Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘essays’ Category

Interview With Writer Ken LaZebnik

In author interview, directors, essays, film, nonfiction, plays, TV, writing on May 31, 2014 at 11:37 am
Ken LaZebnik. Photo courtesy of the author.

Ken LaZebnik. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Ken LaZebnik, author of Hollywood Digs (Kelly’s Cove Press, 2014), a book of essays. LaZebnik writes for television, film, and the theater.  His work includes collaborating with Garrison Keillor on Robert Altman’s last film, A Prairie Home Companion, many years of writing for hour-long television dramas, and ten plays. LaZebnik wrote the film Thomas Kinkades Christmas Cottage, which featured Peter O’Toole and Marcia Gay Harden, and was directed by Michael Campus. For television, he has written on series as varied as Touched By An AngelArmy Wives, When Calls The HeartProvidence, and Star Trek: Enterprise.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview With Writer Deanne Stillman

In author interview, books, essays, fiction, journalism, nonfiction, writing on August 16, 2013 at 11:58 am
Deanne Stillman

Deanne Stillman. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Deanne Stillman, author of Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, A Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History. Her previous books include Mustang and Twentynine Palms. Stillman is a member of the core faculty at the UC Riverside-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA Creative Writing Program. When asked how she balances content with form, Stillman shared, “Place drives everything; in my stories, the desert or the land shapes the story and the characters, and often is a character itself.”

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Interview With Writer Peter Mehlman

In books, essays, film, humor, journalism, nonfiction, TV, writing on April 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Peter Mehlman. Photo courtesy of the author.

Peter Mehlman. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Peter Mehlman, author of Mandela Was Late: Odd things & essays from the Seinfeld writer who coined yada, yada, and made spongeworthy a compliment (The Sager Group, 2013). Mehlman is a multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominee, known for his work on the sitcom Seinfeld. He has won acclaim for his NPR commentaries and hilarious and poignant op-eds and personal essays in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, and Esquire. Host of the Webby-nominated YouTube series Narrow World of Sports, Mehlman grew up in Queens, New York, graduated from the University of Maryland, and now lives in Los Angeles. 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 & 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 Brian Switek

In books, essays, nonfiction, writing on October 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

 

Brian Switek

Brian Switek. Photo by Tracey Switek (2010).

An introduction to the author of Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature (Bellevue Literary Press), which releases this November. Brian Switek is also the author of the science blog Laelaps and Smithsonian magazine’s Dinosaur Tracking.

 

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