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Julia Alvarez and Dana Gioia portraits
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Julia Alvarez

Dana Gioia

Caldwell, N.J., April 21,  2022- Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry launches its 2022 issue by hosting a virtual poetry reading with poet and novelist Julia Alvarez who will be introduced by and in conversation with Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, 4 p.m., Saturday, May 7. 

All are invited to attend the virtual event. 

Presence is edited by Caldwell University English Professor Mary Ann B. Miller, Ph.D., the founder of the journal. 

It is a venue for publication of poetry written by authors whose work is informed by the Catholic faith.  As the web page states,  “Thomas Aquinas suggests, art is a good in and of itself, and the artist is primarily concerned with the goodness of his or her creation. Thus, the primary principle for inclusion in the journal is artistic excellence.  We publish poems on the basis of their artistic merit, rather than on the basis of the author’s professed creed or because the subject matter is explicitly Catholic.” The journal “seeks to show the wide variety of ways God’s presence is communicated to and experienced by human beings and, in so doing, hopes to create a community of writers who recognize Catholicism as fertile ground for the flourishing of contemporary poetry.”

Dr. Mary Ann Miller is the editor and founder of Presence.

The publication has engaged the interest of internationally-known poets, many who serve on the organization’s advisory board. Miller also involves Caldwell University students in the work of Presence in her Journal Editing class where students read submissions to the annual publication and write book reviews of some of the individual collections of poems being reviewed by professional reviewers in that year’s issue.

To register for the reading, please contact English Professor Dr. Mary Ann B. Miller,

The 2022 edition features new narrative poems by Alvarez, over 80 pages of new poetry, and 24 book reviews. It features interviews with Joan Cusack Handler and Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, plus featured translations of Juana Rosa Pita by Erin Goodman and life’s work essays on Sally Read & Jane Hirshfield. To order a copy go to

Julia Alvarez photo courtesy of: Bill Eichner

Dana Gioia photo courtesy of Star Black