Thursday, October 12, 2017

Poem: " What Isn’t Said Crushes"


What Isn’t Said Crushes
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

My son tells me that my grandson, Jackson,
never talks about himself or his life.
My mother-in-law used to say
‘the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.’
My son is closed up. I can’t fill in the space
between his words and he cannot say.
He used to tell me everything
when he was still a boy,
but now so much that is hidden,
so many griefs he cannot name.

When my grandson visited me this summer,
when he helped me buy my cherry red Mazda
which is about 25 years too young for me
which I love anyway, he was so quiet.
I kept asking him questions to get him to talk.
“This is like the Inquisition,” he said.
“No,” I told him, “this is how people have a conversation,
how they get to know other people.”
But I think it's only like that for my grandson,
who keeps so many words crushed
into the block box in his chest.
I asked what kind of girl he wanted
and he said “one that was optimistic.”
I heard in his answer a truth he had not spoken before.

I wish I could find the words that would allow my son
to tell me about himself but I know it’s been too long,
this silence, these buried feelings.
I wish he had someone with whom he could share his worries
that he bides in the spaces between words.
I wish he had someone who understood the shadows
in his eyes. He says, “getting anything
out of Jackson is impossible,”
and I can hear under his words how frustrated he feels
as I have felt frustrated when I can't reach him.
How isolated and distant he is, locked up tight.

First published by Rattle

Hear Maria read this poem

About this poem, Maria has said, "I always say I was so shy as a child that I did not speak until I was 24. Writing poetry freed me to speak as I could not in my life. I see my son unable to express his feelings, and I see that my grandson is the same way. I wish that I could give them a magic key like the one that poetry was for me, so that they could share with others who they are and what they want. This poem tries to articulate my love for them and my fear.”



Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Poetry, Mysteries and Memoir in NYC


LOGO_iawa.jpgMaria Mazziotti Gillan will be reading as part of the 26th Anniversary Readings & Special Events as IAWA celebrates Poetry, Mysteries and Memoir. The event will be held at the Sidewalk Café, 94 Avenue A (6th Street) in the East Village, NYC on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Maria Mazziotti Gillan recently won the Beyond Baroque Poetry Prize (LA, CA) and in 2014, won AWP’s 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, Poets & Writers’ 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and the 2008 American Book Award for All That Lies Between Us. She has published 22 books and is Founder/ Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and director of the creative writing program/professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY.

Reading along with Maria will be Camilla Trinchieri. Camilla has worked for many years dubbing films in Rome. She emigrated to America in 1980 and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Under the pseudonym Camilla Crespi, she has published seven novels in “The Trouble With” mystery series. The Breakfast Club Murder was published in 2014. As Camilla Trinchieri she has published, The Price of Silence (2007-Soho Press) and Seeking Alice (2016-SUNY Press). Both have been translated and published in Italy. www.camillatrinchieri.com
The program is hosted by Nick Matros & Amy Barone. There is an $8 cover charge which includes a beverage.
The Italian American Writers Association is celebrating its 26th Anniversary. Since 1991, IAWA has given voice to writers through its literary series every 2nd Saturday of the month. Readings begin with an Open Mic: IAWA-East is held even months at Sidewalk Café and IAWA-West continues at Cornelia Street Café on odd months.
CONTACT: www.sidewalkny.com212-473-7373 DIRECTIONS: By Subway, F to Second Avenue or #6 to Astor PlaceIAWA:  IAWA Newsletter: newsletter@iawa.net Edited by Christina BruniFacebook: www.facebook.com/italianamericanwritersassociation




Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Maria Gillan at the NYC Columbus Day Parade

​In one of Maria Mazziotti Gillan's more unusual appearances, on Monday, October 9, 2017 she will be riding on a float up Fifth Avenue in the 73rd annual Columbus Day Parade in New York City. The theme for this float is “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors.”

The New York Columbus Day Parade is the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture. The parade will be led by Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio, Chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc.

The parade celebrates the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition to America and and the important contributions of Italian-Americans and other immigrants that followed. Over a dozen high school bands, as well as virtuosi professional groups from the United States and Italy, march up Fifth Avenue and fill the canyons of midtown with joyous, heart-pounding music. Traditional folk groups perform centuries-old dances, and cutting-edge designs are brought to the parade route in displays of the vibrant Italian-American and Italian culture today.

In a press release, Barnes & Noble announced more than 100 Italian-American authors would be marching up Fifth Avenue in the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s Annual Columbus Day Parade.

Besides Maria Gillan, the authors include bestsellers like David Baldacci, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Nelson DeMille, Wally Lamb, Lisa Scottoline, Gay Talese, and Adriana Trigiani. (see list below)



“I have long held the belief that Italian-American writers have received little recognition for their contribution to America’s literary heritage, and that’s why I am so pleased to honor these 100 plus authors who will be marching with me in the parade,” said Mr. Riggio. “In addition, we decided to hand out 50,000 copies of The Constitution of the United States of America with the Declaration of Independence at this year’s parade, because at this time in our country’s history we recognize how important these documents are in bringing us together.”

Location: Fifth Ave. from 44th – 72nd Streets
Date: Monday, October 9, 2017
Hours: 11:00 AM – 3:00 p.m.
Broadcast: WABC-TV, 12 Noon – 3:00 p.m.

Following is the full list of Italian-American authors participating in this year’s Columbus Day Parade:
Filomena Abys-Smith
Lauren Acampora
Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Kim Addonizio
Danny Aiello
J.J. Anselmo
Michael Ausiello
David Baldacci
Gina Barreca
Maria Bartiromo
Lisa Marie Basile
Raymond Bean
Sheryll Bellman
Elizabeth Bettina
Eugenia Bone
Louisa Calio
Alisyn Camerota
Philip Caputo
Lorenzo Carcaterra
Mary Carlomagno
Michael Carosone
Mary Ann Castronovo Fusco
Olivia Kate Cerrone
Jeff Cicletti
Gabriele Corcos
Wendy Corsi Staub
Andrew Cuomo
Tony Danza
Stefano De Angelis
Anthony DeCurtis
Robyn Stein DeLuca
Nelson DeMille
Rachel Guido deVries
Rocco DiSpirito
John Domini
Dianne Durante
Louisa Ermelino
Ed Falco
Helena Farrell
Rina Ferrarelli
Luigi Fontanella
Marisa Frasca
Jamie Freveletti
Marc Gallicchio
Fred Gardaphé
John Gennari
Catherine Gigante-Brown
Edward Giobbi
Joe Giordano
Daniela Gioseffi
William Giraldi
Mary Giuliani
Alex Guarnaschelli
Connie Guzzo-McParland
David Hajdu
Ann Harson
Bridget Kinsella
Jerry Krase
Wally Lamb
Annie Rachele Lanzillotto
Loretta LaRoche
Maria Laurino
Anna Lawton
Joseph LoGiudice
Susan Lucci
Lorraine Mangione, PhD
John Marchese
Angel Marinaccio
Donna Masini
Mike Massimino
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Tom Mendicino
Roland Merullo
Mario Mignone
Paul Moses
Liz Mugavero
Caroline Nastro
Rosemary Novellino-Mearns
Paul Paolicelli
Enrico Pellegrini
Valerie Pepe
Peter Pezzelli
Felice Picano
John Positano
Dr. Rock Positano
Stanislao Pugliese
Rossella Rago
Marianna Randazzo
Michelle Reale
Karen Rinaldi
Nicholas Rinaldi
Richard Rinaldo
Gianni Riotta
Mark Rotella
Joseph Salvatore
Tom Santopietro
Jill Santopolo
Julie Scelfo
Sal Scognamillo
Lisa Scottoline
Francesa Serritella
J.R. Sharp
Jim Shephard
Steven Sorrentino
Jerry Spinelli
Helene Stapinski
Linda Stasi
Gay Talese
Karen Tintori
Joseph Tirella
Bill Tonelli
Adriana Trigiani
Joanna Valente
Richard Vetere
Dan Yaccarino
Robert Zweig



Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Poetry Reading with Maria Gillan - UNICO Dover, NJ


Poetry Reading
Wednesday, October 11

MARIA MAZZIOTTI GILLAN

Rockaway Township UNICO
St. Clement Church
154 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Dover, NJ

7 PM $8 (toward UNICO)
Call for reservations: Matt Mustachio 973-975-5554




Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Poem: "In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950"

In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950

We are standing in a backyard
part of a porch is visible, a lattice
heavy with roses, a small tree.
Beyond the bushes in the background,
a woman with her hand on her hip
stares at us.

My father is young. He squints
into the sun. He wears a white shirt,
a flowered tie, a pair of gabardine pants
and dress shoes. His hair is thick
and crew cut. My mother wears high-heeled
black shoes with a strap across the ankle
and nylons and a black dress
printed with large flowers,
her hair, bobbed end neat.
her arm, bent at the elbow,
looks strong and firm.
I cannot see her expression clearly,
but I think she is smiling.
Her hand is on my sister Laura's arm.
Laura stands between them.
She is 13, her skin clear and beautiful.

Alex and I share a small stool
in front of the 3 grouped
behind us, my long-haired run back
in a straight line. I sit
behind him. He's about 7,
slim and dressed up in imitation
of my father, except Alex wears a bow tie.
His knees look sharp
and bony through his pants,
his hands clasped together
between his knees.

Even in the standard family picture,
we do not look American.

I think of my mother's preparations:
the rough feel of the washcloth
and Lifebuoy soap against my face,
the stiff, starched feel of my blouse,
the streets of Paterson, old and cracked,
the houses leaning together
like crooked teeth, the yards
that grow larger as we climb the hill,
the immigrant gardens.

We walk back home
in early evening, after the grownups
have espresso and anisette and
we, small jelly glasses of juice.
My brother's hand in mine, I pretend
to be grown up. Dreams
cluster around my head
like a halo, while crickets
fill the summer evening
with their shining web of song.





"In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950"
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan,
from Light-Gathering Poems,  edited by Liz Rosenberg







Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Michigan Readings and Workshops with Maria Gillan

Maria Mazziotti Gillan will be busy in Michigan next week doing poetry readings and workshops.

On September 25, Maria Gillan will be giving a reading and workshop at Wayne State University in Detroit. The reading will be from 3 – 4 PM at the Woodward Building, Room 10302.

On September 27, Maria will be doing a Q & A on Poetry as Craft, Muse and Profession at Aquinas College from 12:30 – 1:15 PM in the Loutit Room, at 1700 Fulton St. in Grand Rapids. She will also give a 7:30 PM Poetry Reading at Aquinas College (Department of World Languages, AB9A).



Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.