Montclair Monthly Poetry Series Kicks Off 2017

Montclair Monthly Poetry Series features Lois Marie Harrod and Deborah LaVeglia at the Montclair Public Library on Jan. 5.

Start the year with an open poetry reading organized by Montclair Monthly Poetry Series.

live performances
Photo courtesy of Montclair Public Library.

Worried about keeping your New Year’s Resolution to explore more literature (again)? Look no further than 50 South­ Fullerton Ave. for the perfect opportunity to dive into poetry early in the year. The Montclair Public Library is hosting its Monthly Poetry Series reading on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. This open poetry reading is free to the Montclair community. This month, the reading also features two renowned poets: Lois Marie Harrod and Deborah LaVeglia.

Harrod’s recent books include And She Took the Heart and Nightmares of the Minor Poet. She has been widely published in literary journals, most notably American Poetry Review, and is a three-time recipient of the New Jersey Council Arts fellowship. LaVeglia has published several books of poetry, including Vigil and The Place I Call Home.  Her work has appeared in Lips Magazine and the Paterson Literary Review, among others. She is the director of the Barron Arts Reading Series and has won many prizes for her own poetry.

The Montclair Monthly Poetry Series was founded by Laura Boss and Maria Mazzioto Gillan six years ago. The pair decided to run the open poetry series at the Montclair Public Library on the first Thursday of every month. Boss and Gillan co-host the event. In the past, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series has featured artists such as Martin Espada, Lauren Schmidt, Peter E. Murphy and Adele Kenny.

“As far back as 1981, I had readings for my poetry magazine Lips. At that time, it was based in Montclair,” said Boss, an award-winning poet. “I recognized immediately that the Montclair Library attracted residents – many of whom were poets, novelists or individuals who had a true interest in the arts.”

In addition to the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series, Boss is the founder of Lips poetry magazine. She has been awarded three NJSCA Poetry Fellowships, and she received the first International Poetry Award at the International Poetry Festival in Wales. Boss is the author of works such as Reports from the Front and Flashlight. She has read her poems at various places, including the United Nations and the Dodge Poetry Festival, and her poems have appeared in the New York Times.

Gillan has received prestigious awards such as the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. She is the founder and director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, as well as the co-founder of the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series. Gillan acts as the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-SUNY. Her works include What Blooms in Winter and In a Place of Flowers and Light.

Boss and Gillan designed the The Montclair Monthly Poetry Series to be open to the public and receptive to the community. They did not want it to be exclusive to any poetry magazine.

“[Gillan and I] felt that Montclair and nearby towns would be especially receptive to such a poetry series. And it was,” said Boss.

Visit the Monthly Poetry Series at Montclair Public Library’s auditorium this Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. to see Harrod and LaVeglia read their poetry; then, show off your own thoughtful musings during the open reading!  The Montclair Public Library is located at at 50 South Fullerton Ave. in Montclair.  Learn more about the Poetry Series at or call the library at 973-744-0500.

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