Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Maria Mazziotti Gillan in Conversation on Poetry

Maria Gillan recently had a long-distance conversation with Shelly Bhoil who is an Indian scholar and poet, currently living in Brazil.

They discussed a variety of topics, including:

1. The role of poetry in times of pandemic
2. Metaphors in poetry - with reference to 'cave' and 'crow' which she often uses with her students telling them that all poems are hidden in a cave, which is guarded by a crow. 
3. Esoteric poems versus poems with an inner electricity
4. How important are form and meter to poetry?
5. Utility and limitations of creative writing courses
6. Poetry’s relationship with pen/paper versus keyboard/screen

And Maria offered 2 poetry prompts for the current times of pandemic: Why are you so afraid to be alone? What makes you feel safe at home?

Maria Mazziotti Gillan
is an artist, poet and professor. 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 is a Bartle Professor and Professor Emerita of English and creative writing and is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 22 books of and about poetry and four literature anthologies. 


Shelly Bhoil
 is an Indian scholar and poet, living in Brazil. Her publications include An Ember from Her Pyre (Writers Workshop, India, 2016), (co-editor) Tibetan Subjectivities on the Global Stage (Lexington Books, US, 2018), Preposição de entendimento (Urutau, Brazil, forthcoming), and (editor) New Narratives of Exile Tibet (Lexington Books, forthcoming). She is Editor-at-Large for Tibet at Asymptote.

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 paired with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets. Her artist's website is and her poetry website is

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