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 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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maria Gillan Will Read and Offer A Poetry Workshop in Warwick, NY

Maria Mazziotti Gillan will bring her poetry to the Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, NY on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m.

The day before, Maria will lead a poetry workshops for teachers and elementary students at Sanfordville School.

Her reading is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Many of her poems concern about growing up Italian-American in New Jersey and the joys and sorrows of family life.

She is the author or editor of 20 books, founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, N.J., editor of the Paterson Literary Review and Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY.

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Along With Her Pen, Maria Mazziotti Gillan Lifts Her Brush

Maria Gillan's newest book is a poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets, that pairs new poems with her own watercolor paintings.

Maria says that her artwork "comes from an instinctive place. In my watercolors and collages I try to do what I do in poetry—that is to let go, to allow the old wise woman who lives in my belly to take over."

In comparing the two forms of expression, she says that when writing a poem, "After the first few lines it is as though the pen moves across the page almost by itself, operating out of the subconscious mind. I don’t allow my conscious mind to control what is going on in the poem. For me, the same thing happens when I am painting or building a collage. Allowing my imagination to take over, gives me the freedom to paint people or birds or flowers as they exist in my mind rather than in reality."

Can you see the Maria we know from her poetry in the art? Probably not.

Readers used to Maria's tough poetic honesty and her own stated mission to "root my work in the details and specificity of ordinary life," may be surprised that in her paintings and collages she is not attempting to achieve realistic portrayals.

The people, birds and flowers that appear in the art is her attempt to capture energy and feeling. "I am trying to get the essence of the subject down on paper," she says "to convey joy or sadness, exuberance or loss."

You can view more of Maria's artwork in the new gallery on her website.

Maria's Official Site is at

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maria Gillan and Diane Di Prima

Maria and Diane in San Francisco -2014

During her book tour this past summer, Maria Gillan was able to visit her longtime friend Diane Di Prima in San Francisco. Di Prima was named Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2009.

Diane Di Prima has published more than 40 books. Her poetry collections include This Kind of Bird Flies Backwards (1958), the long poem Loba (1978, expanded 1998), and Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems (2001). She is also the author of the short story collection Dinners and Nightmares (1960), the semi-autobiographical Memoirs of a Beatnik (1968), and the memoir Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years (2001).

Diane has been awarded the National Poetry Association’s Lifetime Service Award and the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement and has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Committee on Poetry, the Lapis Foundation, and the Institute for Aesthetic Development. St. Lawrence University granted her an honorary doctorate.

Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

Maria Mazziotti Gillan To Read From Embroidered Stories Anthology

On November 13, 2014, Maria Mazziotti Gillan will read her poems “Donna Laura” and “Biancheria and My Mother” from the anthology, Embroidered Stories: Interpreting Women's Domestic Needlework from the Italian Diaspora, at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 W. 43rd Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036. The reading is at 6 pm and a number of the book’s contributors will participate in the presentation.

For Italian immigrants and their descendants, needlework represents a marker of identity, a cultural touchstone as powerful as pasta and Neapolitan music. Out of the artifacts of their memory and imagination, Italian immigrants and their descendants used embroidering, sewing, knitting, and crocheting to help define who they were and who they have become. This book is an interdisciplinary collection of creative work by authors of Italian origin and academic essays. The creative works from thirty-seven contributors include memoir, poetry, and visual arts while the collection as a whole explores a multitude of experiences about and approaches to needlework and immigration from a transnational perspective, spanning the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century.

At the center of the book, over thirty illustrations represent Italian immigrant women's needlework. The text reveals the many processes by which a simple object, or even the memory of that object, becomes something else through literary, visual, performance, ethnographic, or critical reimagining. While primarily concerned with interpretations of needlework rather than the needlework itself, the editors and contributors to Embroidered Stories remain mindful of its history and its associated cultural values, which Italian immigrants brought with them to the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina and passed on to their descendants.                    via via
An example of crochet – “the lace of poor people” –
made to imitate bobbin lace created for elite families.

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Maria Gillan Reading at Binghamton University

Tuesday, November 11 at 8:00pm
Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York
8 pm in Sci I Room 149.
A reading from Binghamton University professors  novelist ALEXI ZENTNER & poet MARIA MAZZIOTTI GILLAN.
Maria's Official Site is at  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Publication Celebration for the Paterson Literary Review Issue 42

On Saturday, November 8th at 1 PM, there will be a Publication Celebration with readers who are published in the Paterson Literary Review Issue 42.

As part of the Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, the event will be held at the Hamilton Club Building (32 Church St at the corner of Ellison St, Paterson).

Time permitting, there will be an Open Reading to follow.

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