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Poetry Center Hosts a Reading by the
Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award Winners

Posted February 14, 2018
 
Allen Ginsberg Award Winners 2017 with Poetry Center Director Maria Mazziotti Gillan (front row, blue necklace) Howard Berelson, a first place winner, reads his work 'Last Night.' Robert Rosenbloom also took first place for his poem “Dear Amy.” Eileen Van Hook’s ironic “Thanksgiving Memory” won a second place award. Phillipa Scott’s “Hoboken 1990” was the third place winner.

 
Over 60 poets and poetry fans gathered at the PCCC Poetry Center for a February 4 reading
by winners of the 2017 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.

Named for the celebrated 20th century American poet of the Beat Generation, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards competition is sponsored annually by the Poetry Center, awarding first, second, and third prizes as well as several honorable mentions and Editor’s Choice selections.

“We get entries from all over the country,” said Maria Mazziotti Gillan, poet and director of the internationally renowned Poetry Center in her introduction and welcoming remarks.
This year’s winners hailed mostly from New Jersey with Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and California also represented.

The 2017 honorees included two first place winners, Howard Berelson of Teaneck for the poem “Last Night” and Robert A. Rosenbloom of Bound Brook for “Dear Amy.”  Second place went to Eileen Van Hook of Wanaque for “Thanksgiving Memory,” and Third Place to Phillipa Scott of West Orange with the poem “Hoboken, 1990.” 

(See a list of all 2017 winners below)

Fifteen of the award recipients took the stage to read their winning poems. Ranging from poignant and elegiac to ironic and tongue-in-cheek, several of this year’s works were inspired by memories of a beloved relative.

“In this old photo you are so alive, I can smell your Chanel No. 5,” is the evocative opening and closing line of “The Old Photo,” by Leah Johnston-Rowbotham of Montclair. The work is a touching tribute to an adventurous aunt who introduces her young nieces to the rich experiences of the big city on a not-so-rich budget, where even from the “nosebleed seats” of the opera house, they’re enthralled by the magic of Madame Butterfly.

“Thanksgiving Memory,” Eileen Van Hook’s excavation of a decaying marriage ends with an ironic twist that drew laughs from the audience, as the speaker of the poem notes how her husband always gave her exactly what she wanted.
In this case, a divorce.

In the poignant “Liberty Halves,” Stuart Leonard of Garwood describes a father who, as a younger man, “was not a favored son,” to his own father, but who forged ahead, creating himself through independence and diligence.

“Each day a victory, he was his own boss,” says the poem, whose title refers to two half dollar coins
that the father saved, mementos of his first earning.

The submission deadline for the 2018 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards has been extended to February 19.

 
Get details:  www.poetrycenterpccc.com.


Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award Winners 2017

 
Winners:
first prize—Howard Berelson, Teaneck, NJ, and Robert A. Rosenbloom, Bound Brook, NJ; second prize—Eileen Van Hook, Wanaque, NJ; and third prize—Phillipa Scott, West Orange, NJ.

Honorable Mention: Eric Berlin (Baldwinsville, NY); Roberta Bisgyer (Stamford, CT); Gina Bortolussi (Haworth, NJ); R. Bremner (Glen Ridge, NJ); Gil Fagiani (L.I.C., NY); James D. Gwyn (Clifton, NJ); M.J. Harris (Upper Montclair, NJ); Josh Humphrey (Kearny, NJ); Leah Johnston-Rowbotham (Montclair, NJ); Adele Kenny (Fanwood, NJ); Barbara Krasner (Somerset, NJ); Leonard Kress (Bloomingdale, NJ); Stuart Leonard (Garwood, NJ); Elizabeth Marchitti (Totowa, NJ); Pat Mottola (Cheshire, CT); John Smith (Frenchtown, NJ); Carole Stone (Verona, NJ); Muriel Harris Weinstein (Great Neck, NY); Sherida Yoder (North Haledon, NJ).

Editor’s Choice: Donna L. Emerson (Petaluma, CA); Nancy Lubarsky (Cranford, NJ); Kenneth Silvestri (Nyack, NY); Al Tacconelli (Wynnewood, PA); Kelly Terwilliger (Eugene, OR).

The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, honoring Allen Ginsberg’s contributions to American Literature, are given annually to poets. First prize, $1,000; second prize, $200; and third prize, $100. Winning poems are published in the following year’s issue of the Paterson Literary Review.

 
Read more in North Jersey.com

 

Allen Ginsberg Award Winners 2017 with Poetry Center Director Maria Mazziotti Gillan (front row, blue necklace) Howard Berelson, a first place winner, reads his work 'Last Night.' Robert Rosenbloom also took first place for his poem “Dear Amy.” Eileen Van Hook’s ironic “Thanksgiving Memory” won a second place award. Phillipa Scott’s “Hoboken 1990” was the third place winner.