Good Poems for Hard Times is the Featured Book for June

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The poems in this volume were chosen by Garison Keillor for his readings on public radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. Here, readers will find comfort in works that are bracing and courageous, organized into such resonant headings as “Such As It Is More or Less” and “Let It Spill.” From William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman to R. S. Gwynn and Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Keiller is a much beloved American author, storyteller, humorist, radio actor, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, whom Keillor voices, a detective who appears in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits.

This book is part of the Maria Mazzioti Gillan Collection. Maria Mazziotti Gillan is an accomplished author herself and a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions).

She is director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She is also the founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review.

She has published 20 books, including: What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010) and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica, 2013).  In fact, there is a poem by Ms. Gillan included in this volume entitled “After School on Ordinary Days.”

To learn more about Maria Mazziotti Gillan, visit her website at

So, if you are having “one of those days,” the poems gathered in this collection may offer you solace and provide you with the healing power of good poetry.

This book can be found in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library [just off of the North Reading Room].