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PCCC Poetry Director Among Italian-American Authors Honored
 in the New York City 2017 Columbus Day Parade 


Posted October 23, 2017

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is seated second from left at the read of the Barnes & Noble float.
(Photo courtesy of Columbus Citizens Foundation)

PCCC Poetry Center Director Maria Mazziotti Gillan joined with fellow authors who rode the Barnes & Noble float up New York City’s Fifth Avenue on October 9 in the 2017 Columbus Day Parade.

Poets in the Parade: Maria Mazziotti Gillan (second from left) and Annie Rachele Lanzillotto, Louisa Calio, Rachel Guido DeVries.
(Photo by Audrey Kindred).

The theme of this year’s parade was Italian-American Authors, and Ms. Gillan was among over 100 writers, including literary stars Gay Talese, David Balducci, and Adriana Trigiani, invited to participate by Grand Marshall Leonard Riggio, executive chairman of the Barnes & Noble bookstore chain.

“Celebrating Italian-American Authors” was the theme of the 2017 Columbus Day Parade.
(Photo courtesy of Columbus Citizens Foundation)

“It was really wonderful to have Italian-American writers honored because I think the writers provide a door into Italian-American culture,” said Ms. Gillan who has written over 20 books of poetry. Much of her work draws on her experience growing up in Paterson, New Jersey as the daughter of hard-working Italian immigrant parents.

Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio, executive chairman of Barnes & Noble with his wife, Louise.
(Photo courtesy of Columbus Citizens Foundation)

Sitting under umbrellas on the rainy Monday, Ms. Gillan and several other poets brought up the rear of the festive float that featured giant-sized replicas of classic books, while other authors waved to crowds from the front. Another contingent marched behind a banner celebrating Italian-American writers.

It was Ms. Gillan’s first time being in the Columbus Day Parade. "I loved being in the parade as a way of honoring my father," she said. 

Brava, Maria.
Read more about the PCCC Poetry Center.
Visit Ms. Gillan’s website.