The Alin Papazian Poetry Center Memorial Fund Honors Former Arts Administrator

The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community (PCCC) received a $10,000 donation from Albert Papazian in honor of his wife, Alin, who worked at the Center as an arts administrator for nineteen years. The Alin Papazian Poetry Center Memorial Fund, set up as an endowment through the College Foundation, will support Poetry Center programming. 

A trailblazer in her family, Alin emigrated from Turkey to the U.S. in 1956, at the age of 17, to attend Vassar College on scholarship.  After graduating from college, Alin moved to New York City and worked as a physical chemist for ten years at the Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, at a time when it was unusual for a women to get a research job in the hard sciences. She holds two patents.

Alin married Albert in 1965, and had two children, Elizabeth and Gregory. While her children were young, she held part-time jobs in computer programming and in a lab specializing in AIDS research.  A former resident of Ridgewood, NJ, Alin gave back to her community through volunteer work, which included organizing performing arts events. This led to her taking a job in 1991, as an assistant director in the Cultural Affairs Department at PCCC, where she worked until her retirement in 2010. She loved working in the department, especially on Poetry Center programming, and her energy and organizational skills were legendary throughout the College. 

Alin Papazian with her husband, Albert, at her retirement party from Passaic County Community College on June 8, 2010. The Alin Papazian Poetry Center Memorial Fund, set up by Albert as an endowment through the College Foundation, will support Poetry Center programming, including workshops, readings, a literary magazine and contests  

Alin Papazian with her husband, Albert, at her retirement party from Passaic County
Community College on June 8, 2010. The Alin Papazian Poetry Center Memorial Fund,
set up by Albert as an endowment through the College Foundation, will support
Poetry Center programming, including workshops, readings, a literary magazine and contests

“Alin’s intelligence, patience and devotion were treasured by the Cultural Affairs family, as she called us.  I am grateful for all that she contributed to the Poetry Center and my life,” said Maria Mazziotti Gillan, executive director of Cultural Affairs at PCCC and founder of the Poetry Center.  Since its founding in 1980, the Center has hosted thousands of poets of national and international reputation through workshops, readings and conferences, publishes the Paterson Literary Review and other anthologies, coordinates four literary contests, and partners with community organizations to run arts programming.

2017 Paterson Poetry Prize Winner & Honor Books

The 2017 Paterson Poetry Prize winner is Kim Addonizio for her collection Mortal Trash (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY).


Honor Books

  • Kevin Carey, Jesus Was a Homeboy (CavanKerry Press, Fort Lee, NJ) 

  • Dante Di Stefano, Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, Omaha, NE)

  • Gary Fincke, Bringing Back the Bones: New and Selected Poems (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, Nacogdoches, TX)

  • M. L. Liebler, I Want to Be Once (Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI)

  • Colleen J. McElroy, Blood Memory (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA)

  • Yehoshua November, Two Worlds Exist (Orison Books, Asheville, NC)

  • Brynn Saito, Power Made Us Swoon (Red Hen Press, Pasadena, CA)

Winners of the 2017 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards

2017 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards


First Prize: Howard Berelson, Teaneck, NJ, “Last Night”

Robert A. Rosenbloom, Bound Brook, NJ, “Dear Amy”


Second Prize:  Eileen Van Hook, Wanaque, NJ “Thanksgiving Memory”

Third Prize: Phillipa Scott, West Orange, NJ, “Hoboken, 1990”

Honorable Mention:

  • Eric Berlin, Baldwinsville, NY, “The Binding”

  • Roberta Bisgyer, Stamford, CT, “pretty is as pretty does”

  • Gina Bortolussi, Haworth, NJ, “Barnes Avenue”

  • R. Bremner, Glen Ridge, NJ, “Uncle Harold and Uncle Raymond”

  • Gil Fagiani, L.I.C., NY, “Passing”

  • Christopher Fahy, Thomaston, ME, “Departure”

  • Carlos Andrés Gómez, Forest Hills, NY, ”The Afternoon You Moved Out”

  • Eric Greinke, Rockford, Michigan, “Paternity”

  • James D. Gwyn, Clifton, NJ, ”My Father Plays the Trombone”

  • M.J. Harris, Upper Montclair, NJ, “Humanity”

  • Josh Humphrey, Kearny, NJ, “River Jumpers”

  • Leah Johnston, Montclair, NJ, “The Old Photo”

  • Adele Kenny, Fanwood, NJ, “The Way”

  • Barbara Krasner, Somerset, NJ, “Because I’m Jewish”

  • Leonard Kress, Bloomingdale, NJ, “I Was There Before I Wasn’t”

  • Stuart Leonard, Garwood, NJ, ”Liberty Halves”

  • Antoinette Libro, Sea Isle City, NJ, “Diner Daydreams”

  • Elizabeth Marchitti, Totowa, NJ, “My Sister Doesn’t Write Poems”

  • Pat Mottola, Cheshire, CT, "I Go Back”

  • John Smith, Frenchtown, NJ,  “Would Be Sam”

  • Carole Stone, Verona, NJ, “Being Old”

  • Muriel Harris Weinstein, Great Neck, NY, “Momma’s Last Stand”

  • Sherida Yoder, North Haledon, NJ,  “As Usual”

Editor’s Choice:

  • Donna L. Emerson, Petaluma, CA, “Shining Brown Hair”

  • Maria Fama, Philadelphia, PA, “Cu Gesù Mi Curcu”

  • Nancy Lubarsky, Cranford, NJ, ”Origin Story”

  • Kenneth Silvestri, Nyack, NY,  “The fate of my maternal side”

  • Al Tacconelli, Wynnewood, PA, “Surprise Pizzelle”

  • Kelly Terwilliger, Eugene, OR, “Some Winter”

  • Neal Zirn, Denver, CO,  “Don’t Tell Anyone I’m in Mensa”

Winners and Finalists for the 2017 Paterson Fiction Prize

The 2017 Paterson Fiction Prize winner for 2017 is Swimming in Hong Kong by Stephanie Han (Willow Springs Books, Spokane, WA).



  • Swallowed by the Cold by Jensen Beach (Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, MN)

  • The Loss of All Lost Things by Amina Gautier (Elixir Press, Denver, CO)

  • Scary Old Sex by Arlene Heyman (Bloomsbury USA, New York, NY)

  • Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY)

  • The Silver Baron's Wife by Donna Baier Stein (Serving House Books, Florham Park, NJ)

  • The Good Life by Marian Thurm (The Permanent Press, Sag Harbor, NY)

Winners of the 2017 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

Winners of the 2017 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People:

K – Grade 3: The Music in George's Head by Susanne Slade (Calkins Creek, Honesdale, PA)

Grades 4 - 6:  Catching a Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington (Word Song, Honesdale, PA) 

Grades 7 - 12:  Blood Brother by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace (Calkins Creek, Honesdale, PA)

Honorable Mention:

  • At Night by Helga Bansch (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, MI)

  • Where Love Begins by Helen Nieto Phillips (Lectura Books, Los Angeles, CA)

  • Fearless Flyer by Heather Lang (Calkins Creek, Honesdale, PA)

  • Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes (Word Song, Honesdale, PA)

  • Brown v. Board of Education by Susan Goldman Rubin (Holiday House, Inc., New York, NY)

  • Vietnam: A History of a War by Russell Freedman (Holiday House, Inc., New York, NY)

Winners of the 2016 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards

The Poetry Center at PCCC is proud to announce the

Ann Clark, Dexter, NY, “Pretend” and Annie Lanzillotto, Yonkers, NY, “Diminished Capacity, an Indictment”

Lynne McEniry, Morristown, NJ, “Splinter”

Maxine Susman, Princeton, NJ, “Thirteen”


         Stanley H. Barkan, Merrick, NY,  “Clotheslines” 
         R. Bremner, Glen Ridge, NJ,  “Slow Drip” 
         Linda A. Cronin, in memory of (1970-2016)    “One Day at a Time” 
         Lydia Distefano Thiel  “ Journey to Franklin Street”
         R.G. Evans, Elmer, NJ, “Eight Million Breaths A Year”
         James D. Gwyn, Clifton, NJ,  “My Mother Comments on My Poetry”
         Matt Hohner, Baltimore, MD, “Beaver Dam, 1987”
         Jean Hollander, Hopewell, NJ, “Riding Backwards”
         Barbara Krasner, Somerset, NJ, “Grandma Ruth” 
         Annette Krizanich, Vestal, NY , “Talking about Sex with My Mother”
         Michelle Lerner, Flanders, NJ, “Thing Is” 
         Antoinette Libro, Sea Isle City, NJ, “The Last Party” 
         Bruce Lowry, Summit, NJ, “Typewriters” 
         Nancy Lubarsky, Cranford, NJ, “The Record”
         Francesca Maxime, Brooklyn, NY,  “What I Want”            
         Greg Moglia, Huntington, NY,  “Kitchen” 
         Edwin Romond, Wind Gap, PA, “If a Former Student Were Being Recruited by ISIS”
         Robert A. Rosenbloom, Bound Brook, NJ,  “Dear Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield”
         Arthur Russell, Nutley, NJ, “The Whales Off Manhattan Beach Breaching in Winter” 
         Dave Seter, Petaluma, CA, “Jungleland’s Empty Sky” 
         John Sibley Williams, Milwaukie, OR,  “Once, When We Were Briefly Beautiful"
         Lydia Distefano Thiel, Mentor, OR, “Journey to Franklin Street”
        Arne Weingart, Chicago, IL , “The Old Poets in Line at the Urinals at the Writers' Conference”
        Sherida Yoder, North Haledon, NJ, "Teaching Romeo and Juliet” 
        Neal Zirn, Denver, CO,  “Notes from Assisted Living” 

The Award Winners’ Reading will be February 4, 2017 at the Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, Paterson, NJ.


THE 2016 PATERSON PRIZE FOR BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE is awarded in each grade category for books, which in the opinion of our judges, are the most outstanding books for young people published in that year. 

Grades Pre-K – 3
Wendy Marloe, Sanctuary (Marloe Press, New York, NY)     
Laurie Wallmark, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books/Worzalla Books, Stevens Point, WI)

Grades 4 – 6
Ronald Kidd, Night on Fire (Albert Whitman & Company, Chicago, IL)
Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols, Freedom’s Price (Calkins Creek, an Imprint of Highlights, Honesdale, PA)

Grades 7 – 12
Chris Scofield, The Shark Curtain (Black Sheep/Akashic Books, New York, NY)
Valynne E. Maetani, Ink & Ashes (Tu Books/Lee & Low Books, Inc. New York, NY)

Honorable Mention - Paterson Prize For Books For Young People

  • Jane Bahk, Juna’s Jar (Lee & Low Books, Inc., NY, NY)
  • Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Janine. (Albert Whitman & Company, Chicago, IL)
  • Alison Hart, Finder, Coal Mine Dog (Peach Tree Publishers, Atlanta, GA)
  • Mary Daniel Hobson and Anna Isabel Rauh, The Wolf Who Ate the Sky (Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA)
  • Sirui Li, The Lucky Chipmunk (Far Far Away Graphic Design Studio, Canada)
  • Julie Paschkis, P. Zonka Lays an Egg (Peach Tree Publishers, Atlanta, GA)
  • Mariko Tatsumoto, Ayumi’s Violin (Ichiban Books)