Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s Ancestors' Song (Bordighera Press) takes the reader on a journey, one in which she recognizes deep within herself “the voices of the women who came before,” their words blending together, forming, as she tells the reader, “the beat I move to.” This beat is very much a part of the narrative she weaves in her characteristic honest, intimate, humorous voice. This beat is true, hard working, strong; a beat that began in the villages on the mountaintops in San Mauro, Italy, and continues to the present day, illuminating the path for those that will follow.
These poems will move you to laughter, to tears, and a mixture of both, and are proof that Gillan is at the peak of her career. She is truly one of America’s most beloved poets.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of 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 Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 18 books, including: What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions), The Place I Call Home and The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books) and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica). With her daughter Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies.