Maria Mazziotti Gillan

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Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Maria Mazziotti Gillan.jpg
Maria Mazziotti Gillan at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College.
Born (1940-03-12) 12 March 1940 (age 77)
Paterson, New Jersey

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is an American poet.


Maria Mazziotti Gillan was born March 12, 1940 in an Italian enclave in Paterson, New Jersey's Riverside neighborhood.[1]

She attended Paterson public schools and is a graduate of Eastside High School.

She graduated from Seton Hall University and from New York University with an MA In Literature. She enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Drew University from 1977-1980.[2] She married Dennis Gillan; they have two children, John and Jennifer, and two grandchildren, Caroline and Jackson.[3]

She is the Founder /Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review, and is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY.[4]

She has published 20 books. Her most recent is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Redux Consortium, 2014), a collection of her poetry and watercolor artwork. Her craft book, Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica) was published in 2013.[5]

She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of four anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin/Putnam) and Italian-American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers).[6]

Since 2012 she has been in the Honour Committee of Immagine & Poesia, the artistic literary movement founded in Turin, Italy, with the patronage of Aeronwy Thomas (Dylan Thomas's daughter).

She lives in Hawthorne, New Jersey.[7]




"After School on Ordinary Days"; "Growing Up Italian"; "Daddy, We Called You"; "The Black Bear On My Neighbors Lawn in New Jersey"; "Love Poem to My Husband of Thirty-One Years"; "I Dream of My Grandmother and Great Grandmother"; "Paterson"; "Learning to Love Myself"; "Public School #18"; "Watching the Bridge Collapse"; "How The Dead Return"; "Last Night at the Hampton Inn"; "Sometimes I forget How Fragile the Heart Is"; "On Being Italian"; "Photo of My Sister"; "At Eleven, My Granddaughter Loves to Read"; "The Ghosts in Our Bed"; "Breakfast at the I Hop"; "Your Voice on the Phone Wobbles"; "In Second Grade" "How Do I Pack Up the House of My Life?"; "Couch Buddha"; "Poem to John"; "In My Dream, I see You"; "My Father Always Bought Used Cars"; "My Son Tells Me Not to Wear My Poet's Clothes"

Books of Poetry[edit]



  • Italian American Writers on New Jersey, editors Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, Edvige Giunta, Rutgers University Press, November 2003
  • Identity Lessons, editors Maria M. Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, Penguin Putnam, 1999 ISBN 978-0-14-027167-6
  • Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American, editors Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, San Val, Incorporated, 1999 ISBN 978-0-613-21652-4
  • Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, editors Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, Paw Prints, 2008 ISBN 978-1-4395-0933-3


External links[edit]