Sunday, June 6, 2021

A Reading Marathon for Celebrating Calabria

On June 19, 2021, from 3-5pm Eastern Time, there will be a virtual event - Celebrating Calabria: Reading Marathon, sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, Paterson, New Jersey, USA. 

Celebrating Calabria: Writing Heritage and Memory is the result of the “Italian Diaspora Studies Writing Seminar” that took place in May 2019, in Calabria and Basilicata. 


The program was launched by the Italian Diaspora Studies Association, in conjunction with the Department of Humanities at the University of Calabria, with the support of the U.S. Consulate General of Naples, and the patronages of the Canadian Embassy of Rome and the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal (CA). The program was aimed at establishing a broad transnational perspective on the Italian diaspora through a community-based writing program, characterized by the mission of focusing on the South of Italy and on the importance of material culture and of historical heritage that can be experienced only by visiting specific locales of the diaspora.

Remarks for the event will be made by Margherita Ganeri, Carla Francellini, Elisabetta Marino and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

Readers will be:
Eloise Carbone
Marco Gatto
Maria Giura
Geoffrey Gwasy
Iris Hauser
Zach Hauser
Linda Hillringhouse
Maria Lisella
Janet Michello
Francine Montemurro
Dina Minervini Tsoar
Kim Vose
Debbie Zerbini



Monday, May 31, 2021

Carolyn Forché Poetry Reading June 5

Carolyn Forché (by Don J. Usner/Provided)

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Carolyn Forché will give a virtual reading as part of the Poetry Center at PCCC's Distinguished Poets series. The event will run from 2:30 - 3 PM (EST)

Her first poetry volume, Gathering the Tribes, was the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. She has followed that with The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. Her most recent collection is In the Lateness of the World. 

Carolyn is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (2019), a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others, which was nominated for the 2019 National Book Awards. 

She has translated Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice,” and is followed by the 2014 anthology The Poetry of Witness. In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture. 

Although Forché is sometimes described as a political poet, she considers herself a poet who is politically engaged. After the publication of The Country Between Us, which included poems describing what she had personally experienced in El Salvador at the beginning of the Salvadoran Civil War, she responded to controversy concerning whether or not her work had become “political,” by researching and writing about poetry written in the aftermath of extremity in the 20th century. She proposed that such works not be read as narrowly “political” but rather as “poetry of witness."



The live event link is https://youtu.be/RuYqHWNN_K4  The program will also be archived later at the same location.

 




Friday, May 21, 2021

Poem: My Son the Lawyer Quotes Dylan Thomas to Give Me Courage

Dylan Thomas   1914-1953

Maria Mazziotti Gillan contributed a poem to the DYLANDAY 2021 celebration sponsored by the Metropolitan City of Turin, Italy. DylanDay debuted in 2015 as a tribute to Dylan Thomas, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. In different locations, exhibitions and conferences have been organized to highlight the various aspects of his poetry, so brilliant and innovative, and of his adventurous life.

But why in Turin? Aeronwy Thomas, daughter of Dylan, for many years held a remote creative writing workshop with the students of a Turin school and in 2006 she came to visit Turin and meet with students.

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion," the "play for voices" Under Milk Wood; and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child's Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

The poems collected for DylanDay 2021 are on the DylanDay website. 



My Son the Lawyer Quotes Dylan Thomas to Give Me Courage

After I lose my balance and fall,
smashing my nose against the hardwood floor,
I slip in a huge puddle of blood,
try to stand up but my feet keep sliding.


I have always loved mystery stories,
read about people stabbed to death,
but never thought about the blood,
how the murderer could break his neck sliding in it.

After the hospital,
after the x-rays,
the EKG,
the four-hour drive to Binghamton,
after I teach my class, looking battle-scarred,
I think of my son who used to tell me
I should cut back and give up poetry,
proving that he did not understand anything about me.

When I talk to him on the phone he is shocked
to hear defeat in my voice.
I am always optimistic about everything
even in the middle of calamity,
but today I am brought low
by the recognition of frailty.

My son, the lawyer, the practical pragmatic one,
says how many women your age have a life they love,
work they love doing?

Later, he sends me a quote from Dylan Thomas.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I repeat the lines over and over to myself,
grateful to this son I was sure didn't understand anything about me.







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, May 17, 2021

Live Virtual Poetry Reading with Maria Gillan May 19



MARIA GILLAN is the Casa Italia Espresso Zoom Guest on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 3:30 pm EDT.

This Live ZOOM will feature this major poet in Italian-American literature reading from her new poetry collection, When the Stars Were Still Visible (STEPHEN F. AUSTIN UNIVERSITY PRESS)

Meeting ID: 914 6874 5667
Passcode: 419199

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), 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 and Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. 
Maria Gillan is a Bartle Professor and Professor Emerita of English and creative writing at Binghamton University-SUNY. 
 
She has published more than twenty books of and about poetry and has edited four anthologies.

Maria won the 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Endeavor from Binghamton University, the 2008 Sheila Motton Award, Primo Nazionale Belmoro, the First Annual John Fante and Pietro di Donato Award, the Aniello Lauri Award, the May Sarton Award, the Fearing Houghton Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and the American Literary Translators Association Award through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Literary Outreach and The Dare to Imagine Award from Very Special Arts.

Her poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on “The Writer’s Almanac.” She has been interviewed and read her poems on National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Things Considered”, “The Brian Lehrer Show”, “The Poet and the Poem”, “The Leonard Lopate Show”, as well as “In Honor of National Poetry Month”, “The Charles Osgood Show” on CBS-Radio, also on Pacifica Radio, and the Voice of America. She has also been featured on several PBS-TV (Public Broadcasting System) programs. Her books have been chosen as Editor’s Choice by Booklist, New York Public library Book List, and one of the American Library Association’s Outstanding Books for Lifelong Learners.

Maria has read her poems numerous times at universities, festivals, and poetry centers throughout the USA and in Italy, France, Yugoslavia, Finland, Wales, and Ireland. 

The Maria Mazziotti Gillan Collection of her papers is housed at the Binghamton University Libraries.



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, May 10, 2021

Maria Gillan Reading for a Tribute to Diane Di Prima

Maria Mazziotti Gillan took part in the Italian-American Studies Association Webinar Series
"Diane Di Prima Tribute" on April 27, 2021.

The tribute was a virtual program featuring Lawrence DiStasi, Sandra Gilbert, Maria Gillan and Rachel Guido DeVries, with an opening welcome/intro from Adele Negro on behalf of the WRC.

Maria reads a poem by Diane and talks about her relationship with Di Prima and how she was a revolutionary poet.




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.