Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Maria Mazziotti Gillian Wins American Book Award

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Maria Mazziotti Gillian Wins American Book Award

Poet Maria Mazziotti Gillian has received a 2008 American Book Award for her poetry collection, All That Lies Between Us. The collection is published in Ontario by Guernica Editions and is included in the press's Essential Poets Series. All That Lies Between Us is a memoir in poetry.

The American Book Awards were founded by the Before Columbus Foundation in 1978. Read more about the American Book Awards here.

From the press release:

PATERSON, NJ - Maria Mazziotti Gillan, founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, is a recipient of the 2008 American Book Award for her recent book All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions Inc.). This represents the second major prize Gillan received last year for the book. She is among twelve authors, including celebrated poet Nikki Giovanni, who were honored at an awards ceremony held last month in Berkeley, California.

“I was so excited to learn that my book was chosen for the American Book Award. It represents national validation of my work and brings it to increased public attention. In fact, I got a call from a professor at Howard University who said he is going to use the book in his classes next semester because of the Award. The Foundation arranged a ceremony for the winners in Berkeley, California. We read from our winning books and were presented the award certificate. It was very encouraging."

Published in 2007, All That Lies Between Us is Mazziotti’s eleventh book of poetry and, it is written in the style of a memoir, giving details the story of the author’s life, with particular emphasis on growing up in an Italian-American community. The critically acclaimed book also received the 2007 Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Society.

The American Book Awards are presented by the Before Columbus Foundation, an organization that views American culture as inclusive and inherently multi-cultural. The book awards were created “to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community,” according to the Foundation’s website. Presented by writers to writers, the American Book Awards recognize established writers and newcomers alike. The 2008 awards represent the 28th year for this literary honor.

A native of Paterson, Gillan founded and has led the Poetry Center at PCCC since 1980 and has attracted renowned poets from the world over to read at the Center’s events. In addition to her work as a published poet, she is co-editor with her daughter, Jennifer, of four anthologies about ethnicity in America. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The New York Times, Poetry Ireland, Connecticut Review, The Los Angeles Review, LIPS, and Rattle, as well as in numerous other journals and anthologies.

Other awards received by Gillan include the May Sarton Award, the Fearing Houghton Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and the American Literary Translators Association Award through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pietro di Donato award, and the John Fante award from the Sons of Italy in America. She is also the editor of the Paterson Literary Review.

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