A few weeks ago, I got to hear two amazing New Jersey-bred poets, Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Joe Weil, reading together in the monthly series run by Hank Kalet at the South Brunswick (N.J.) Public Library.

Now I’ll get to see and hear my friend Maria again when she gives a free reading on May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Park (N.J.) Public Library.

Maria, who read several times at the annual Delaware Valley Poetry Festival, writes provocative, emotional, touching poems which address simple, basic issues — love, friendship, aging, illness, ethnicity — in spare, simple, powerful language that elevates, invigorates and inspires.

She runs the master’s program in creative writing at SUNY-Binghamton. She’s founding editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She’s mentored and encouraged dozens and dozens of New Jersey poets. I could go on and on, and just might, except it might be best to let you hear it for yourself.

Here’s a link to a video of Maria reading three of her poems:

For good measure, here’s a video of a reading by the amazing Joe Weil:

Come to Maria’s reading in Highland Park, N.J., on May 24. You will leave feeling better about life than you felt before you heard Maria’s beautiful, powerful and stirring poems.

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