Poetry and Children Day at Binghamton University scheduled for May 18


More than 400 students from 33 schools and 11 school districts will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the Osterhout Concert Theater of the Anderson Center at Binghamton University for the 28th annual Poetry and the Children Day.

The program, which brings students together for a day of poetry readings, was established as a memorial to Robert Pawlikowski. A published poet, creative writing instructor and campus administrative assistant, Pawlikowski drowned in 1975 while on vacation with his family. The event is a tribute to the efforts that Pawlikowski made during his lifetime in nurturing the expressive and intellectual powers of his students as well as those of his own children.

This year’s guest poet is Maria Gillan, director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University. Gillan is editor of the Paterson Literary Review, and a judge and panelist on a number of award selection committees, including the Allen Ginsberg awards, the Chaucer Guild and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People.

Gillan has been a visiting writer/professor and guest lecturer at a variety of colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Pennsylvania State University and St. Norbert’s College. She has conducted poetry readings at numerous venues including the United Nations, Yale, Harvard and Georgetown, as well as on National Public Radio. 

Gillan is the author of a selection of books including Where I Come From, Things My Mother Told Me, and Italian Women in Black Dresses. Her edited collection, titled Growing Up Ethnic in America, was chosen by the American Library Association as an outstanding book for the college bound and lifelong learners.

Gillan received her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, her master’s degree from New York University and her doctoral degree from Drew University.

After the opening presentation, students will present their poems in the Lecture Hall. Partially underwritten by the Oakdale Mall and Susan Clark-Johnson, an anthology is prepared by the Office of the Dean of Harpur College and distributed to teachers and local libraries. Clark-Johnson is a 1967 Binghamton University graduate and former publisher of the Binghamton Evening Press, the predecessor to the Binghamton Press & Sun- Bulletin. 

Last Updated: 9/17/13