Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Interview With Writer Bhuwan Thapaliya

In fiction, poetry, writing on February 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Bhuwan Thapaliya

Bhuwan Thapaliya. Photo by Rehal Kharel.

An introduction to Nepalese writer Bhuwan Thapaliya, who works as an economist, and is the author of four poetry collections. Thapaliya’s books include the recently released Safa Tempo: Poems New and Selected (Nirala Publication, New Delhi), and Our Nepal, Our Pride (Cyberwit.net). Poetry by Thapaliya has been included in The New Pleiades Anthology of Poetry and Tonight: An Anthology of World Love Poetry, as well as in literary journals such as Urhalpool, MahMag, Kritya, FOLLY, The Vallance Review, Nuvein Magazine, Foundling Review, Poetry Life and Times, Poets Against the War, Voices in Wartime, Taj Mahal Review, and more. When asked if there is a quote that motivates him, Thapaliya shared these lines: “Luck lies in bed and wishes somebody to bring him his tea every morning when he wakes up after a long sleep. Labor wakes up from his bed and heads towards the kitchen to make his own cup of tea every day after a brief slumber in peace.”

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Interview With Writer Patrick Duggan

In poetry, writing on January 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm
Patrick Duggan

Patrick Duggan. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to poet and writer Patrick Duggan. Originally from New Hampshire, Duggan has studied writing and literature at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He is also a National Poetry Series finalist, and Duggan’s poems have appeared in Shampoo, Beeswax Magazine, 26 Magazine, Oranges and Sardines, Mirage: A Periodical, Monday Night, Noö Journal, Parthenon West Review, and The Inman Review.

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Interview With Writer Yon Walls

In poetry, short stories, writing on December 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm
Yon Walls

Yon Walls. Photo by W A Moody.

An introduction to writer Yon Walls, who recently published a novel called Seeing Collette. Walls is a poet, diarist, and novelist originally from Kentucky. She’s lived in California since 1972. Walls holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College where she received the Zora Neale Hurston Writing Award twice. From 2000-2008, she taught college-level English and literature in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley areas. In 2002 and 2007, she was a teacher and writer-in-residence in Hiroshima and Kofu, Japan. Since that time, she completed Island of Swallows, a collection of poems about Japan. Walls is currently a contributing editor for Tertuliamagazine.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Jane Hirshfield

In books, literary journals, poetry, writing on December 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm
Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield. Photo by Robert Hatch.

An introduction to poet Jane Hirshfield, author of the new collection Come, Thief (Alfred A Knopf). When asked whether the poems of Come, Thief reflect any particular concerns of hers, Hirshfield begins with, “One lifelong theme for me has been saying yes to what’s difficult.”  Hirshfield is the author of six previous collections of poetry, a book of essays called Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, and four books collecting the work of poets from the past. Her accolades include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Academy of American Poets, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as three Pushcart Prizes, the California Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, and more. Her poems appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Poetry, and have been included in six editions of The Best American PoetryRead the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Sholeh Wolpé

In editors, poetry, translation, writing on October 31, 2011 at 11:34 am
Sholeh Wolpe

Sholeh Wolpé. Photo by Ken Pivak.

An introduction to Sholeh Wolpé, an award-winning poet, literary translator, and writer. Born in Iran, she has lived in England, Trinidad, and the United States. She is the author of Rooftops of Tehran, The Scar Saloon, and Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad—for which she was awarded the Lois Roth Translation Prize in 2010. Wolpé is a regional editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East edited by Reza Aslan (WW Norton, 2010), and the editor of an upcoming anthology of poems from Iran, The Forbidden: Poems From Iran and Its Exiles (Michigan State University Press, 2012). Wolpé is also the contributing editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and poetry editor of the Levantine Review. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Sebastian Barry

In books, fiction, plays, poetry, writing on October 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to Sebastian Barry, author of the novel On Canaan’s Side (Viking, 2011). Novelist, poet, and playwright, Barry lives and writes in Ireland. His plays have been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. His novel A Long Long Way was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, as was The Secret Scripture, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction, as well as the Irish Novel of the Year. It was also selected as the Best Book of the Year by The Boston Globe and The Economist. Though not a stage performer himself, Barry possesses a talent for dramatic delivery that makes for a luxurious, mesmeric experience when he reads his work aloud.

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Interview With Writer Matthew Zapruder

In books, editors, poetry, writing on September 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm
Matthew Zaprduer

Matthew Zapruder. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to the author of the poetry books Come On All You Ghosts, The Pajamaist, and American Linden. Poet, editor, and teacher, Zapruder does it all. When asked about why he writes, he concluded: “I think that people are most happy when they do things that are deeply connected and integrated with who they are, and that fulfill that need in themselves to feel connected to others and productive.” Zapruder is interested in communicating by harnessing the power of language to share thoughts and moments in beautiful ways, in talking to people about poetry and what poetry can do in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Sue Johnson

In books, fiction, poetry, writing on September 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm
Sue Johnson

Sue Johnson. Photo by Bob Woodroofe.

An introduction to writer Sue Johnson, author of the new novel Fable’s Fortune (Indigo Dreams, UK). A Home Study Tutor for Writers’ News Magazine, Johnson also organizes her own brand of writing workshops. She publishes Writer’s Toolkit booklets designed to help new writers. Johnson’s book on writing novels, Creative Alchemy: 12 Steps From Inspiration to Finished Novel, will be published by HotHive Books in October 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Sheida Mohamadi

In books, censorship, journalism, poetry, translation, writing on August 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Sheida Mohamadi

Sheida Mohamadi. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

Editor’s Note
I publish these interviews to explore the different ways writing sculpts the lives of writers—young and old, emerging and established, writers in all genres and from around the world. Iranian journalist, poet, and novelist Sheida Mohamadi’s story is especially interesting to me as a case for how critical it is to find a way to fight for what matters to you. I admire what she has given in pursuit of her beliefs, and in hope of creating change in the world. Talking with Sheida reminded me how undeniably lucky I am to have been born in a place where freedom of expression is a mainstay of society, in an era when striving for equal rights does not necessitate risking the loss of my life, and I am not in danger of being exiled for my art. This interview is substantially longer than others because of my deep interest in understanding more about what it means to live as an artist under censorship. Read the rest of this entry »

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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