Thursday, June 7, 2018

Submission Period for Paterson Literary Review #47 for 2019 Now Open


The regular submission period for poetry, fiction and prose for the Paterson Literary Review issue #47 (2019) is now open through September 30, 2018.

PLR does not accept online submissions.

The following types of work will be considered:
  • Poems: each under 2 pages, high quality, any style;
  • Art: black & white, line drawings, woodcuts, lithographs 8 ½" x 11" or smaller;
  • Photographs: 8 ½ x 11", black & white glossies;
  • Short stories: under 1,500 words, high quality, no formula stories.
  • Memoir: no more than two pieces; two pages maximum.

The Paterson Literary Review was founded by and is edited by Maria Gillan.

To learn more about PLR and the comlete submission requirements, see PatersonLiteraryReview.com




Sunday, June 3, 2018

Lips Poetry Magazine Publication Reading June 7



On Thursday, June 7 there will be a publication celebration reading for the Lips poetry magazine issue #48/49 as part of the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series.

Many of the poets whose work appear in this issue will read. The founder and editor of Lips, Laura Boss,  will be in attendance. Copies of the journal will be available for purchase.

The program begins at 6pm.

An open reading will follow if time permits.



This series is held at the Montclair Public Library Auditorium and hosted by Maria Gillan and Lips founder and editor, Laura Boss. All readings in this series are free and open to the public.

For information, contact the library at 973-744-0500.


Location: Montclair Public Library (Auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Poem: I Am Sitting at the Table

I AM SITTING AT THE TABLE

I am sitting at the table
in my friend's dining room
her children age five and two
are there also, the little one
with her curly electric blonde hair
that reminds me of my daughter's hair
before my sister decided it was too
messy and had it cut short.
When I came home from teaching
there was my furious five-year-old,
her curls gone.
It was years before she forgave
my sister and years before
I could forgive myself
for not being there to stop her.
Funny how the past
and the present are mixed up
in our minds like colored glass
in a kaleidoscope. Anyway,
there I am in Vestal, NY,
my children grown up
even my grandchildren
much older than these
children at this table
and I look at the youngest child
with her tough stance
and her big smile and her wild hair
and then at the oldest child
with her light blonde hair
that falls in a straight line
to her shoulders
and her eyes wide
and blue as pansies
and I see in her, the delicate
precision with which she moves
the careful way she lifts her fork
to her mouth,
her serious concern that every action
be completed in exactly the right
way, my own daughter, grown now
and with that veneer of sad cynicism,
that loss of hope, so evident
since her divorce,
the sharp wit she uses
to hide her thin skin,
the place inside herself
that even six years have not been able
to heal. I think of my sixteen-year-old
granddaughter and see in her
those same qualities—all three of them,
the little girl sitting near me
eating her ice cream cake
with such sweet concentration
and my daughter who tries to
save herself by that same
precision in everything she does
writing an article, or preparing to teach
her classes, or setting up
her new condo. "I don't want
to talk about my life," she says.
"I never want to talk about it.
You," she says, "are too optimistic.
You always think everything
will work out, and it never does."
Across the telephone wires
from Boston, her words make my
eyes fill with tears who would
do anything to make her happy.
My student says, "You can't be
afraid. What are we supposed to feel
if you're afraid?"
My granddaughter has grown into
a long-legged girl with her thick
blonde hair and her lean body
and her quick intelligence,
but inside she's as frail
as the wings of a moth, as easily hurt,
and all those young women, my images
of them swirl in my mind, and no matter
how much I love them
the hardest thing of all
is knowing I cannot predict
what will hurt them, what their lives will be
nor do I have the power to keep them
from everything in the world
that wants only to do them harm.


Maria Mazziotti Gillan




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, May 28, 2018

Maria Gillan and The Silk City Project


Discovering Paterson: The Silk City Project is led by two professors from Passaic County Community College (PCCC) - Dr. Martha Brozyna (History) and Prof. Alexandra Della Fera (English) - with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The project looks at the history of the city of Paterson as a microcosm of the history of the United States. Its foundation is linked to two of the country's Founding Fathers. Paterson was the fulfillment of Alexander Hamilton’s dream of creating an industrial center that would rival Great Britain’s by using the energy produced by the Great Falls on the Passaic River.  It was named for William Paterson, who signed the Charter that established Paterson as a township in 1792, and who was also one of the signatories to the U.S. Constitution.

The project also has a blog with musings, insights, and observations from the students of PCCC about the many literary, historical, and cultural connections that center around Paterson, New Jersey. Additionally, students will share the many stories of the colorful Patersonians.

Maria Mazziotti Gillan at the Great Falls  (Photo by Mark Hillringhouse)

One of those figures is Paterson native Maria Mazziotti Gillan. From Maria's childhood growing up in the city, to her current roles as the Founder and Executive Director of the Poetry Center at PCCC, as the editor of the Paterson Literary Review, and with her 22 books of and about poetry, she one of the literary giants of the city.

Maria will be involved in the project herself, and using the project blog, some students have selected to write about Maria and her poetry.



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, May 23, 2018

Ristorante Italiano


Northern New Jersey has no shortage of Italian restaurants ranging from fine dining to the local pizza place, but it also has a good number of restaurants with mobster-themed names.

An article at northjersey.com reported on Mob Burger and GoodFellas Pizzeria (Wood-Ridge), GoodFellas restaurant (Garfield), Corleone’s Pizzeria (Hasbrouck Heights), Godfather pizza restaurants (Morristown and East Hanover) and Soprano’s pizzerias (New Milford and Totowa). The story even included the multiple Little Caesars chain of pizza restaurants across NJ and in 5000 other North American locations because though their logo features a cartoon version of the Roman emperor, it also recalls the classic 1931 mobster film Little Caesar.

The article's writer asked for an opinion from the Northern New Jersey born and raised poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan. As a poet and professor at Binghamton University, Gillan has written extensively about the Italian-American experience.

Maria has co-edited with her daughter Jennifer Gillan, also a professor, four anthologies focusing on the immigrant experience in America including Italian American Writers on New Jersey: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose.

Maria said that she finds the use of the mob names on restaurants “just so annoying. Other ethnic groups would never take a slur used against them and repeat it and magnify it in this way.”

Gillan lived in Kansas City in the early 1970s, when the first Godfather film was released.

“You wouldn’t believe the prejudiced ideas people in other parts of the country have about Italians. Back then, people said the most insulting things to me and thought nothing of it. I’m a professor. My husband is a professor. Why are you talking to me like I’m a mobster?

Unfortunately, the Godfather movies were brilliant. So was The Sopranos, especially the first season. The mother [Livia, played by the late Nancy Marchand] could have stepped right out of Shakespeare. But [these works] solidified, in the minds of many Americans, that we’re all bums and crooks.”

Gillan's perspective is shared with people like Andre DiMino, communications director of the New Jersey-based Italian-American One Voice Coalition, who feels the problem is that these restaurant names "perpetuate the connection between the Italian identity and the mob. They cement in people’s mind that Italian culture equals criminals and mafiosos.”

Though he supports small businesses, DiMino would prefer owners to realize that the names do continue the modern era connection of Italian Americans and the mob.







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, May 18, 2018

The Maria Issue

Shrew Literary Magazine has devoted their latest issue to Maria Mazziotti Gillan. The issue features three poems by Maria, some of her artwork and several appreciations of Maria's work.

Read the issue online at shrewlitmag.com/issue5






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.