Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Poem: Snow Falls Thick


Maria's poem is the poem of the month on the MER website. MER is a literary journal about motherhood. MER promotes and celebrates the creative force of mother writers and artists through publications, performances, workshops, and online, at www.momeggreview.com

 

Snow Falls Thick

outside the windows of Saint Marguerite retreat house.
If only my mother had not died more than 20 years ago, I’d call her,
tell her, my practical, no-nonsense mother, to stop working
long enough to look out into the softening December world,
here in this peaceful place where no sound enters.
Memory, that savvy Trickster, pulls me back
to the 17th Street kitchen with its coal stove
and sweet, bread-baking aroma.
It is 1947. We are having a huge blizzard
and all the windows in our apartment frost over in patterns
that seem to me to be exquisitely beautiful.
My mother gives me a potato fresh from the oven.
I hold the hot potato, its crunchy skin, in my hand,
and I realize how much more my mother offered
when she gave me that warmth to hold in my hands.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan 

Originally published in MER 18 – “Home”


Maria Mazziotti Gillan's newest poetry collection is When the Stars Were Still Visible (2021). Other recent publications are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadowand the poetry collections What Blooms in Winter and The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets, a pairing of her poems with her paintings.
Maria's artist website is MariaMazziottiGillan.com and her poetry website is MariaGillan.com.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Poetry Workshop for Mature Adults Winter 2023


Once again, as promised, Maria Gillan will offer the Mature Adult Workshop sessions virtually via Zoom for Winter 2023.  As usual, there will be six sessions and the fee remains at $90.00 for six sessions.
                                                                                                                        
There is a maximum of 25 participants and acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis dependent on the receipt of your check in the Poetry Center office. So if you want to attend, please send the registration form and your check as soon as possible. 

The Winter 2023 series will be held February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, and 9. All sessions 1-3 pm (EST) 

To download the registration form see poetrycenterpccc.com/workshops



Maria Mazziotti Gillan's newest poetry collection is When the Stars Were Still Visible (2021). Other recent publications are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadowand the poetry collections What Blooms in Winter and The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets, a pairing of her poems with her paintings.
Maria's artist website is MariaMazziottiGillan.com and her poetry website is MariaGillan.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Deadline for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards Is February 1

The Poetry Center at PCCC sponsors the annual Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. The deadline is February 1, 2023.   

Honoring Allen Ginsberg’s contribution to American literature and his Paterson upbringing, this annual poetry competition awards the first prize of $2000, the second prize of $1000, and the third prize of $500 for a single poem.

Up to five unpublished poems per person will be accepted for consideration.

The full guidelines are available at poetrycenterpccc.com/awards

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Distinguished Poets Series: Leah Umansky


The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College presents a virtual poetry reading by Leah Umansky on Saturday, January 14, 23, from 2:30 PM – 3 PM (EST.  If you want to join the reading, please click on the link below at that time. 



Leah Umansky is the author of three books of poems, most recently OF TYRANT, forthcoming with The Word Works in 2024. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and has curated and hosted The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC since 2011. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as The New York Times, POETRY, The Bennington Review, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day, Guesthouse, and Pleiades. She can be found at www.leahumansky.com.



Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Poem: Ginestra and Cotton Sheets

Ginestra and Cotton Sheets

My mother, when she was a girl living on that mountain top in Italy,
did not have cotton. They used, instead, a wild plant called ginestra
which they dried and wove into fabric for towels and clothes.
It was rough and strong.
My mother brought the towels she embroidered on this cloth
with her from Italy in a big trunk that became part of her dowry.
She would not enter her marriage without linens to use in her new life.
In America, she got a job sewing the lining in the coats
in a factory filled with other immigrant women
who were also paid by the pieces they finished.
What she wanted for each of her children was to fill a trunk with biancheria,
linens we would use in our own married lives,
so she bought white cotton sheets and pillowcases
and put them aside in a trunk to keep them pristine.
My mother loved the cotton sheets she bought for herself
and she wanted us to have them, too. What I remember in my girlhood bed
was slipping between those cotton sheets
that my mother had washed in the wringer washer
and hung out on the line in the backyard to dry in the sun.
The sheets were smooth and beautiful, softened,
by my mother’s washing,
by hanging them out in the fresh air to dry,
by the iron she used to smooth out any wrinkles.
My bed, with her cotton sheets, smelled of sun and fresh air,
an aroma I remember, even now,
so many years since that time as a young girl
when I’d slide into those cotton sheets
where I always felt safe and loved.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the poet of the month at Seventh Quarry poetry magazine and press in Swansea, Wales. The magazine with an international perspective appears twice a year, in winter and summer. Edited by Welsh poet and dramatist Peter Thabit Jones, the first issue was launched at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, in January 2005.  Peter is also the Founder and the Editor of The Seventh Quarry Press. This poem is one of five reprinted on the site this month.


Maria Mazziotti Gillan's newest poetry collection is When the Stars Were Still Visible (2021). Other recent publications are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadowand the poetry collections What Blooms in Winter and The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets, a pairing of her poems with her paintings.
Maria's artist website is MariaMazziottiGillan.com and her poetry website is MariaGillan.com.