Paterson Literary Review Number 51 (2023 annual) includes work by Martin Espada, Joe Weil, Marge Piercy, Dante DiStefano, Kevin Carey, Tony Gloeggler, Bob Hicok, Vivien Shipley, Barbara Crooker, and January Gill O’Neil, as well as the winning poems from the Allen Ginsberg Award and many others in its 335 pages. Edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan since 1979, Paterson Literary Review is “an anthology of writers both famous and unknown,” and The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College has received international recognition for many of its activities, including the Paterson Literary Review.
Celebrating 40 years of publishing with Issue 50, Paterson Literary Review was founded by Maria Mazzoitti Gillan in 1979 as a mimeographed publication, now one of the most well-respected resources for poetry in the country. The journal has published many poets, including Allen Ginsberg, William Stafford, Ruth Stone, Sonia Sanchez, Jan Beatty, Laura Boss, Marge Piercy, Martín Espada, David Ray, and Diane di Prima. Holding the post of editor, Gillan invites readers to this newest issue: “PLR is dedicated to writing that is accessible and powerful, takes emotional risks, and illuminates what it means to be human.” The nearly 400-page tome features over 200 contributors – enough to last you a full year of enjoyment! Among these great works are the winners of their 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards: First Place Co-winners Adele Kenny and Marion Paganello, Second Place Winner Arthur Russell, Third Place Winner Charlie W. Brice, and all the honorable mentions and editor’s choice awards. What a phenomenal publication! And you can be a part of it – submissions are open through September 30 and the Ginsberg Award closes February 1, 2023.
The 2021 Issue #49 of the Paterson Literary Review features poetry, fiction, essays, memoir, and reviews, and includes all the winning and honorable mention poems for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Work by Jan Beatty, Jack Ridl, Nellie Wong, R. Bremner, Seema Tepper, Vida Chu, and more.
Issue 48 of Paterson Literary Review is a hefty 450 pages. A reader is guaranteed to find something they admire or connect with in those near-500 pages.
Readers can look forward to Vivian Shipley’s “A Glossary of Literary Terms for My Son,” a poem creatively and seamlessly broken up into nine different literary terms. Mary Ann Mayer writes an ode to “Walt Whitman’s Pants,” a poem that ends up being educational with its historical context. Penny Perry’s “Fig Bars” ends up being extremely relevant as the speaker sits with her husband and daughter as a wildfire burns twenty miles from their house.
And that’s just a small sampling of the poetry. The issue also includes prose and reviews. It’s nearly impossible to walk away from this brick of an issue without finding something to love.
It is no surprise that the Paterson Literary Review was named the best journal in 2008, and has been in publication since 1979. The journal shares the talents of many amazing poets, prose writers, reviewers, interviewers, and memoir authors. I particularly liked how the poetry section often provides more than one poem from each poet so that the reader can experience a variety of work from each poet. In addition, this issue includes the poems from the 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.
The Paterson Literary Review only arrives once a year, but leaves a lasting impression. This Passaic County Community College-based journal boasts 400 pages of poems, stories and essays and could easily keep you occupied during several intercontinental flights. In her editor’s note, Maria Mazziotti Gillan declares one of her primary motivations for selecting work from the 10,000 submissions the PLR receives each year: “I attempt to be inclusive of the work of writers from many races and ethnicities, choosing what I believe to be the best works.” She certainly achieved her goal; the journal balances the experimental and the traditional, the personal and the universal. Continue reading “Paterson Literary Review – 2012/2013”
More than 360 pages of poetry and prose selected from the 10,000 submissions the journal receives annually. A “spotlight” on Diane de Prima, including a short bio, a number of poems and a story, is followed by poems from more than 70 poets, 8 prose selections, reviews, and this year’s Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award winners and honorable mentions (another 40+ poets). The issue’s highlights include the magazine’s beautiful cover, an original oil painting by Robert Andriulli, “Mill Town Neighborhood.” Continue reading “Paterson Literary Review – 2010/2011”
In addition to an editorial introduction to the author’s work, the 2010-2011 annual issue of Paterson Literary Review (38) features a forty-page spotlight on the poetry (and one short story) of Diane di Prima. According to editors, this spotlight will be followed up in PLR 39 with a selection of essay on di Prima’s work.
In a brief introductory note, editor Maria Mazziotti Gillan reveals that the journal receives 10,000 submissions annually. I wish there were as many people regularly reading and subscribing to these sorts of reviews as there are submitting to them! We are lucky that dedicated editors like Mazziotti Gillan are willing to do the challenging work year in and year out to keep journals like the Paterson Literary Review alive. Selected recently by Library Journal as one of the ten best literary magazines in the country, the review continues to offer readers the best of well-known writers and those “whose work is so fine it should be better known” – a much more apt and respectful phrase than “emerging” or any of the other terms used to define writers whose reputations are not as impressive as their work. Continue reading “Paterson Literary Review – 2008/2009”
The editorial staff dedicated this issue of the Paterson Literary Review to Allen Ginsberg, native son of Paterson, New Jersey. Much of the nearly four hundred pages in this volume are devoted to reminisce of Allen Ginsberg by those who knew him, were mentored by him and were profoundly influenced by him. They call him “bard,” “lover of earth and foe of the fascist state,” “poetry father,” “catalyst of utopia,” and “courage-teacher.” They recount vivid memories, reflect, and describe their sense of loss at his death. The poet Jim Cohn wrote, “Allen’s thinking had a way of causing a roar in your head.” The poet Eliot Katz wrote in an elegy, “Ah, Allen, you gave America a new shape & now you’ve lost yours.” Continue reading “Paterson Literary Review – 2007”