IASA's Blog - All Years

Poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan honored in her parents' hometown of San Mauro.

(Aug 01, 2014)

Maria Mazziotti Gillan, award-winning poet and Paterson, NJ, native, was honored on June 29 by the Cultural Ministery of San Mauro, Cilento, Italy, province of Salerno, the region her parents came from before they emigrated to America in 1936.
Gillan was presented with a book of her poems about the town of San Mauro called, In a Place of Flowers and Light. The book, which was edited by Professor Osvaldo Marrocco, includes an Italian and English version of the poems and an introductory essay by Dr. Elisabetta Marino, who commented on the translations done by students and who also oversaw those translations. In addition, a parade was held in Maria’s honor, as well as a concert of traditional Italian songs, a reading of her poems in Italian and English, and a dinner. Maria was then escorted by the mayor to her mother’s childhood home, where a plaque dedicated to the writer and her literary contributions to the town of San Mauro had been affixed to the front of the stone house.
The next evening at Instituto Ancel Keys, in Castelnuovo, Cilento, Maria was honored with a reading of her poems in Italian, a concert of Italian folk songs and a dinner. She was later interviewed by Italian television. The broadcast was aired in Southern Italy.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, 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 /executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 20 books, including: Ancestors’ Song (Bordighera Press, 2013); The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books, 2013); The Place I Call Home (NYQ Books, 2012); and What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010). Visit her website at www.mariagillan.com.