Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Paterson Literary Review Reviewed

NewPages, a portal of news, information and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, independent bookstores and alternative periodicals, reviewed the Paterson Literary Review  Issue 44 (2016-2017).

It is no surprise that the Paterson Literary Review was named the best journal in 2008, and has been in publication since 1979. The journal shares the talents of many amazing poets, prose writers, reviewers, interviewers, and memoir authors. I particularly liked how the poetry section often provides more than one poem from each poet so that the reader can experience a variety of work from each poet. In addition, this issue includes the poems from the 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards... 
Beyond just poems and short stories, this issue includes reviews, interviews, and even memoirs. The variety of work provides a little bit for all tastes, and it is clear from what I saw in this issue that the Paterson Literary Review is a must-have literary magazine for people with diverse reading tastes.
see the full review at newpages.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Poem: "My Brother Stands in the Snow, 1947, Paterson, NJ" by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Blizzard of 1947 in NJ   Photo: nj.gov/state/archives/

The Great Blizzard of 1947 was a record-breaking snowfall that began on Christmas without prediction and brought the northeastern United States to a standstill. By the time it stopped on December 26, measurement of the snowfall reached 26.4 inches (67.1 cm) in Central Park in Manhattan. Drifts exceeded ten feet. Low temperatures that winter led to the snowfall remaining on the ground until March of the next year. Communities in New Jersey received the same or greater snowfall depths that created similar problems, which became threatening because trucks that carried coal to heat the majority of homes and food deliveries could not be dispatched to replenish diminishing supplies.

Playing in the Snow (MSA)
Playing in the Snow - archived photo via Flickr

My Brother Stands in the Snow, 1947, Paterson, NJ

Fifty years later, my brother is still my baby brother.
I imagine him in his woolen winter coat, tan-colored,
that with his sallow face made him look dead,
and his woolen hat that matched the coat. It had ear
flaps that snapped under his chin. He is about four
and looks wide-eyed and sweet and even then,
self-contained. I can see him standing in the snow.

It is 1947, that huge snowstorm where the snow is piled
almost to my chest. Even fifty years later, my brother
who has now been a doctor for more than thirty years,
is still my baby brother. Though he is my doctor, though I
admire and love him, though his hair has turned gray,
I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to watch out
for him, as my sister watched out for me,
so that even today, I can’t help worrying about him,

can’t help reaching up to smooth down his thinning gray
hair when it is rumpled and fly-away, as though he were still
that little boy whose hair I combed so carefully, wetting
the comb first and parting the hair as my mother taught me
so he’d look good when people saw him on the street
where I dragged him behind me, held his hand
and scolded him as we walked.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Monday, January 2, 2017

Harrod and Laveglia at Montclair Poetry Series January 5

This Thursday, January 5, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series will feature readings by

The monthly series is hosted by Maria Gillan and Laura Boss and is held at the Montclair Public Library (NJ) at 7 PM.

A three time recipient of New Jersey Council on the Arts fellowship, Lois Harrod is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3.  Lois Marie Harrod’s most recent publications are And She Took the Heart, a chapbook published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas and the collection, Nightmares of the Minor Poet. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey.

Deborah LaVeglia is director of "PoetsWednesday" at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge, the longest running poetry series in New Jersey. A resident of Cranford, Deborah has published poetry and essays in numerous journals and anthologies, including Lips Magazine, Paterson Literary Review, College English Notes, Edison Literary Review, American Poetry Journal, Ragazine, Diving In, Negative Capability, and Voices Rising from the Grove.

All readings are free and open to the public. An open reading will follow the featured readers, time permitting.

Montclair Public Library (Auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 973-744- 0500
Contact: LBoss79270@aol.com or mgillan@pccc.edu

Friday, December 30, 2016

Martin Espada and Maria Gillan

Espada & Gillan - 2016

Martín Espada has had a long relationship with Maria Gillan and has read a number of times at the Poetry Center in Paterson, 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 newest collection of poems is Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (W.W. Norton, 2016). His other books of poems include The Trouble Ball, The Republic of Poetry, Alabanza, A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen 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.

Martin's website is at www.martinespada.net

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the author of twenty-one books. Her latest publications are the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter and the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is at MariaGillan.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Summer in Winter, Winter in Summer

From Maria Gillan's newest collection, What Blooms in Winter (NYQ Books) we offer you this poem of Maria with her grandson in an Italian memory that will always be summer and winter at the same time.

Italian Summer

This summer in Italy, you helped me up steps,
let me hold your arm as we walked
the cobblestone streets of Italian hill towns.
I wanted to give you a gift of the Italy I love, grandson.
How easy it is to believe what we want to believe
about the way people see us,
what they feel.

For years, I held onto the image of you
at seven years old in your North Carolina house.
You walked past me in your family room,
backed up, looked at me with huge violet eyes.
“I love you, Grandma,” you said.

Or the way you always grabbed your pillow
and overnight bag because you wanted to stay
with me at the hotel when I visited you,
so much sweetness always coming off you,
such an open, loving heart.

Now you’re 19 and we are in Italy together. We have
been here almost three weeks. I am happy
to walk with you, to watch you try new food.
At my favorite restaurant in Rome, we have dinner together
and you drink your glass of champagne and mine.
Suddenly, you turn to me and tell me everything
your mother and father say about me, all the things
that are wrong about me—too busy, too loud,
too enthusiastic—all the things I should have done,
and in the restaurant, where I will never be able to go again,
I start to cry.

We leave the restaurant and you take my arm.
But my throat clamps closed. I can’t speak.
How foolish I feel for believing you loved me
as I have always loved you.

Now, each night, I pray for you to do well
in your classes, to be happy, to make friends.
I love you no less,
though whenever I think of you I am sad
for this loss, a cave that opens inside me
too deep and dark ever to fill.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the author of twenty-one books. Her latest publications are the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter and the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is at MariaGillan.com.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Support the Poetry Center at PCCC With a Donation

This year, the Poetry Center at PCCC is celebrating its 37th anniversary. Its high quality programming — the Distinguished Poets Series, Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards and book prizes, Paterson Literary Review, and New Jersey Poetry Calendar — continues to receive citations of excellence from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Here is what people are saying about the Center...
I believe that Maria Gillan and The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College provide some of the best opportunities for the region’s poets to ply their craft and express their creativity. 
Maria and the Poetry Center are the jewels of Paterson…an invaluable resource for writers and those who love poetry. 
The Poetry Center is one of the stars in the constellation of fine poetry and art. It’s one of the best places to write and share poetry.
People from the region are drawn to the Center to hear readings and take workshops with nationally and internationally-known writers.

To continue to expand our work on behalf of poetry, we need your support. Maria Mazziotti Gillan,
Executive Director, asks you to consider giving a monetary gift to the Poetry Center this holiday season. No matter how big or small, they are deeply appreciative of any donation you can give.

Please send your donation check (payable to PCCC) along with your name, address, email and phone number to: The Poetry Center, Passaic County Community College, One College Blvd., Paterson, NJ 07505