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Workshops with Distinguished Poets

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

The Poetry Center is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2020, and over those four decades we have offered this reading and workshop series.

The distinguished poets have included 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.

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 printable (pdf) workshop brochure which includes a registration form


2019 - 2020 Distinguished Poets Workshops

For bios of the workshop poets, see our readings page

October 5, 2019 Molly Peacock or Rachel Wiley

December 7, 2019 Jericho Brown or Raena Shirali

March 14, 2020 Sam Sax or Dante Di Stefano

April 4, 2020 Dan Donaghy or Sean Doherty

May 2, 2020 Richard Blanco or Mark Doty

Poetry Workshops for Mature Adults 2019-2020

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. There are six 2-hour workshops in both the Fall and Spring sessions. Separate registration is required for each seasonal offering. The focus is on writing narrative poetry, and sharing the work that you’ve just written in the workshop.  

mature workshop

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

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). Her poetry website is at www.mariagillan.com and her artist website is at mariamazziottigillan.com.


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

The workshop series fee is $90 for one session (fall or spring), which includes six classes, or $180 for both the fall and spring sessions.

The FALL 2019 sessions will be held on October 3, 10, 17, 31 and November 7 and 14.

The SPRING 2020 sessions will be held on March 12, 19 and April 2, 9, 16, and 23.

Download a printable (pdf) registration form for the Mature Adults series