Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Interview With Maria Gillan


Maria Mazziotti Gillan sat down this month for an interview with Micah Towery on TheThepoetry.com

Here are two excerpts:

Maria on what she admires in poets
One of the things I see in Allen Ginsberg’s work is his willingness to fight his own demons—his mother’s madness, his own fears, accusations against him for this poem Howl. He talks about that in the film Howl. He said he had to learn about everything. He ends up saying that everything is holy. If you are willing to go to all the places that maybe you’re ashamed of, and really look at them, you can make them blessed, you can raise them up, you can give courage to others just as Allen did. Literature provides window in someone else’s life and give us the connection between the writer and the reader. It forms a bridge between reader and writer. In writing narrative poetry, I think we learn about our own humanity. The writers I admire are ones who are afraid but go ahead anyway — Marie Howe, Mark Doty, Joe Weil, Jan Beatty, to name just a few of the great writers creating memorable work today.


Maria as an editor
I edit a journal [Paterson Literary Review], and have done so for 33 years. I am the only editor and I choose poems and stories and memoir based on my ideas about writing. I’ve organized a reading series for 33 years also, and again I choose the poets who are capable of reaching people of all types and classes. I am not interested in work that uses language as a screen and I don’t feature that kind of poet. I think my audience likes my poetic taste and they return month after month, year after year, to celebrate poetry that is rooted to the ground, poetry that celebrates ordinary life. I think that there is resurgence of narrative poetry because in this mechanistic world , people need and want meaning. I think of Shakespeare whose plays have survived because he wrote for both the elite and the people in the pit. I think that’s why we are still drawn to his plays even today so many years since they were written and performed.


read the full interview at www.thethepoetry.com along with a featured poem by Maria.


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com and her books are available at Amazon.com Her latest publication is the poetry collection,  Ancestors' Song

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gillan Praised for AWP Award

Binghamton University English Prof. Maria Mazziotti Gillan received the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Gillan, who has promoted literature for nearly 35 years, is also the founder and director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the director of the creative writing program.
She has published 18 books and co-edited four anthologies with her daughter, Jennifer. Gillan is also the founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and the editor of the Paterson Literary Review.

In her acceptance speech, Gillan thanked those teachers “who read poetry aloud in English in those dusty classrooms at PS18 in Paterson, NJ, those teachers who first introduced me to the music of the language and made me love literature.”

SOURCE: www.pressconnects.com


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com and her books are available at Amazon.com Her latest publication is the poetry collection,  Ancestors' Song

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Call for Submissions for Poets under Forty Anthology

The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College is pleased to announce a call for poems for an anthology to celebrate the work of regional poets under 40.

All poets, whose work is accepted, will be required to read his or her poem from the anthology on November 8, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the historic Hamilton Club Building in downtown Paterson, New Jersey.

Poems can be submitted by those 18 to 39 years of age who live in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Each contributor will receive one copy of the anthology.

A maximum of two poems per person will be considered (only one copy needed). Only unpublished poems.  Include contact information (name, address, phone number, and email) on the top of each poem. Each poem should be no more than two pages, single spaced. Poems will not be returned, so do not send originals.

Deadline: June 15, 2014

Notification of accepted poems: August 2014. Only poets, whose work has been accepted, will be contacted. Those who wish to receive a notification flyer of winners should include SASE.

Please do not call our office in reference to anthology submissions. Questions should be sent by email to sdesai@pccc.edu

Typed submissions should be mailed to:

Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Executive Director
Poetry Center
Passaic County Community College
One College Boulevard
Paterson, NJ 07505

Download a pdf of the submission form

Friday, April 11, 2014

Maria Gillan and Laura Boss Featured at Fanwood Reading

The Carriage House Poetry Series is in its 16th year at the Kuran Arts Center, an historic Gothic Revival structure that was once a 19th century carriage house. The Carriage House Poetry Series invites the public to attend a poetry reading by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Laura Boss on Tuesday, April 15.

The free performance will begin promptly at 8 p.m.. in the Kuran Arts Center on Watson Road, off North Martine Avenue, adjacent to Fanwood Borough Hall. (GPS use 75 N. Martine Avenue). An open mic reading will follow the featured performance.

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.

She has published 18 books, and her most recent are Ancestors' Song (Bordighera Press), The Place I Call Home (NYQ Books) and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica).

Woodbridge native Laura Boss is a first prize winner in the Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Contest and a recipient of three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has read at many venues in Europe and the United States, including the Dylan Thomas Centre in Wales, the International Struga Poetry Readings in Yugoslavia, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., the United Nations, Princeton University and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

Boss is a long-time Dodge Poet-in-the-Schools and the author of several books of poetry, including “Arms: New and Selected Poems” (1999) and her newest, “Flashlight” (Guernica Editions). As a visiting artist and mentor to young poets, she has been a familiar figure on the Northeast poetry scene for decades. Boss has been on National Public Radio and her poems have been in the New York Times and other noted publications. Founder of LIPS magazine in 1981, she continues to edit and publish the biannual poetry journal.


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com and her books are available at Amazon.com. Her latest publication is the poetry collection,  Ancestors' Song .

Maria Gillan Reading in Hawthorne Today

Maria Mazziotti Gillan will be reading tonight, April 11, for the Friends of the Louis Bay 2nd Library at 345 Lafayette Ave. in Hawthorne, NJ.

The reading is at 7pm and is free and open to the public. An open reading will follow.


Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com and her books are available at Amazon.com. Her latest publication is the poetry collection,  Ancestors' Song .

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Great Falls Anthology Reading Will Be May 10


May 10, 2014 at 1 PM
A free poetry reading by the contributors to the
Great Falls Anthology
at the Hamilton Club Building,32 Church Street, Paterson, NJ
The Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College


This new anthology celebrates the Great Falls, the Passaic River and environmental issues with poetry rooted in the literary tradition that honors place, narrative, clarity and specificity.

READERS
MART├ŹN ESPADA (spotlight poem)
SUSAN LEMBO BALIK
SVEA BARRET
RAYMOND BARTO
PATRICIA ANN BENDER
HOWARD BERELSON
TARA BETTS
LAURA BOSS
GRACE CAVALIERI
LINDA CRONIN
DANTE DISTEFANO
R.G. EVANS
ANDREW FADER
DEBORAH GERRISH
GAIL FISHMAN GERWIN
MARIA GILLAN
ELISA GORDON
JAMES D. GWYN
WILLIAM HARRY HARDING
MARK HILLRINGHOUSE
LINDA HILLRINGHOUSE
CHARLES JOHNSON
FRANCES LOMBARDI-GRAHL
BRUCE LOWRY
NANCY LUBARSKY
JOHN MARCHITTI
ELIZABETH MARCHITTI
WAYNE L. MILLER
FRANK NICCOLETTI
MAUDE CAROLAN PYCH
JOSEPH RATHGEBER
CAROLE RITTENBERG
KENNETH RONKOWITZ
KATHERINE SANTANGELO
KENNETH SILVESTRI
MADELINE TIGER
EMILY R VOGEL
BOB WARD
JOE WEIL
BARBARA R. WILLIAMS-HUBBARD
SANDER ZULAUF





Not Done With Her Changes: A Review of Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s The Silence in an Empty House
by Joe Weil on www.thethepoetry.com

All griefs are as unprecedented, as original as the whorls in our fingerprints, and yet certain poets are able to take the specific ceremonies of grief and loss and reenact them in such a way that they are meaningful to all who read their work. This portability is something the poet Pessoa mentioned when he wrote: “The personal is not the human. To become the human it must make a bridge.” This bridge is the contrivance of the right ceremony, the necessary words that will release the energy of true feeling and allow that tentative thread to be touched and felt by the reader. Maria Mazziotti’s new collection, The Silence in an Empty House, does just that...

No book of Gillan’s builds finer more lasting bridges. This is the culmination of her life’s work, even more so than her collected, and it proves that even reaching beyond the age of 70, and losing almost the whole of her leading list of life players—parents, sister, beloved spouse–Maria Mazziotti Gillan is still not done with her changes. This book is essential reading for anyone who believes poetry has the power to speak for more and plot for more than just the exhibitionist and voyeuristic self. Moving away from the triumphalism of the determined immigrant’s daughter, this book is a greater triumph and gift for all those who understand her final lines said in the full winter of her life:

How grateful I must
remember to be, to hold
so much in my hands.
so much in my hands.

continue reading




Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com and her books are available at Amazon.com Her latest publication is the poetry collection,  Ancestors' Song