Many months ago I was very pleased to hear that the Paterson Literary Review, an annual publication from the Poetry Center based at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ had accepted for publication my poem “Chasing Tom.” I was more pleased when, more recently, I had the copy of the huge (400 pages) Issue 39 in my hands. Ably edited by the Poetry Center Mama, Maria Mazziotti Gillan & her staff, the book contains poetry, prose, poems by the winners of the 2009 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, & a special section on the work of poet Diane DiPrima.
So I drove down to Paterson, NJ this day to be part of a reading by poets in the Review. There were over 30 readers, but the nearly 2 & a half hour reading went by quickly as each poet, in alphabetical order, read 1 poem of theirs from the collection. Maria served as the MC for the reading, moving the poets right along. Stanley Barkan began with his poem, “In Between,” then read the translation (by Emanuel di Pasquale) as Mario Moroni read his poem “Cinque Terre” in Italian.
Some of these poets I had met before, either out & about in the great world of poetry, or at other such readings here at the Poetry Center. Laura Boss, editor of Lips, is one I’d met while on a 3 Guys from Albany trip through Paterson & who has also read at Poets in the Park years back. I particularly liked her poem, “Getting to Sleep,” where instead of sheep she is now at the point in her life where to get to sleep she can count boyfriends who have died — funny & tender.
The poems were of particular higher quality overall than an open mic (the editorial process, duh) so if you are interested in what they are, get a copy of the review (information below). But I feel I must mention some, such as Anthony Buccino‘s “Famous,” & Okey Chenoweth‘s memoir of coming to New York City, “New York, Then and Now The Policeman.” James D. Gwyn (an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award), read “Mallowmars,” a rare political piece in the afternoon’s reading. Elizabeth Nesius skirted the edge of the political with the personal in her poem “A Woman Without a Man.” Vincent Salvati‘s poem “Begin Again” was a memoir morphing into a love letter. Leah Umansky‘s long lines twisted & turned on themselves in “The Love Song of the Chambers of the Heart.”
Maria also presented separately to Vivian Shipley & Stanley Barkan the “Paterson Literary Review Award for Lifetime Service to Poetry,” well deserved by both of them.
The other readers were Susan Lembo Balik, John Barrale, Svea Barrett, Norma Ketzis Bernstock, Charles Brice, Judith Brice, David Stanford Burr, Amanda Crane, Ann DeVenezia, Deborah Gerrish, Gail Fishman Gerwin, Gino Liotta, Bruce Lowry, Janice Maffei, Richard Marranca, Sheila Massoni, Maude Carolan Pych, Christine Redman-Waldeyer, Carole Rittenberg, Jose Antonio Rodriquez, Robert Rosenbloom, Susan Rothbard, Lee Schwartz, Donna Spector, Al Tacconelli, Seema Tepper, Mary Vallo & Sherida Yoder.
Copies of #39 of the Paterson Literary Review can be obtained by sending a check made out to “Passaic County Community College” — $13.00 for each copy, plus $5.00 for shipping for the 1st copy & $1.00 for each additional copy. Send the check to:
Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Editor
The Poetry Center
Passaic County Community College
One College Boulevard
Paterson, NJ 07505-1179