Writing Poetry to Save Your Life combines Gillan's personal story about her journey as a writer with her suggestions for writers at all stages of development. The voice in this book is the voice of a friend who sits with you in a warm kitchen sipping espresso or a cup of herbal tea, while offering support and encouragement. It is designed to help you find the stories you have to tell and the words to tell them. It is based on the belief that when you find the courage to explore your memories, you will find the source for evocative writing. Writing Poetry to Save Your Life is a book about the writing process rather than about the craft of writing. It can be used in classrooms, by writer's groups, or by an individual while writing at home or in a coffee shop. This book will encourage you to write, and in the process, will give you confidence, help you overcome writer's block, and silence the critical voice of the being Gillan calls "The Crow." It will jumpstart your creativity, giving you permission to use the power of words to save your life.
I believe we all have stories to tell, and that those stories are the basis for writing poems that reach across the barriers of age, ethnicity, gender, social class to connect with all that is human in us.
Praise for All That Lies Between Us: "These poems are powerful in their honesty, their passion and their grief. They take us deep into the labyrinth of our humanity and -- in the face of loss and death -- show us the paradox of love in the center of our being."
Diane di Prima
The Place I Call Home
... contains some of the most honest poems about marriage and family a reader is likely ever to come across. The craft is there, the well chosen word or phrase, but the power of these poems comes also from the truth in them that is moving and rare.
Gillan’s outlined in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life
a syllabus for any MFA Program I would want to attend. The book is suggestive without being so ambitious as to produce any kind of anxiety. She doesn’t talk about writing in a way that makes it seem as though a writer even has the option of failing. Her confidence in each of her readers is contagious and frankly, quite refreshing. Her book is aimed to help us achieve our best writing, yes, but it’s also aimed at helping us become the best version of ourselves.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan ... has experimented with a hybrid genre encompassing poetry, textbook, memoir, and meditation. Only a writer with her breadth of experience could have successfully welded these diverse modes into such a satisfying whole.
John Paul Russo