Sometimes a book is a meaningful end from a meaningful journey. So is Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s The Place I Call Home. These are high quality memories Gillan secures with a sharp mind. Only the truth can turn a shy 15-year-old’s story into a great drama— because a simple assembly of facts and feelings would be nothing without the backlight of authenticity and compassion. Gillan teaches her writing students “be who you are.” She proves the point. For a child of immigrants, it can be a cold climate outside of the family; events can be devastating—Gillan turns imbedded secrets into historical period pieces. What is confessional poetry? It can be passionate self-absorption, or intrusion. Gillan avoids this, elevating the art by drawing connections we can recognize. In spirit, there is equity. This is her genre. In The Place I Call Home each poem paints a scene, leads up to a revelation, is a picture of daily life without pretention. And your writing students will not say “But what does it mean?”
Grace Cavalieri is the author of several books, chapbooks of poetry; and 23 staged plays. She founded "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, and now produces the series from the Library of Congress, in its 34th year on-air.To hear Grace Cavalieri’s interviews with Michael Collier and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, go to http://www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html
Grace’s recent books, Sounds Like Something I Would Say, Millie’s Sunshine Tiki Villas and Anna Nicole: Poems are also available free on Kindle’s Lending Library.