Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Interview With Writer Brian Griffith

In books, history, nonfiction, writing on April 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Brian Griffith

Brian Griffith. Photo courtesy of Brian Griffith.

An introduction to author and independent historian Brian Griffith, whose new book titled A Galaxy of Immortal Women (Exterminating Angel Press, 2012) ties mythology, archaeology, history, religion, folklore, literature, and journalism into a millennia-spanning story about how Chinese women—and their goddess traditions—fostered a counterculture that flourishes and grows stronger every day. Griffith’s previous books are The Gardens of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History, Different Visions of Love: Partnership and Dominator Values in Christian History, and Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Allan G Johnson

In fiction, writing on March 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm
Allan G Johnson

Allan G Johnson. Photo by Paul Johnson.

An introduction to sociologist and writer Allan G Johnson, whose latest novel is Nothing Left to Lose (Plain View Press, 2011). Johnson’s first novel was The First Thing and the Last, and his nonfiction books include The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, and Privilege, Power, and Difference. Since 1972, when he received his PhD in Sociology, Johnson has worked on issues of gender, race, and social justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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 Lowry Pei

In books, fiction, writing on January 25, 2012 at 10:22 am
Lowry Pei

Lowry Pei. Photo by Vaughn Sills.

An introduction to Lowry Pei, author of the novel Over the Fence (TheWriteDeal.org). Pei’s first book, Family Resemblances, was published by Random House in 1986. His stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 1984, The American Story: The Best of StoryQuarterly, and his book reviews have been published in the New York Times Book Review. Pei’s unique point of view owes much to his unlikely origins as the son of an engineer from Suzhou, China, and a schoolteacher from a small town in Kansas. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, and teaches writing at Simmons College.

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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 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 Mehrdad Balali

In books, censorship, fiction, journalism, writing on December 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm
Mehrdad Balali

Mehrdad Balali. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to Mehrdad Balali, author of the debut novel Houri (The Permanent Press). Originally from Iran, Balali spent 17 years living in the US before returning to his homeland to work as a journalist in 1991. A decade later, Balali’s press pass was revoked and he was banned from working as a journalist in Iran. He continued to cover events in the Middle East for international news agencies, including writing about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and ultimately returned to the US in 2005 to write fiction.

In Houri, Balali relays a coming of age story about Shahed, an Iranian boy raised in poverty, who finds himself constantly torn between his devoted mother and his larger-than-life, exciting, but often thoughtless, father. Despite all odds, Shahed is able to move to the US for college, where he struggles to make his way as a young man. When Shahed returns to Iran for his father’s funeral, the story unfolds as Shahed confronts childhood memories and a drastically changed Iran. Stark scenes informed by the journalist’s experiences underpin Balali’s engaging and moving novel. Shahed’s tale is rooted in Iran’s history, full of life and heartache.

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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 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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