Interviewer vs. Interviewer

Interviewer vs. Interviewer
( Click on picture to view) Elizabeth Lund--Host of Poetic Lines interviews Host of Poet to Poet-- Doug Holder

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

May 16 5PM: My guest will be "Hanging Loose Press" editor Mark Pawlak. Pawlak has a new book out:


This is Mark Pawlak’s fifth poetry collection, the other most recent titles being Special Handling: Newspaper Poems New and Selected and All the News. His poetry and prose have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2006 (Billy Collins, ed.), New American Writing, Off the Coast, Pemmican, and The Saint Ann’s Review, among other places. In addition, he is editor of four anthologies, most recently, Present/Tense: Poets in the World, a collection of contemporary American political poetry, featuring work from some of the country’s best-known writers. Pawlak is Director of Academic Support Programs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he also teaches mathematics. He has been the recipient of two Massachusetts Artist Fellowship awards. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and his teenage son.

"Mark Pawlak...reminds me of a lyrical "junk," man-and I mean this in the best sense of the word. He collects phrases, archaic songs, ephemera from the past, and makes a strong poetic statement....Pawlak has a very quirky, engaging and unique style. Recommended."--Doug Holder, Boston Area Small Press Poetry Scene Read the full article>>

“Mark Pawlak’s poems document a literary journey charged with the sheer joy of words and often with fierce irony. He finds poetry in day-to-day common language, and makes his poems from snippets of remembered conversation and comment, from restaurant serving mats, the phone book and, most pointedly, from the news. Pawlak’s sophisticated use of irony allows him to precisely slice through governmental double-talk and the slanted reportage of our time to expose the contradictions, errors and lies inherent in the rhetoric of power brokers and political spin doctors. He is our most politically conscious poet and, as such, puts conscience back into poetry where it is sorely needed.” -—Michael Basinski, Curator, The Poetry Room, SUNY Buffalo

“Narrative? Kind of. Lyric? Sort of. Mark Pawlak takes his own versions (found and otherwise) and has turned them inside-out to celebrate how insane and touching language can be: from ‘perks’ to ‘Pappa Oom Mow Mow’—go on and shake it, baby!”—Kimiko Hahn

Praise for Mark Pawlak’s previous books:
SPECIAL HANDLING: NEWSPAPER POEMS NEW AND SELECTED“At a time when many Americans are too demoralized or too confused, as Gore Vidal says, to remember anything past last Tuesday, Pawlak names things accurately, jogs our memory and sharpens our wit.”—Michael True, Worcester Magazine

“Poetry and politics do mix—rather like nitrogen and glycerin—in Mark Pawlak’s explosive verse.” -—Kristin Aronson

ALL THE NEWS“It is wonderful to find a book as serious and witty as this…one of the best of the year and of the times.”—Thomas McGrath

Friday, March 03, 2006

May 2 5PM My guest will be thr Rev. Steve Edington, the author of the "Beat Face of God..."

This book is an exploration of some of the underlying spiritual and religious currents found in the writings and lives of a loose constellation of writers and poets who came together in America after World War II, and came to be known as the Beat Generation writers. Among their more prominent figures were Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, to name just a few.

Writing from the perspective of a liberal religious minister (Unitarian Universalist) and a Beat Generation scholar, Rev. Stephen Edington expands upon, and delves into, Jack Kerouac's contention that the Beat Generation was a religious generation. These writers and poets, each in his or her own way, were articulating and setting forth an "alternative spirituality" in the face of the prevailing cultural ethos of the America of the 1950s.

This is not primarily, however, a literary review of a group of writers from over a half-century ago. Their work is as powerful today as it was in their day, especially for those pursuing a spiritual path of their own. Edington weaves much of the spiritual journeys of the Beats into the evolution of his own spirituality.

Also, the ways in which the Beats challenged the culture and politics of America in the 1950s resonates strongly in today's post-9/11 America as well, as this book's concluding chapter demonstrates.

About the Author

Rev. Stephen Edington is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashua, New Hampshire. He is a member of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Committee and an adjunct faculty member of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. His previous book is Kerouac's Nashua Connection.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

March 7 2006: My guest will be comedian Emily Singer. We will discuss her creative life as a performer and comedy writer. Here is an article about Emily in "The Somerville News."

by Karmyn E. Guthrie

Emily Singer, local comedian and spokesperson for Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway, spoke at the Somerville News contributors meeting February 18thSinger does public relations and marketing for the Davis Square theater, a job that utilizes her genuine passion for comedy, in general, and Jimmy Tingle’s, in particular.
“Comedy is extremely addictive,” said Singer. And she’d like to help all of us get our fix. “We’d like to reach out to the community so they feel like they have a place to go every night of the week.”
Jimmy Tingle’s, a 200-seat theater, was founded by its namesake in November of 2002. Already, some of the biggest names in comedy have graced its stage, including the founder himself. Tingle, who you may have seen on just about any of the late night talk show, 60 Minutes II, or his HBO special has
become one of the most well-respected comedians around, choosing to keep this lively yet intimate Somerville venue as his home theater.
“Jimmy is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met,” said Singer, who opened for him recently. She credits him, as well as the other top-of-their-game performers at the theater, as a valuable influence on her own career. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from the masters,” she said.
Singer has been doing stand-up since 1997, gravitating to it from acting then improv. “Comedy is so multifaceted. “ she said, “I see how people can spend their whole lives doing it.”
With her soft voice and gentle, unassuming manner, she doesn’t strike one as typical for someone in her field. “When people find out I’m a comedian they’re really shocked, “ she said.
But after watching her act, it makes sense. Her routine, which incorporates everything from massage parlors to speed dating to getting organized, works well with her personality, and her jokes are both offbeat and natural.
“It’s best to start from something natural then spin it,” Singer said. “My favorite jokes are things that just happen to me. She savors little absurdities of life, such as riding a bus to New York and noticing a fellow passenger who was, inexplicably, wearing a gorilla suit.
Singer also said that humor can also come from the tragedies and annoyances of life. “Comedy is a great healer, “ she said. She said that live comedy is a good way for audiences to put everything else behind, and that at Jimmy Tingle’s the audiences have been great. “The thing that everyone says about the theater is that it’s got great vibes, “ she said.

Emily Singer has performed throughout the New England area and in Los Angeles, New York and Madison, entertaining audiences with her unique comedic view of the world. For four years in a row (thru 2005), she has been picked to play The Boston International Comedy & Movie Festival. She has also performed in the 2003 California New Talent Comedy Contest, and the 2003 London New Talent Comedy Contest. She has hosted the Women In Comedy series at Jimmy Tingle’s OFF BROADWAY Theater.

She has performed at benefit shows for causes such as The Emerson Baseball Team, Habitat for Humanity and The Advent School. She is among several comedians who share their memories of children’s television pioneer Rex Trailer in the documentary “Rex Trailer’s Boomtown” which aired on CBS-TV 4 in June 2005 and is archived in the Museum of TV and Radio in NYC. She has performed comedy at numerous venues, including Bradley Playhouse, Putnam CT, The Improv Comedy Club, New York, NY, The Comedy Club, Madison WI, and Stand Up-NY, New York, NY. For more info please visit:

Emily teaches acting at Brookline Adult & Community Education (since 1997), where she has at times taught Stand-Up Comedy and Improv. Since Fall 2003 she has worked as a teacher’s assistant to Bronia Wheeler in Acting classes at Harvard University Extension School and Harvard University Summer School.