Maria Mazziotti Gillan of the Paterson Literary Review Recommends...

Since 1979, when I first started editing the Paterson Literary Review, I have always had a very clear picture of the kind of writing I want to publish in my journal. I want a writer who is not afraid to go out on a limb or to tell the truth, a writer who does not hide behind erudite language or use a hundred-dollar word when a one-dollar word will do. I want clarity and the ability to confront what it means to be human and to live in the moment. Whether it’s a poem, short story, or a memoir piece, I’m looking for the same things: Writers who are brave and write for everybody—not just for readers from elite academic institutions. Moving and powerful work that makes me think about what it means to be truly alive in the world. Writers who are willing to be vulnerable, to let us see the underside of their lives—the good, bad, and ugly. I want them to invite us into the universe inside them so we can in turn better understand ourselves and the world we live in. I get thousands of submissions, but the ones that make the hair on my arms stand up are the ones I publish.

—Maria Mazziotti Gillan, editor, the Paterson Literary Review

Photo credit: Joe Costa