A few excerpts:
Geosi Gyasi: Are you comfortable with the label, American poet?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan: Yes. I am an American poet and proud to be part of the multi-cultural fabric that is America. My parents were immigrants from Italy, and I was born in Paterson, NJ. I did not speak English until I went to school.
Geosi Gyasi: Do you know who reads your books?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan: People from all over the world. For example, in the last week, I got a series of emails about my work from a young woman in England, and I also received emails from a woman who teaches at the American Embassy School in India. People write to me very often about my work, and it is very gratifying.
Geosi Gyasi: What actually inspires you to write?
Maria Mazziotti Gillan: My ordinary life inspires me. I’ve written a great deal about growing up in poverty as the child of immigrants, but I’ve also written about a long marriage, loss, grief. I am writing more and more about my fear for all we’ve done to destroy the environment.
Maria's Official Site is at MariaGillan.com. Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.