March 4, 2011

Maria Mazziotti Gillan Honored as a Writer For Writers

From left to right: Michael Morrison, benefit chair; John Grisham, honoree; Maria Mazziotti Gillan,honoree; Elizabeth Nunez, honoree; Elliot Figman, Poets & Writers’ executive director;Jonathan Galassi, honoree; and Paul Rudnick, master of ceremonies. Photo credit: Christopher Smith

The recent Poets & Writers’ Annual Dinner, held Wednesday, March 2 at Capitale in New York City, raised more than $475,000 to support Poets & Writers' programs serving creative writers. The event was chaired by Michael Morrison, U.S. General Books and Canada, HarperCollins Publishers, and Paul Rudnick served as master of ceremonies.

Included in the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards was Passaic County Community College's own Maria Mazziotti Gillan. The Writers for Writers Award recognizes authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community.

Maria Mazziotti Gillan, a Paterson native and award-winning poet, has been the executive director of the The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College since it was established in 1980.

Over the years, the Poetry Center has been accorded international recognition for many of its activities including the Distinguished Poets Series, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Paterson Fiction Prize, and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. The annual Paterson Literary Review, the monthly New Jersey Poetry Calendar and the New Jersey Poetry Resource Book are also published by the Poetry Center.

For more than 30 years, Maria has powered the Center's mission to provide poetry events and workshops to a diverse audience and to provide opportunities for poets through offering contests, awards, a journal, anthologies, reference materials, and conferences.

Also receiving a Writers for Writers award at  the event were John Grisham, and Elizabeth Nunez. The Editor’s Award was presented to Jonathan Galassi in recognition of a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time.

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