workshop wroter
                    A workshop with Billy Collins, winner of the 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize.

                   A workshop with Billy Collins, winner of the 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Workshops with Distinguished Poets

The Poetry Center offers Saturday morning workshops in conjunction with the Distinguished Poets Reading Series.

Over the past 35 years, the Poetry Center’s reading and workshop series has featured poet laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, inaugural poets and others of national and international reputation, such as Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Lucille Clifton, Stanley Kunitz, Billy Collins, Marge Piercy, Mark Doty, Kim Addonizio, Billy Collins, Dorianne Laux, Robert Sward, Patricia Smith, Martín Espada and Richard Blanco. 

The Distinguished Poets Series poetry workshops are $20 and pre-registration is required. There is limited enrollment and workshops generally fill, so register early.

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All workshops take place from 10 am to 12 pm at the Poetry Center (Hamilton Club building in Paterson), which is also the site of that day's Distinguished Poets reading in the afternoon.

For questions and to confirm that workshops are still open to registration, email sdesai@pccc.edu or call 973-684-6555.

Download and print workshop registration form


2017 - 2018 Distinguished Poets Workshops

For bios of the poets offering workshops, see our readings page

December 2, 2017 - Patricia Spears Jones or Diane Wakoski

March 3, 2018 - Daniel Donaghy or reg e gaines

April 14, 2018 - Kim Addonizio or Colleen J. McElroy

May 5, 2018 - Joseph Bathanti or Jill Bialosky

Poetry Workshops for Mature Adults

The Mature Adults Workshop Series, held at the PCCC Wanaque Campus, is open to adults age 50 and over.  Award-winning poets, Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Laura Boss, alternate leading each workshop in the series (four meetings for fall 2017 or four meetings in the spring 2018 session).  The focus is on writing narrative poetry, and sharing the work that you’ve just written in the workshop.  

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Pre-registration is required for both the fall 2017 and spring 2018 workshop series. Each have a fee of $90 for six sessions in the series; $180 for both the fall and spring series. 

All sessions are held from 1pm - 3pm at the Wanaque Academic Center, 500 Union Avenue, Wanaque, NJ 07420

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Laura Boss is a first-place winner of PSA’s Gordon Barber Poetry Contest. Founder and editor of Lips, she is the recipient of three NJSCA Poetry Fellowships, and, in June 2011 received the first International Poetry Award at the International Poetry Festival in Swansea, Wales.  Her books include: Reports from the Front (CCC), Arms: New and Selected Poems (Guernica) and Flashlight (Guernica). She co-edited with John Gallaher, Time Is a Toy:  Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt (University of Akron, 2014).  Her latest book is The Best Lover (NYQ, 2017). Her website is  laurabosspoet.wordpress.com.

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). She is founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at PCCC, editor of the Paterson Literary Review, director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY.  She has published 23 books, including What Blooms in Winter, (NYQ Books, 2016) and Paterson Light & Shadow (with photographer Mark Hillringhouse, Serving House Books, 2017). www.mariagillan.com


The Fall 2017 series will meet Oct. 5, 12, 19, and 26; Nov. 2 and 9.

The Spring 2018 series will meet March 8, 22, and 29; April 5, 12 and 19.


Download and print registration form