Saturday, May 18, 2019

Writing By Degrees



Jen DeGregorio and Maria Gillan



Maria Gillan gave a reading and craft talk at the recent graduate student conference, Writing By Degrees, held at Binghamton University. Maria's session was titled "Lunch with Maria."




The conference was organized by the graduate students along with Jen DeGregorio.






Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Books to Help You Write Poetry

In the article, "Want To Write Poetry? Start With These 9 Books," Kristian Wilson has included 9 books to help writers at all levels further their work as poets.

Included is Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories  which is noted as being "Part memoir, part writing reference, Maria Mazziotti Gillan's Writing Poetry to Save Your Life is a conversational guide to the process of writing poetry and all its highs and lows."

Also included are perennial favorites such as The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, and A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver.








Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Contemporary Poetry and Mystical Intimacy

In the essay, "Contemporary Poetry and Mystical Intimacy," Yehoshua November finds a surprising connection between the poetry of Maria Gillan and his own religious studies.

"In traditional Jewish life, as noted, this union occurs when a physical being—God’s cosmic wife— performs a physical mitzvah that draws down an Infinite, male light into the feminine, finite world—a union in God’s bridal chamber. Thus, Judaism is a religion whose practices engage largely with the mundane, with physicality. Maria Gillan’s poem, “After School on Ordinary Days,” provides an example of how contemporary poetry aims for a similar kind of union—albeit not in an overtly spiritual context:

…After supper on ordinary
days, our homework finished, we’d play
Monopoly or gin rummy, the kitchen
warmed by the huge coal stove, the wind
outside rattling the loose old windows,
we inside, tucked in, warm and together,
on ordinary days that we didn’t know
until we looked back across a distance
of forty years would glow and shimmer
in memory’s flickering light.

Memory’s flickering light is, of course, synonymous with the poetry that records and illuminates this everyday scene. It is poetry that deems the mundane, “the ordinary days”—and not necessarily the exalted moment—a worthy subject, perhaps the most worthy of subjects."

Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s “After School on Ordinary Days” appears in her poetry collection Italian Women in Black Dresses.





Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow  and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Martin Espada and Quincy Troupe May 4 in Distinguished Poets Series in Paterson


On Saturday, May 4 at 1pm, Martín Espada and Quincy Troupe will read for the Distinguished Poets Series at the Poetry Center at PCCC in Paterson.




Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1957. He has published almost 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). His many honors include the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Quincy Troupe is the author of nine volumes of poetry, three children's books, and the author, co-author, or editor of six non-fiction works. He collaborated with Miles Davis on his autobiography, Miles: The Autobiography: Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe, and with Chris Gardner on The Pursuit of Happyness, which spent more than forty weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and was made into a major motion picture starring Will Smith. Troupe has also written a screenplay for Miles and Me, the memoir of his friendship with Miles Davis. Poetry collections include Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems, winner of the 2003 Milt Kessler Poetry Award and selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best books of poetry in 2002; The Architecture of Language, winner of the 2007 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement; and Errançities, published 2012.

The Distinguished Poets Series is held on Saturdays at 1 pm at the Poetry Center located in the Hamilton Club at 32 Church Street, Paterson, New Jersey. (directions) All readings are free and open to the public. Open readings follow the featured readers when time allows.

Writing workshops are held on the mornings of these readings with the poets in the same location. Pre-registration is required for these workshops and a fee of $20 must be submitted with registration. For questions and to confirm that workshops are still open to registration, email sdesai@pccc.edu or call 973-684-6555.



The Hamilton Club Building is wheelchair accessible; large print materials and FM assistive listening devices available on request. The Poetry Center at PCCC is funded, in part, by a grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Please contact 973-684-6555 for availability.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Montclair Poetry Series To Feature Balik, Evans and Gwyn on May 2



On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series will feature the poets SUSAN LEMBO BALIK, BOB EVANS and JIM GWYN.

A reception and open reading from 6-7 pm will precede the featured readers who will read from 7 – 8 pm.

R.G. Evans's books include Overtipping the Ferryman (Aldrich Press Poetry Prize, 2013), The Holy Both (Main Street Rag) and The Noise of Wings (Red Dashboard). His poems, fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Rattle, Paterson Literary Review, Lips, Weird Tales and other journals. His original music has been featured in the poetry documentaries All That Lies Between Us and Unburying Malcolm Miller  and Sweet Old Life, his first CD of original music, was released in 2018.  Evans teaches high school and college English and Creative Writing in southern New Jersey. www.rgevanswriter.com.

Jim Gwyn has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines. In addition to Paterson Literary Review, recent work is in Lips, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow; Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Quarterly. He won first prize in the 2008 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest and has eight Pushcart Prize nominations.

Susan Lembo Balik is Manager, Cultural Affairs at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ (home to the Poetry Center). Her first book of poetry is Sinatra, the Jeeperettes & Me (Garden Oak Press, 2014), and her poems have appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Lips, San Diego Poetry Annual, Tiferet and other journals.



This series is held at the Montclair Public Library Auditorium and hosted by Maria Gillan and and Laura Boss.

All readings in this series are free and open to the public.

Location: Montclair Public Library (Auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ    For location information, contact the library at 973-744-0500.