Monday, October 18, 2021

Marge Piercy Is the Distinguished Poet on October 23



The Poetry Center at PCCC has scheduled a Workshop and Poetry Reading virtually via Zoom,  with Marge Piercy on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 2:30 pm. The reading can be viewed live at that time and will be archived later at the Poetry Center YouTube Channel.



Marge Piercy’s latest book, On The Way Out, Turn Off The Light was published by Knopf (2020). Her critically acclaimed memoir is Sleeping with Cats

Born in Center City Detroit, and educated at the University of Michigan and Northwestern, she is the recipient of four honorary doctorates. Piercy has been active in antiwar, feminist, and environmental causes. 

A popular speaker on college campuses, she has been a featured writer on Bill Moyers’ PBS Specials, Prairie Home Companion, Fresh Air, The Today Show, and many radio programs nationwide including Air America and Oprah & Friends. Her poems are read frequently on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac

Praised as one of the few American writers who are accomplished and best-selling poets as well as novelists. She has taught, lectured, and performed her work at well over 400 universities around the world.  

Her website is margepiercy.com


 




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

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Poetry Weekend December 10 - 12



Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Kevin Carey are offering WRITING YOUR WAY HOME: A POETRY WEEKEND INTENSIVE on December 10 - 12, 2021 in Mendham, New Jersey. They will be once again offering a full weekend of workshops and opportunities to read at St Marguerite’s Retreat House.

This poetry weekend intensive is open to all writers over the age of 18.
It is requested by the Retreat House that all participants must present proof of vaccination. (Please send a copy of your vaccination card with your registration form).

Time:Begins 5 p.m. Friday, December 10
Ends 1:30 p.m. Sunday, December 12
Location: English Manor House at the convent of Saint John the Baptist, 82 West Main
Street, Mendham, NJ. The house is situated on 93 acres of wooded land with pathways for exploring the property. This serene, beautiful setting is perfect for contemplating nature and nurturing the creative spirit.

The purpose of this retreat is to give poets the space and time to focus on their
writing away from the pressures and distractions of everyday life. Participants will
draft poems in the workshops and should bring paper or a notebook, pens, and the
willingness to take risks. Please also bring previously-written work for one-on-one
critiquing sessions and for group readings.

At this retreat, poets will find:
 support and encouragement;
 stimulating writing exercises/prompts leading to the creation of new work;
 workshop leaders who are actively engaged in the writing life;
 opportunities to read their work aloud to the group;
 a community of writers and networking opportunities.
Fifteen professional development credits granted.

Poetry Weekend Intensive Schedule:

 Friday, December 10, 2021: Please arrive by 5 PM and settle into your
rooms. After dinner, we will break into two groups (about 12 to 15 in each),
where we will have the opportunity to write poetry and share the work
we’ve just written.
 Saturday, December 11, 2021: After breakfast, we will break into two
groups for morning workshops. Lunch will be served, followed by one
afternoon workshop and either free time or a critiquing session with the poet
faculty. Interested participants can sign up in advance (at the retreat house)
and may bring previously written, typed work for feedback. After dinner,
there will be an additional workshop.
***On Friday and Saturday evenings, the two groups will come together and
we will share our work—either something written on the weekend or
previously.
 Sunday, December 12, 2021: Breakfast followed by a workshop. A final
reading by participants will serve as the “closing ceremony” to what we hope
will be an inspiring and productive weekend. Lunch will offer another
opportunity for socializing and networking.

For full information and registration form, click here.



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

Kevin Carey is the coordinator of creative writing at Salem State University. He is a poet, filmmaker, fiction writer, and playwright. His latest full-length play, The Stand or Sal Is Dead, premiered at the Actor’s Studio in Newburyport, MA in 2018. In recent years he has co-directed and co-produced two documentary films about poets (Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Malcolm Miller). His books include a chapbook of fiction, The Beach People, and the collections of poetry, The One Fifteen to Penn Station, Set in Stone and Jesus Was a Homeboy. Kevin’s poems have appeared twice on the National Public Radio show The Writer’s Almanac and on the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day.   His website is kevincareywriter.com



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Maria Mazziotti Gillan and the Patterns of Memory

In this 2018 appearance, we get a taste of the heartfelt work of poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan which is deeply rooted in her childhood memories of Paterson, New Jersey. She grew up in an Italian immigrant neighborhood, learning English only after starting school.

Maria one was of the featured poets at the  October 2018 Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry event in North America.






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

Thursday, October 7, 2021

From the Desk of Maria Mazziotti Gillan

I am so happy that we have our online workshops for mature adults and that the first session was last Thursday.  The next will be today. I was thrilled by the quality of the work produced by our participants. It is always amazing to me how much fine work emerges from these workshops and how much of a spark it is for each of the poets to react to the poems they write and share.

For me, this last session was particularly important because although we couldn’t take everybody who wanted to be part of this group, we had a full house.

The poets really were able to inspire one another. I have to say for me many of the poems were so emotionally raw and open that I started to cry  I saw that others in the group were also emotional at the quality of the poems.

I always talk about the crow and having to get rid of the crow inside you In order to write your story and your truth. I was so grateful for the magic that happened in the workshop, particularly because I came to the workshop feeling emotionally low and I left it feeling excited and happy and thrilled that so many people could write such amazing poems! For me, it was a living example of how poetry can heal us. it certainly did that for me last Thursday.





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

Monday, September 27, 2021

Poem: Sometimes I’m Blind-sided by Beauty


Sometimes I’m Blind-sided by Beauty

The flash and fire of trees flaring into autumn, the deep 
purple of African violets a student gave me, the pattern
of sun and shade on a brick wall, the blonde child sitting with
his family at a patio table at the hotel, the child whom I’ve
never seen before who turns to me and smiles.

How gratified I am for these moments. blessed and perfect
as a new moon, the stars, and the way they carry me
beyond all I’ve lost, the way I keep expecting you to be
there when I come home, the way I forget how empty
a house can be when no one we love is in it, how quiet it is
after years of nurse’s aides and handymen, years of your illness
with all its equipment-Hoya lifts and wheelchairs and urinals
and lift chairs and canes-packed into every room. It is almost

as though I am afraid of the rooms so perfect and empty, rooms
I pass through to answer the door or collect the mail, and the way
I glance sideways into the dining room, surprised each time to see
your bed and equipment are no longer there.

Sometimes I’m blind-sided by beauty, my breath caught
in my throat, my memory of your face bending toward me,
your face lit by lamplight on that corner of New York City,
your eyes that incredible gray-blue, the high cheekbones
of your face. For a moment you came back to me as you
we e all those years ago, you walking with John in married
student housing at Rutgers, our son John, a year old
and wide-eyed, and you in your horn-rimmed glasses,
your Rutgers sweatshirt, you walking toward me.


This poem also appears online at thequiver.org 



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