Monday, May 16, 2016

Poem: I Imagine Meeting Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley - Modern Screen, June 1958


I Imagine Meeting Elvis Presley


I imagine meeting Elvis Presley on a street corner

in Binghamton, Elvis with his gyrating hips and his sexy

voice, who blasted out of my boyfriend’s car radio

when we were 17. One night while driving back

from a date he asked, “Why did you French kiss Bill?”


I said “What,” the way I do now although I spent $6,000

on hearing aids that sometimes don’t work. He repeated

his question and I asked, “What’s French kissing?” and he told

me. “Ugh! Is that what he was doing? He danced

with me at the party and he stuck his tongue in my mouth.

It was disgusting. I thought he was crazy.” I said.


Finally, Jimmy believed me and we kissed for hours parked

in the woods on William Paterson College campus, but I never

felt anything—not a single spark of electricity between us,

though he took me home to have dinner with his parents

and pretended we were “in love.” He tried to tell me

that he liked going to gay clubs, asked if I wanted to go

with him. I didn’t understand what he was trying to tell me.

We broke up.


Later, he wrote to me from San Francisco and said

he was gay. Some part of me had known it all along,

all those hours parked in the woods or at Garret Mountain

lookout, those hours when he kissed me until my lips were

raw and I felt nothing, nothing at all, and those interminable

dinners at his parents, me inarticulate and shy, and Jimmy

pretending that he was what his critical father wanted

him to be, and that he could live his life with me

to make his father happy, while those hours necking

must have made him feel like he was kissing someone

as appealing to him as a frog or a stone.






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

Monday, May 9, 2016

Maria Gillan to Read at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre in Rome, Italy



Maria Mazziotti Gillan will be attending an international literary conference this month,RE-MAPPING ITALIAN AMERICA. PLACES, CULTURES, IDENTITIES at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre in Rome, Italy sponsored by the Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Straniere.

The conference is from May 12-13, 2016.  On Friday morning,  a session is devoted to "A Conversation with Maria Mazziotti Gillan.  Chaired by Cristina Giorcelli (Università Roma Tre), Elisabetta Marino (Università di Roma Tor Vergata) will conduct an interview with Maria. Then Maria will read her poetry, featuring her latest publication, the poetry and art collection  The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.  A paper on Gillan's work will be presented by Dr. Elisabetta Marino.



Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gillan's 'Writing Poetry To Save Your Life' Featured in San Diego Program


The San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild (SDEAG) received a grant from the San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization (CECO) for poetry books to be used in workshops in Juvenile Hall and the Vista Jail. SDEAG, a 501(c)(3) public charity, sponsors the San Diego Poetry Annual, which includes specials sections from Poets in Juvenile Hall and Veterans in Jail. These two outreach programs involve workshops led by poets associated with the annual.

The funds will be used to buy copies of two of the most influential guides to writing poetry – Steve Kowit’s In the Palm of Your Hand and Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s.Writing Poetry To Save Your Life: How To Find The Courage To Tell Your Stories   – plus copies of the 2015-16 San Diego Poetry Annual, featuring 329 poems by 242 poets

Both Kowit and Gillan have been featured poets in previous annuals.

SDEAG president Bill Harding said “We are so grateful to CECO for their generous help in reaching these underserved communities. We believe in the power of art to change people by getting inside them and opening them to new possibilities. With these two groups, poetry can also be a path to hope – and after that, everything is possible.”


SOURCE: http://villagenews.com/business/sdeag-awarded-grant-ceco/

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Alicia Suskin Ostriker and reg e gaines at the Poetry Center in Paterson



This Saturday, May 7, the Poetry Center at PCCC's Distinguished Poets Series presents a free reading featuring Alicia Suskin Ostriker and reg e gaines.

The reading will be at 1 pm at the Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street (corner of Ellison St.), Paterson, NJ.

Workshops will be offered by Ostriker and gaines from 10 am to 12 pm prior to their readings. Pre-registration and a fee of $20 is required. Contact the Poetry Center at 973-684-6555 to check registration availability.


Poet, critic, and activist Alicia Suskin Ostriker has published numerous volumes of poetry, including The Book of Seventy (2009), which received the Jewish National Book Award; No Heaven (2005); The Volcano Sequence (2002); Little Space (1998), a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Crack in Everything (1996), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award; The Imaginary Lover (1986), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; A Woman Under the Surface (1983), Once More Out of Darkness (1974), and Songs (1969). In 2014, her collection, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog (Pitt Poetry Series), was published.
Ostriker has taught in the low-residency Poetry MFA program of Drew University and New England College. She lives in Princeton, NJ, and is professor emerita of English at Rutgers University.

reg e gaines is a Tony Award-nominated playwright and Grammy-nominated lyricist, Bring in da Noise/Bring in da Funk, a Heideman Award Finalist, The Beatles Killed Jazz, and winner of the 2003 Downtown Urban Theater Festival’s Best Play Award for Other Aspects. reg has four books of poetry including, The Original Buckwheat and Abstract Sax, and is editor of the 2015 poetry anthology, A Year In Ink, Vol. 8. This former Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champ has read his poems on, The Arsenio Hall Show, Jon Stewart Show, MTV's Spoken Word Un-Plugged, Woodstock '94, MSNBC's Edgewise and Seasons Four/ Five of HBO's Def Poetry.
He was recently commissioned to write and direct Through the Looking Glass by Center Theatre Group, a project designed to create theater in underserved Los Angeles neighborhoods.

An open reading will follow the featured readers.

Please visit poetrycenterpccc.com for information on
registration for workshops, all readings and directions
or
contact the Poetry Center at 973-684-6555

Friday, April 29, 2016

Montclair Monthly Poetry Series May 5




On Thursday, May 5, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series hosted by Maria Gillan and Laura Boss will feature readings by SONDRA GASH, MARY MAKOFSKE and MARILYN MOHR.

The reading is free and open to the public and begins at 7 pm.  An open reading will follow the featured poets' readings.

Location: Montclair Public Library (Auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 973-744- 0500

Contact: LBoss79270@aol.com or mgillan@pccc.edu

Monday, April 25, 2016

Student Poets Visit Maria Gillan



For National Poetry Month, Maria Mazziotti Gillan visited a new poetry club at PS #18. For those who read Maria's poetry and this blog, you may remember that's the school she attended while growing up in Paterson.

She got the red carpet treatment while she was there (literally, they rolled out a red carpet!) and recently the students visited Maria at the Hamilton Club for a tour of the Federici Studio Collection with curator Jane Haw, and for a writing workshop with Maria.







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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Distinguished Poets Series Features Alicia Ostriker and reg e gaines on May 7

The Poetry Center at PCCC's Distinguished Poets Series is proud to present a free reading featuring Alicia Ostriker and reg e gaines on May 7, 2016 at 1 pm at the Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street (corner of Ellison St.), Paterson, NJ.

Poet, critic, and activist Alicia Ostriker has published numerous volumes of poetry, including The Book of Seventy (2009), which received the Jewish National Book Award; No Heaven (2005); The Volcano Sequence (2002); Little Space (1998), a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Crack in Everything (1996), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize wand the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award; The Imaginary Lover (1986), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; A Woman Under the Surface (1983), Once More Out of Darkness (1974), and Songs (1969). Ostriker has taught in the low-residency Poetry MFA program of Drew University and New England College. She lives in Princeton, NJ, and is professor emerita of English at Rutgers University.

reg e gaines is a Tony Award-nominated playwright and Grammy-nominated lyricist, Bring in da Noise/Bring in da Funk, a Heideman Award Finalist, The Beatles Killed Jazz, and winner of the 2003 Downtown Urban Theater Festival’s Best Play Award for Other Aspects. reg has four books of poetry including, The Original Buckwheat and Abstract Sax, and is editor of the 2015 poetry anthology, A Year In Ink, Vol. 8. This former Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champ has read his poems on, The Arsenio Hall Show, Jon Stewart Show, MTV's Spoken Word Un-Plugged, Woodstock '94, MSNBC's Edgewise and Seasons Four/ Five of HBO's Def Poetry. He was recently commissioned to write and direct Through the Looking Glass by Center Theatre Group, a project designed to create theater in underserved Los Angeles neighborhoods.



An open reading will follow the featured readers.

Workshops will be offered by Alicia Ostriker and reg e gaines from 10 am to 12 pm prior to their readings. Pre-registration and a fee of $20 is required. Contact the Poetry Center at 973-684-6555.





Please visit poetrycenterpccc.com for information on
registration for workshops, all readings and directions
or
contact the Poetry Center at 973-684-6555