Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rachel Wiley and Peter Thabit Jones in Dinstinguished Poets Series Aprill 11

The Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College is presenting a poetry reading by Rachel Wiley and Peter Thabit Jones on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The reading is at 1 p.m. at the historic Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, in downtown Paterson. The program is free; an open reading follows.

Poetry workshops, conducted by Rachel Wiley and Peter Thabit Jones are 10 a.m. to noon at the same location. Pre-registration required; workshop fee $20.00.

Parking is available at the PCCC parking lot on College Blvd., between Memorial Drive and Church St. Call (973) 684-6555 for more information.

Rachel Wiley's first full length collection of poems, Fat Girl Finishing School, was recently published by Timber Mouse Press. A native of Columbus, Ohio, she has a degree in Theatre Studies and has competed in multiple National Poetry Slam Competitions (she was a finalist twice in 2011). Wiley has also toured nationally at slam venues, colleges and festivals, and she was a featured poets at the 2014 Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival.

She is on staff at Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam, where she occasionally gets to host the night. Her work has been featured by the Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Frigg Magazine, Drunken Boat, and Nailed Magazine, and she was profiled alongside several other women writers in Hooligan Mag.

Her website is atwileypoetry.weebly.com





Peter Thabit Jones was born in Wales and is the author of ten books. His work has been translated into over twenty languages. He is also the co-author, with Aeronwy Dylan, of the Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village , and Poems from a Cabin on Big Sur.

Peter is the recipient of the Eric Gregory Award for Poetry (The Society of Authors, London), The Society of Authors Award, The Royal Literary Fund Award (London) and an Arts Council of Wales Award. He is the founder and editor of The Seventh Quarry Swansea Poetry Magazine, and The Seventh Quarry Publishing Press.

His website is at peterthabitjones.com




The 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.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Poetry Weekend Intensive May 29-31 with Maria Gillan and Laura Boss


Poets Laura Boss and Maria Mazziotti Gillan enter their 23rd year of the  twice-a-year Poetry Weekends in 2015.
Under the theme of "Writing Your Way Home," these two well-known poets spend a weekend with participants at the St. Marguerite's Retreat House in New Jersey.

The first weekend intensive for 2015 will be held from May 29 - 31. 

St. Marguerite's Retreat House (located at the convent of Saint John the Baptist, 82 West Main Street in Mendham, NJ) is set away from the pressures and distractions of daily life on 93 acres of wooded land with pathways (including a labyrinth) that lend themselves to the serene contemplation of nature and nurturing of your creative spirit.

Participants arrive before 6 pm on Friday evening, have dinner and settle into their own rooms. That evening, participants will be led into creating new work and after each of the weekend workshop sessions, participants have the opportunity to read their work in the group.


After Saturday breakfast, participants will move into two groups for morning workshops and writing session. There will be free time for socializing and exploring the grounds before lunch. In the afternoon, a third round of writing workshops will take place, followed by time to write.

Each participant will have a chance to sign up in advance with Maria or Laura for one-on-one help with revision.

After dinner on Saturday evening, participants will be invited to read their poems to the group, and the faculty will lead another workshop session on how to get published.

After Sunday breakfast, a fifth and final workshop will be followed by a concluding reading by all participants. The weekend will close with a lunch and last opportunity for socializing and networking.


The Poetry Weekend is an excellent opportunity to make space and time to focus totally on your writing in a serene and setting away from the pressures and distractions of daily life. You will find support and encouragement with the workshop leaders who are actively engaged in the writing life, and from your fellow workshop poets.

This writing intensive is open to all writers over the age of 18. Fifteen professional development credit hours are available for teachers.

The workshops will concentrate on "writing your way home" and the way writing can save our stories and our lives. Maria and Laura view this weekend as a retreat from the noise and bustle of daily life and see this retreat as both a spiritual and creative break from our usual lives.

The setting certainly allows us to take some time to look at life in a new light, to listen for our own voices, create a stillness, in a quiet community of contemplation that welcomes the muse.

Participants should bring papers, pens, and the willingness to take some risks. You may also bring previously-written work for a one-on-one session and for the readings.


The all-inclusive weekend fee of $425 includes the workshops, room, and meals from Friday evening dinner through Sunday lunch. A deposit of $300 is due by April 1, 2015 with the balance due  by  April 19, 2015. An Early Bird Discount of $25 may be deducted from the total if paid in full by April 1, 2015. (A full refund will be given prior to April 29, 2015.)

For more information, contact Maria Mazziotti Gillan by email at mgillan@pccc.edu or phone 973-684-6555. You may register by sending your check, payable to Maria Mazziotti Gillan to: 40 Post Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506. Include your name, address, a daytime & evening phone number and your email.

Late registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Enrollment is limited, so please sign up as soon as possible.


ABOUT THE POETS

LAURA BOSS is an award-winning poet. She was a first prize winner in Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Contest. Laura was the sole representative of the United States in 1987 at the XXVI Annual International Struga Poetry Readings in Yugoslavia.  Awards for her writing also include an American Literary Translators Award (funded through the National Endowment for the Arts), and Fellowships in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in 1999, 1992, and 1986. In June 2011, she received the First International Poetry Award at the first International Poetry Festival at Swansea, Wales (sponsored by Cross-Cultural Communications and Seventh Quarry Magazine of Wales).

Her collections of poetry include  Stripping (Chantry Press, 1982) the award-winning On the Edge of the Hudson (Cross-Cultural Communications, 1986). Her book, Reports from the Front (CCC, 1995) was nominated for an American Book Award. 
Arms: New and Selected Poems was published by Guernica Editions in 1999. Flashlight, also published by Guernica, is her most recent collection.

Her poetry has appeared in The New York Times and in the anthology The Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary (Jersey Shore Publications). In 1998 her manuscript was a finalist in the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.

Laura is the founder and Editor of Lips poetry magazine






MARIA MAZZIOTTI GILLAN is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions).

She is the Founder /Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY.

Maria has published twenty books. Her most recent are the poetry and art collection,
The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Redux Consortium). Ancestors' Song (Bordighera Press), Writing Poetry To Save Your Life: How To Find The Courage To Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica) and the bi-lingual poetry collection, In a Place of Flowers & Light (poems in English & Italian). Her book, What We Pass On collects her poems from 1980-2009. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Submission Deadline for Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards is April 1, 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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Maria Gillan Interviewed

Read an interview with Maria Mazziotti Gillan on the Geosi Reads website.

A few excerpts:
Geosi Gyasi: Are you comfortable with the label, American poet?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan: Yes. I am an American poet and proud to be part of the multi-cultural fabric that is America. My parents were immigrants from Italy, and I was born in Paterson, NJ. I did not speak English until I went to school.

Geosi Gyasi: Do you know who reads your books?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan: People from all over the world. For example, in the last week, I got a series of emails about my work from a young woman in England, and I also received emails from a woman who teaches at the American Embassy School in India. People write to me very often about my work, and it is very gratifying.

Geosi Gyasi: What actually inspires you to write?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan:  My ordinary life inspires me. I’ve written a great deal about growing up in poverty as the child of immigrants, but I’ve also written about a long marriage, loss, grief. I am writing more and more about my fear for all we’ve done to destroy the environment.


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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Performance Poetry: "Shame is the Dress I Wear"

Most people would not classify Maria Mazziotti Gillan as a "performance poet" but if you have seen her read, you know that it can be an emotional event. 

The IndieFeed: Performance Poetry website which showcases audio performances by many spoken word artists will feature poetry read by Maria this month.

Her poem, "Shame is the Dress I Wear" is on the site.

You can listen at PerformancePoetry.Indiefeed.com and also subscribe to the podcast in the iTunes music store. The website lists about 550 poets they have featured over the past 9 years.

All of the materials they receive also go into the permanent preservation archive of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project.

Her poem first appeared in Rattle #29, Summer 2008

SHAME IS THE DRESS I WEAR

On the first day of school, my mother slips a dark blue
dress over my head, ties the starched sash. Zia Louisa and
Zio Guillermo have come down the back steps to our
apartment to see me setting off. They don’t have children

of their own and Zio Guillermo is my godfather, so they are
a big part of our lives. My mother has starched this cotton
dress handed down from Zia Christiana’s late in life
daughter, Zia Christiana who has enough money to buy

lots of pretty dresses for her red-headed daughter and also
throw chickens into the garbage that year when my father
was sick and couldn’t work so we lived on farina and
spaghetti. When my mother was dying, she talked about

seeing those discarded chickens and about being too
ashamed to ask for them. Anyway, I’m standing on that
wooden kitchen chair, my mother tugging at the dress,
my hair formed into sausage curls that my mother curled

by wrapping my thick dark hair in white rags, my eyes
enormous in my long, thin face. Zia Louisa stands back,
shakes her head and says, Why didn’t you get her a better
color? This dress that both my mother and I were proud of

until my aunt’s comment pointed out what should have
been obvious, that this dark blue color, perfect for a redhead
made my olive skin look jaundiced. I could almost
feel the starched skirt deflate. Sometimes I think that little

girl in her navy dress has followed me my whole life
through. There she is when I am at a party and I find a
chair to sit in and never move or when I am afraid to look
in a mirror to see what the years have done to me or when

I go to an Ivy League college to read and I meet the President
and his wife, so slim and Episcopalian, so upper class,
the whole place is jammed with faculty dressed in tweed
skirts and broadcloth white shirts and leather pumps

and shame is the dress I wear that day, shame and that little
girl, that shadow, is there her head hanging down as it did
then, her hands shaking.




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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Distinguished Poets Series April 11

The Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College is presenting a poetry reading by Rachel Wiley and Peter Thabit Jones on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The reading is at 1 p.m. at the historic Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, in downtown Paterson. The program is free; an open reading follows.

Poetry workshops, conducted by Rachel Wiley and Peter Thabit Jones are 10 a.m. to noon at the same location. Pre-registration required; workshop fee $20.00.

Parking is available at the PCCC parking lot on College Blvd., between Memorial Drive and Church St. Call (973) 684-6555 for more information.

Friday, March 13, 2015

April 1 Deadline Approaching for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards



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

Up to five unpublished poems (four of copies each poem) may be submitted.

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



Deadline: April 1, 2015