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Born in Philadelphia, poet MARY GILLILAND lives in Ithaca, New York, where she has taught writing at Cornell University and at Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Dalai Lama’s seat in North America. Awards include the Stanley Kunitz Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a BBC Wildlife Magazine Poet of the Year Award for Nature Poetry, being a featured poet at the Al Jazeera Film Festival in Doha, poet in residence at the Chautauqua Institute, and a studio resident at MASS MoCA. Her work has been honored with a Cornell University Council for the Arts Faculty Grant, an Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, a Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and the Judith Siegel Pearson Award for Poetry.

MARY GILLILAND’s poetry has appeared in AGNI, Chautauqua, Epoch, Helicon Nine, High Plains Literary Review, Hotel Amerika, LIT, Nimrod, Notre Dame Review, Passages North, Poetry, Provincetown Arts, Rhino, Seattle Review, Seneca Review, Slant, Smartish Pace, Spoon River Quarterly, Stand, Stone Canoe, Tampa Review, and been anthologized in such publications as Emily Dickinson Awards Anthology; Environment: Essence and Issue; Out of the Catskills and Just Beyond; Southern California Anthology; The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing.

Workshop and presentation topics that she has created include ‘Litanies and Labyrinths’; ‘Michael Field: Poetic Collaboration between a Victorian Aunt and Niece’; ‘Walking Out of Oneself: Poetry and Labyrinths’; ‘Writing from the Heart’; ‘Writing for Your Life’.

She has served on the boards of the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the Durland Alternatives Library, and is a founding board member of Light on the Hill Retreat Center.

At home, she and her husband Peter Fortunato have transformed a rocky acre of the Six Mile Creek watershed into a woodland garden, and more than once faced a newborn fawn in one of the mass plantings. Mary’s poems have much to say about such things. They also swoop, growl, psalm, flex, fight, love, alight, allude, howl, dance, and laugh with the dakinis. “She is not afraid of delight, neither does she shirk the hard tasks of anger, pain, and deep caring,” said Mary Oliver about Gilliland’s letterpress collection Gathering Fire.

Full Name

Mary Gilliland



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Gathering Fire
Ithaca House
087886119X / 978-0878861194



The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing
Northwestern University Press

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