Monday, April 27, 2015

Voyage to Her Roots

Photo by Tim Townsend  via

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is featured in New Jersey Monthly (May 2015) in an article, "Voyage to Her Roots" by Breanne McCarthy, that focuses on how her working-class childhood in Paterson inspired her life in poetry.

...She began writing poems as a young teen, but not until decades later—while taking graduate courses at Drew University in Madison—did she recognize the role her childhood memories could play in her work. A fleeting comment by one of her professors changed everything.

“He said, ‘Listen, it’s in this poem about your father that you find the story you have to tell,’” she recalls. “That was a mind-boggling thing for me, because I was trying to be Keats and Shelley—I thought I should be an English romantic poet, not a lower-class Italian from Paterson, New Jersey. It was very freeing.”

At that moment, Gillan began a voyage of introspection, examining her early life, her family and her immigrant roots.
Paterson became her muse, helping her focus her emotions and examine the intimate moments that would epitomize her work..

read the full article online

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