BINGHAMTON, NY -- More than 400 students from 39 schools and 13 school districts will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, in the Osterhout Concert Theater of the Anderson Center at Binghamton University for the 35th annual Poetry and the Children Day. After the opening presentation, students will present their poems at 11 a.m. throughout the Fine Arts Building.

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 Mazziotti Gillan, a recipient of 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). Her latest book is What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010), and she has a book forthcoming in September, 2012, The Place I Call Home (New York Quarterly Press). Mazziotti Gillan is the founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY). She has published fourteen books of poetry. With her daughter Jennifer, she is also co-editor of anthologies.

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.