Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Interview With Writer Veronica Rossi

In art, author interview, books, editors, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on June 14, 2014 at 11:17 am
Veronica Rossi. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2014).

Veronica Rossi. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2014).

An introduction to Veronica Rossi, author of the YA trilogy Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue (HarperCollins, 2014). This interview was done with the Rakestraw Books PG-14 Teen Advisory Board, whose thoughtful and fun questions spoke to the heart of Rossi’s work and delved into what life is like for a writer.

When asked about drawing from mythology or other stories and sources, Rossi made a great point about how things can be connected but still unique: “If you’re really writing something that your heart is in, and you’re working hard to be honest in your writing and not copying other ideas, then no one else can write that. It’s okay to borrow ideas, but borrow them and make them your own.” Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer & Artist Nick Bantock

In art, author interview, books, fiction, nonfiction, writing on February 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm
Nick Bantock. Photo by Yukiko Onley.

Nick Bantock. Photo by Yukiko Onley.

An introduction to Nick Bantock, author of the Griffin and Sabine books and a new book on creativity, The Trickster’s Hat (Perigree, 2014). In The Trickster’s Hat, Bantock shares exercises for writers and artists that explore elements of creativity such as where to begin, working from dreams and archetypes, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, silence, the unexpected, the mysterious, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Aaron Shurin

In art, books, essays, poetry, writing on March 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Aaron Shurin. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2013).

Aaron Shurin. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2013).

An introduction to Aaron Shurin, whose latest poetry collection is Citizen (City Lights Books, 2012). Shurin is the author of over a dozen books, both poetry and essay collections. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gerbode Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the California Arts Council. He cofounded the Boston-based writing collective Good Gay Poets and was the director of the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco.

When asked if he has a philosophy for how and why he writes, Shurin answered, “Poetry is attention, and it is the means of attending experience. Attention is the key word both for what it requires and what its nature is.” And that sense of attention comes through when you read his work. One of the pleasures of Shurin’s poetry is the focus on sound and rhythm. It makes for a powerful experience to hear him read. He doesn’t rush the words—each phrase has its own breath, deliberately chosen to add meaning, and momentum builds throughout the poem. Shurin graciously read some poems exclusively for this interview. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Virginia Bell

In art, poetry, writing on January 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm
Virginia Bell. Photo by Ben Blustein.

Virginia Bell. Photo by Ben Blustein.

An introduction to Virginia Bell, author of the poetry collection From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012). Bell is a Senior Editor with RHINO Poetry and an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago, where she particularly enjoys teaching courses on Women in Literature, Early American Literature, and Nationalism and Literature. Her poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and are forthcoming in Spoon River Poetry Review. Throughout 2013, her poems will be heard on WGLT’s Poetry Radio.

When asked about the title of her new book, Bell shared that it “allowed me to group seemingly disparate poems together: ekphrastic ones and ones about the body generally, as well as the ones about food or the mother’s body. I think I liked the idea, too, of the belly as gut, as the place where poems come from.” Indeed, her poems are a gutsy, unflinching exploration of what it means to grow up, to be a woman and a mother, to remember, to tell stories—to live.

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Interview With Writer & Photographer Tom Carter

In art, essays, journalism, nonfiction, photography, travel, writing on December 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Tom Carter

Tom Carter. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to travel writer and photographer Tom Carter, whose recent book CHINA: Portrait of a People is being hailed as the most comprehensive book of photography on modern China published by a single author. The book is organized by region with thoughtful descriptions for photos that offer a candid and moving glimpse of life in China. As Carter says in the introduction, “Where I have been, you will be; what I have seen, you will see.” Carter, who is originally from San Francisco, California, is now at work on a few books, including another photo book, INDIA: Portrait of a People. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Mark L Arywitz

In art, books, fiction, film, plays, writing on October 20, 2012 at 10:39 am
Mark L Arywitz

Mark L Arywitz. Photo by Caitlin Sanders.

An introduction to Mark L Arywitz, author of the novel The Legend of Little Great Grandfather (TheWriteDeal, 2012). Arywitz’s background in writing for the screen instilled in him that “it’s not only about good prose, I’m also going for a story that has some narrative drive.” His screenwriting credits include the feature film “Just Before Dawn,” the TV drama “Mozart’s Requiem,” and many commissioned screenplays, among them “Holier Than Thou.” Arywitz teaches in the Department of Film & Television in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Legend of Little Great Grandfather is his debut novel, and the first in a trilogy in progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Mick Stern

In art, books, fiction, poetry, short stories on July 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Mick Stern

Mick Stern. Photo by Lucy Kehati.

An introduction to writer and artist Mick Stern, whose most recent books include The Chicken’s Guide to Crossing the Road, Fifty Thousand, and Get Out of Town. Stern received a PhD in English Renaissance Literature from New York University (NYU). He has taught English at Rutgers (New Brunswick) and other colleges. For more than twenty years, he taught screenwriting at NYU’s film school. 
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Interview With Writer Sarah Schulman

In art, books, fiction, nonfiction, writing on December 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to Sarah Schulman, author of The Mere Future (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009). Schulman’s numerous books include the novels Rat Bohemia, Empathy, and The Child, and the nonfiction book The Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. She is co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project, and she is currently organizing the first US LGBT delegation to Palestine for Winter 2012. Sarah is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at CUNY, College of Staten Island, and was awarded a Brown Foundation Fellowship from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her other awards include a Guggenheim, Fulbright, and the 2009 Kessler Award for her “Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies.” Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Todd Shimoda

In art, books, fiction, writing on December 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm
Todd Shimoda

Todd Shimoda. Photo by Linda Shimoda.

An introduction to Todd Shimoda, author of the novel Oh! A Mystery of ‘Mono no Aware’. Shimoda’s other books include The Fourth Treasure and 365 Views of Mt. Fuji. This latest book, Oh!, was selected as an NPR Summer Read, and Todd Shimoda won the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, the highest literary honor in Hawaii. Besides writing novels, Shimoda is Vice President of Chin Music Press, and Director of Product Design and Development at SF Design Associates.

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Interview With Writer & Performance Poet Arthur Flowers

In art, books, graphic novels, nonfiction, poetry, spoken word, writing on June 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Arthur Flowers

Arthur Flowers. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Arthur Flowers, author of the graphic nonfiction book I See The Promised Land (Tara Books, 2011). Flowers collaborated with Manu Chitrakar, a Patua scroll painter from Bengal, to illustrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. A novelist, essayist, and performance poet, other books by Arthur Flowers include Another Good Loving Blues, De Mojo Blues, Cleveland Lee’s Beale Street Band, and Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman. Read the rest of this entry »

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