’s a cholera epidemic.
It is the only water they have and they draw
a pail of it out of the well. The water is brown
and thick and muddy. The emaciated man
walks away with the pail of water.
Several children walk behind him.
They stop at the side of the road
and the man lets each of them drink
from a battered metal dipper.
In my house I forget to give thanks
for the clean water that pours
out of the kitchen faucet, the water
in the bathrooms, hot and plentiful,
for long showers and baths.
We forget how much of the world does not have
what we have and even I forget, I who grew up
in an apartment heated by a coal stove. The only warm
place was at the kitchen table set up close to the stove.
The bedrooms were frigid. My mother would warm
the beds with bricks she heated in the oven
and then we’d rush in and jump into bed.
The house had no insulation and no storm windows,
so the windows would develop a coating of ice
in patterns I thought were beautiful. We bathed in water
that my mother heated on the stove. My mother washed
our clothes on a tin washboard.
Today, with my house full of appliances—stove,
refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine,
dryer, air conditioners, TV’s and as much
hot or cold water as I want, I forget to be grateful,
and am only reminded for a minute when I see
those people in Rwanda who are drinking water
so filthy it will probably kill them. Or when I think
of my mother and all the work she did, carting
buckets of coal, stoking the fire, boiling water
to keep us warm.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan 


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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt Will Read in Montclair December 4

The Montclair Monthly Poetry Series, coordinated by Laura Boss and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, is presenting a reading by Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt on Thursday, December 4, 2014. This free event is at 7 p.m. at the Montclair Public Library (auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ.

Called by Sandra Cisneros “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors,” Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His forthcoming collection of poems is called The Leaves of El Moriviví (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball, The Republic of Poetry, Alabanza, A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen, Imagine the Angels of Bread and City of Coughing and Dead Radiators. His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), has been banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A graduate of Northeastern University Law School and a former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.




Lauren Schmidt is the author of three collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and A Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of the Dining Room:, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Nimrod, PANK, New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, and The Progressive. Her awards include the So to Speak Poetry Prize, the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor, The Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry, and the Bellevue Literary Review’s Vilcek Prize for Poetry. Schmidt is an Instructor of Developmental English at Passaic County Community College and a Poet-in-the-Schools for Paterson Public Schools.




An open reading follows the featured readers.

The Montclair Public Library 
Google Directions
Parking Map
Public Transit Map


Friday, November 21, 2014

Sean Thomas Dougherty and Joe Weil To Read and Offer Workshops in Paterson

The Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College is presenting a poetry reading by Sean Thomas Dougherty and Joe Weil on Saturday, December 6, 2014. The reading is at 1 p.m. at the historic Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, in downtown Paterson. The program is free and an open reading follows.

Writing workshops, conducted by Dougherty and Weil, will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon at the same location. Pre-registration required; workshop fee $20. Call (973) 684-6555 or visit www.pccc.edu/poetry for more information.

Parking is available at the PCCC parking lot on College Blvd., between Memorial Drive and Church St


Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author or editor of thirteen books including All You Ask for Is Longing: Poems 1994- 2014 (2014 BOA Editions) Scything Grace (2013 Etruscan Press) and Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line (2010 BOA Editions). He is the recipient of two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, an appearance in Best American Poetry 2014, and a US Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans. Known for his electrifying performances he has performed at hundreds of venues across North America and Europe including the Lollapalooza Music Festival, South Carolina Literary Festival, the Old Dominion Literary Festival, the Dodge Poetry Festival, and across Albania and Macedonia where he appeared on national television. He has taught creative writing at Syracuse University, Penn State University, Case Western University, Chatham University and Cleveland State University.



Joe Weil is the award-winning author of five full length books of poetry, four chap books, and a CD of songs with Vic Ruggerio, leader of the Ska band, the Slackers. Weil has read on National public radio, as well as PBS. In 2008, a profile on Weil's life was done for NJPBS. His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Review, North American Review, The Saranac Review, Rattle, Maggy, Paterson Literary Review, Lips and New York Quarterly, among others. He is currently assistant professor at Binghamton University. His most recent book of poems is The Great Grandmother Light, Poems New and Selected (New York Quarterly), and a collaborative book, West of Home (Blast Press) with his wife, poet Emily Vogel. The responsorial section of West of Home was performed in May 2014 at the KGB bar as a play by actors from N.Y.U. Weil lives in Binghamton with his wife and two small children, Clare and Gabriel.






The historic Hamilton Club Building is wheelchair accessible; large print materials and FM assistive listening devices available on request.

The Poetry Center at PCCC has been named a Distinguished Arts Project and is funded, in part, by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.