Monday, June 1, 2020

New Jersey Is the Poetry State

New Jersey is nicknamed the Garden State but for Maria Gillan and many others it is also the Poetry State. 

In this video from you hear New Jersey poet natives Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Joe Weil, BJ Ward, and three-time poet laureate Robert Pinsky. They all acknowledge their NJ predecessors such as Allen Ginsberg, William Carlos Williams, and Walt Whitman.

A group of Jersey poets shared the stage at “Jersey Voices” – part of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. 

Maria talks about the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in historic Paterson which she has directed for over 35 years. Like the Dodge Poetry Festival, it’s a beloved hub of the poetry world rooted in New Jersey.

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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