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, December 26, 2007

Jan 8 2008: Poet David Surette

David Surette is a poet from Malden, Massachusetts. His poems reflect the undercurrents of contemporary American life.

David Surette was born July 14, 1957, at the Malden Hospital. He lived in Malden, Massachusetts for thirty-seven years. David attended the Immaculate Conception Grammar School for six years under the watchful eyes of the Sisters of Notre Dame. He finished his school days in the public schools, Beebe Junior High and Malden High, graduating in 1975.

David earned his B.A. in English from Colby College. He wrote and directed his original play Warm Angel senior year and earned the college's drama award.

After graduation, he managed the band Boys Life. He also was the band's chief lyricist, writing with his brother John, the band's singer and guitarist. David wrote the lyrics on the "A" side of their two singles and four of the six songs on their celebrated E.P.

When the band broke up in 1984, David went back to school to earn his teaching certificate and began a 15 year teaching tenure in the Waltham Public Schools.

He continued writing, not lyrics as his brother's own lyrics eclipsed his output, but fiction. He wrote short stories and completed two novels, Today's Special and Mud Season.

Malden is his first chapbook of poetry. He began the book in a summer session of the Boston Writing Project with the goal to finished it by his twenty- fifth high school reunion and the family gathering at Thanksgiving 2000, and then offered it on his website,, in the spring of 2001. He released his second chapbook Muckers, Grinders, Shapers, Hangers, and Huns in 2002 and published over two dozen poems in various journals and magazines and became a regular reader and feature at poetry venues, libraries, schools in New England.

In 2003, he issued his third chapbook Good Shift which included "Forever and Ever" which was nominated for "Best Love Poem" at the Cambridge Poetry Awards.

David also released the single poem chapbook Acadie which was sold at Grande Pré, Nova Scotia to celebrate the 2004 Acadian Reunion.

Koenisha Publications of Michigan published Young Gentlemen's School in August, 2004. The book collects all the poems from David's three chapbooks plus ten new poems. It is available online at,, and at your local bookstore.

Koenisha published David's second book of poetry Easy to Keep, Hard to Keep In in 2007. It is available online at,, and at your local bookstore.

David is the co-host of Poetribe, a poetry group that offers poetry workshops, open mics, featured poets and the occasional poetry slam. They meet every other Saturday at the East Bridgewater Public Library in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He teaches English at East Bridgewater High School.

He currently lives in southeastern Massachusetts with his wife and three children. He and the family keep horses and sheep under the watchful eyes of thier border collie Rowdy and Martini, a very opinionated chihuahua.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dec 4 5PM Poet Robert K. Johnson

My guest Dec 4 at 5PM will be poet Robert K. Johnson author of: From Mist to Shadow:Poems

Robert K. Johnson

From Mist to Shadow:
Poems by Robert K. Johnson

ISBN 978-0-9795313-0-9
80 pages at 12.00 paperback
Ibbetson Street Press
25 School Street
Somerville MA 02143

Review by Laurel Johnson

Robert K. Johnson is a poet, writer, retired English professor, and student of life. Between 1975 and 2007, he’s had six collections of poetry and two non-fiction books published, plus been featured in two poetry anthologies. In this latest book, Johnson tenderly transforms the small memories, wonders and sorrows of everyday life into moments brightened and sharpened through his words.

The commonplace turns quietly sinister as Johnson remembers the unexpected suicide of a friend. “Jimmy” recalls the class clown, the day he put his head in the oven after school, and the numbing effect on the poet:

And suddenly all the bushes, trees
and flowers I stared at in our yard
looked different, strange,
as if -- year after year --
they had been hiding something from me.

“Anguish” is a simply stunning poem about a mother lost to dementia, unable to separate reality from hallucination, and the son forced to witness her decline. I cannot do this fine poem justice with an excerpt; it must be read in its entirety.

“Brother of the Prodigal Son” is a long poem that remains true to the biblical version but extracts a bitter truth unspoken in the parable. This poem, also, cannot be adequately honored with an excerpt.

“The Truth About the Past” is another powerful recollection about the father who shared memories of his own revered father’s many talents. A long-lost great aunt shatters those memories with a harsh truth:

…she described my father’s childhood,
starting when he was two
-- the year his father abandoned
his wife and son.

Life is often unpredictable. This excerpt from “On F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ’Babylon Revisited’” shows how forgotten words and acts unexpectedly return to us like bad karma:

-- all can silently arc
over our heads for days,
for blithe or busy years
until the moment they curve
back into our lives as swiftly
as a hawk’s swooping claws
puncture a rabbit’s skin.

Regardless of age, a poet is always a poet. Age settles over us all, but Johnson still sees poetry in the world around him:

…subjects for poems,
like frightened children
seeking shelter,
tug at my mind…

One critic describes Robert K. Johnson as “the poet/laureate of the ordinary moment in time.” He is that and much more. His poetry is quietly powerful and poignant. This collection lives, breathes, and transforms the ordinary through the thoughts and memories of a skilled wordsmith. From Mist to Shadow is a book you’ll want to keep and reread.

-- Laurel Johnson is a reviewer for the Midwest Book Review and other magazines.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Further Fenway Fiction" Adam Pachter guest Nov. 20 5PM

Adam Pachter is the author of the novel Ash (ISBN 0-89754-192-8) and numerous short stories. Pachter has edited both Fenway Fiction books, and he won the Improper Bostonian magazine's inaugural fiction contest for his story "Lotion." In addition, Pachter's work has appeared in Italy from a Backpack, Boston Metro, and the Word Riot Anthology. Pachter also writes for WGBH, Boston's public television station, and teaches classes on how to write a first novel. He lives in Arlington, MA, with his wife and young daughter, whom he has taught to say "Go Red Sox" and "Coco Crisp."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tues Nov 6 2007 5PM Nick Mamatas

My Guest Nov. 6 at 5PM will be About the book:
Under My Roof, based on Archanians by Aristophanes, is the story of telepathic tween Herbert Weinberg, whose father Daniel decides to strike a blow for freedom by building a nuclear device, planting it in the lawn jockey in his front yard, and declaring independence from the United States.

The Long Island household is predictably turned upside down. Mother is out, a local weatherman is in, and he becomes both a hostage and Minister of Information. Though troops surround the belligerent ranch house-state, the appeal of independence becomes too much for many. A daring raid to kidnap Herb and bring him back to his mother snatches the boy prince from his ancestral home. Meanwhile, the house is filling up with former American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out?

However, the seed has already been planted. All over America, people are declaring their independence, and simply by traveling from lawn to lawn across "the country", Herbert is able to reunite with his father and defeat American imperialism with a final burst of his telepathic powers.


About the author:
Nick Mamatas is the author of the Civil War ghost story for Marxists, Northern Gothic, and the Lovecraftian Beat road novel for shut-ins, Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards for first novel. His short fiction has appeared in the Mississippi Review, Razor, the German music magazine Spex and a dozen other publications. His reportage and essays have appeared in the Village Voice, The Writer, In These Times and various Disinformation and BenBella Books anthologies. A native New Yorker, Nick now lives near, but not in, Boston.

Under My Roof, based on Archanians by Aristophanes, is the story of telepathic tween Herbert Weinberg, whose father Daniel decides to strike a blow for freedom by building a nuclear device, planting it in the lawn jockey in his front yard, and declaring independence from the United States.

The Long Island household is predictably turned upside down. Mother is out, a local weatherman is in, and he becomes both a hostage and Minister of Information. Though troops surround the belligerent ranch house-state, the appeal of independence becomes too much for many. A daring raid to kidnap Herb and bring him back to his mother snatches the boy prince from his ancestral home. Meanwhile, the house is filling up with former American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out?

However, the seed has already been planted. All over America, people are declaring their independence, and simply by traveling from lawn to lawn across "the country", Herbert is able to reunite with his father and defeat American imperialism with a final burst of his telepathic powers.


About the author:
Nick Mamatas is the author of the Civil War ghost story for Marxists, Northern Gothic, and the Lovecraftian Beat road novel for shut-ins, Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards for first novel. His short fiction has appeared in the Mississippi Review, Razor, the German music magazine Spex and a dozen other publications. His reportage and essays have appeared in the Village Voice, The Writer, In These Times and various Disinformation and BenBella Books anthologies. A native New Yorker, Nick now lives near, but not in, Boston.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oct 23 Jane Katims 5PM

My guest on Oct 23 will be poet Jane Katims:

Jane Katims is the author and co-producer of six radio series for Wisconsin Public Radio, one earning her a George Foster Peabody Award in Broadcasting. Her series include: The Author is You, Book Trails, Worlds of Art, Wisconsin on the Move, Listening to My Feelings, and Through My Senses. She has written radio documentaries for WEN, WGBH, WBUR, and WCAS (Everybody Do What You're Doing, My Bike Got Swiped, Health Care -- Person to Person, Jack Tale Interview, The Toby Story, Birth Control -- What Choices? What to Do With My Life, Women and Music, and others).

In 2004, she was awarded a John Woods Scholarship in Fiction Writing (Western Michigan University) which entitled her to attend the Prague Summer Seminars. She is presently working on a collection of short stories, Getting the Gals Going, and a novel, Until Now and has completed a poetry collection, Dancing on a Slippery Floor..

Jane Katims earned her BA at the University of Wisconsin and her M.Ed at Lesley University. She presently teaches contemporary literature and creative writing at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education and at Tufts Institute for Lifelong Learning at Tufts University. In addition, she leads private writing workshops in poetry, memoir, and fiction writing. She has previously taught at Middlesex Community College; Buckingham, Browne and Nichols; and The Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.

Jane Katims is a member the Board of Visitors of the English Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with her family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oct 2 Abbott Ikeler author"Outposts"

Abbott Ikeler is the author of the poetry collection "Outposts" ( Ibbetson 2007)

B.A., Harvard University; M.A., University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D., University of London, Kings College

Abbott Ikeler taught literature and writing at Bowdoin College, the University of Muenster, and Rhode Island College before entering the corporate world. His academic achievements include a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, a book on nineteenth-century aesthetics, and numerous articles on Victorian fiction. From the mid-eighties to 2001, he held public relations and advertising positions with three multinationals and a full-service agency. Immediately before coming to Emerson College ( Boston), Dr. Ikeler was Director of Communications and Public affairs for the Internet and Networking Division of Motorola, a post he held for three years. The focus of his current research is global public relations, especially the impact of non-media influencers, such as industry and financial analysts.

He writes poetry, memoirs and literary criticism, including a book published by Ohio State University Press on Thomas Carlyle, Puritan Temper and Transcendental Faith, and numerous articles on Dickens and Trollope. His poems have been published in The Concrete Wolf, The Somerville News, Dream International Quarterly, and Bagelbards Anthology, No. 2. A sample poem follows below.


They happen on a subway platform
in the midst of mild debate,
hardly heated, on the merits of a film.
Or between courses at a restaurant
unrated by Michelin
over the indiscretions of a distant friend.
An old incompatibility
of taste or moral vision gathers
in an unremarkable moment in a quite prosaic spot
to a settled recognition on one side or the other
of a wall that can’t be climbed.
The rest—days or decades—is merest epilogue.

--Abbott Ikeler

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sept 25 Rusty Barnes cofounder of "Night Train" magazine

Sept 18 5PM

Rusty Barnes grew up in rural northern Appalachia. He received his B.A. from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. from Emerson College. His fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in many journals. After editing fiction for the Beacon Street Review (now Redivider) and Zoetrope All-Story Extra, he co-founded Night Train, a recently reinvented literary journal, which has been featured in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, and on National Public Radio. Sunnyoutside Press will be publishing a chapbook of his flash fiction sometime in 2007. If you want to know more, check these links to an interview conducted by Wayne Yang of Eight Diagrams: Part I, Part II, Part III. Or, friend him--I mean, uh, me--at MySpace.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sept 4, 2007 5PM Sidewalk Sam

My guest will be noted street artist and arts activist Side Walk Sam. Sam will be talking about the Sept 15th celebration of Stone Soup Poets founder Jack Powers 70th birthday that he is helping to organize.

Robert Guillemin is "Sidewalk Sam," the popular artist dedicated to creating art at the feet of pedestrians to inspire, promote spirit, enrich daily life, and address social issues. Sidewalk Sam has been called the "Johnny Appleseed of Art" and a "Pavement Picasso". He has been featured on the "Today Show", "Good Morning America", "Evening Magazine" and "Real People" and in hundreds of newspaper articles from coast to coast. He takes arts to the streets with charm and expertise that has thrilled millions of people for nearly forty years.

Through a magical blend of community art initiatives, broad-based participatory events and an unfailing joyful spirit, he organizes citizens, government agencies, cultural organizations, schools and corporations to work together for a common cause.

After studying at Boston College and receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree in painting from Boston University, Robert followed a traditional path to becoming a successful artist. He had many commissions and exhibits, including one-man shows at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, but the structure of the art scene was not a good fit for the artist he was becoming. He believed that art’s focus on a small, elite audience caused it to turn its back on society at large. He realized that "art for art’s sake" was not the same as "art for people’s sake."

Sidewalk Sam was born when Robert stepped outside of traditional art venues and took his talents and enthusiasm to the streets. Choosing "Sidewalk Sam" as a nickname and using skills he had sharpened while a copyist at the Louvre Museum in Paris, he began to reproduce beloved masterpiece paintings on the sidewalks of Boston. "By staying in museums, galleries and the halls of academe, I felt I was missing the human experience. So I chose to bring art to the street and into daily life. I love crouching on the sidewalk, kneeling at the feet of people and having art look up to us for a change. I want art to serve people as a natural part of everyday life. I think art should bring people closer to each other and inspire people to a better vision of society."

Sidewalk Sam makes a connection with the public. They gather on street corners to watch him chalk on the ground. His art is in perfect harmony with the pedestrian experience - a polite, social event in the streets of our cities where there is often a need for civility. Using the streets as a canvas, Sidewalk Sam has rallied people around solutions to social problems, addressing issues like poverty, diversity, children and family and the environment. Now in a wheelchair, Sidewalk Sam still thinks big. He organizes large events where lots of people come together and create big artworks to show their common spirit. “I love to get people involved with each other", he says. "Art can bring society together.” He adds, “Everything in modern life is so depersonalized - I’m just trying to personalize it a little.”

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Aug 7: Jacques Fluery 5PM

Poetry Tyrant reviews The Haitian Firefly's collection
A review by Doug Holder, the founding publisher of The Ibettson Street Press

Sparks in the Dark: Lighter Shade Of Blue. A Poetic Memoir. Jacques Fleury. “The Haitian Firefly” $12. Contact:

Jacques Fleury writes that he was born with a humongous head. He reflects: “When my mom was birthing me, I was told that she ran out of the hospital just as I was coming out of the darkness of her womb, valiantly striving to reach the light. So just as I was coming out she made a giant leap for ‘pain kind’ out of bed and bolted out of the door and caught a cab home.”

Jacques Fleury

To this day Fleury has a dramatic head both physically and metaphorically. He often adorns it with large hats and outrageous sunglasses that he wears in the dead-of-night. He is an exotic even in Cambridge’s teeming and diverse Central Square. And so is his writing. His poetry is not sedate and understated, but much like a lush, colorful, exotic plume; at times gaudy and blinding, and for the most part joyful in spite of the pain he has suffered in his 30- something years.

Fleury was born in Haiti and is a working journalist, poet, columnist, and community TV host. His first full poetry collection: “Sparks in the Dark…” is large, ambitious, and covers a lot of ground.

It’s hard being a Blackman, much less a Haitian Blackman in a white society. Fleury rages against this inequity in his poem: “Unrequited Rage:”

“How dare you judge me/ my color does not define me/ you should be appalled for Dissing me! / unleash your dirty heart/ you will find me!... / I am only a mere man pregnant with error/ a walking Disaster!!!/ So use me like a mirror, / if you want to see the reflection of your Brother!!!/

And Fleury knows that the “womb makes the man,” and he urges mothers to treat their children well, or else it’s a short passage to a worldly hell, in his poem:

“Women! Women From Your Wombs!”

“Women! Women from your wombs/ you gonna yell to break the spell/ women! Women from your wombs/ you too one day/ face drooping dripping down in the dumps/ with creases like beaten down leather/ established breasts hardened, eager and perky/ like the buds of spring./ swollen like balloons since in your mouth men/ blow bubbles…/ since from your wombs babies are born/ bearing your sins/ and looked down as / fools for sucking in anger/and resentment seeping from/ your congested chests/ have come into this world/ entangled in your mess.”

Fleury’s work is provocative and evocative, but at times it needs pruning, because it grows like wild jungle vegetation. Of course that might be the point.

Doug Holder

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Hollywood and Sunset" author Luke Salisbury July 17

July 17 5PM Luke Salisbury:

Luke Salisbury is a Professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and teaches English and Film. He is the author of The Answer Is Baseball (Times Books, 1989; Vintage, 1990) which The Chicago Tribune called the best baseball book of 1989, (A Common Reader said, “Salisbury reveals the heart of the sport better than writer I’ve read,” No. 47, April, 1991), and a novel, The Cleveland Indian (The Smith, 1992; paperback, 1996) which was nominated for the Casey Award in 1992 as best baseball book of the year, and was studied at Indiana State University in an American literature course. Blue Eden, a novel in three stories, (The Smith; hardback and paper, 1996). Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine said, “The middle tale, ‘The Number of the Beast,’ is a gem.” Hollywood and Sunset, a novel will be published by Shambling Gate Press, fall 2005. Mr. Salisbury contributed to Red Sox Century: One Hundred Years of Red Sox Baseball, Baseball & The Game of Life, Ted Williams: A Portrait in Words and Pictures, DiMaggio: An Illustrated Life, Jackie Robinson: Between the Baselines, Fall Classics: The Best Writing About The World Series’ First Hundred Years and wrote Chapter 9 of a Treasury of Baseball, published by Publications International Ltd. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Ploughshares, Stories Magazine, Pulpsmith, Fan, Elysian Fields, Spitball, Nine, SABR Review of Books, Cooperstown Review, and (in translation) AERA, the Japanese equivalent of Time. He is a past vice president and national secretary of the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR). Mr. Salisbury was the first keynote speaker at Nine Magazine’s Annual Spring Training Conference (1994), and was a frequent guest on Channel 2 Boston’s “Ten O’clock News,” “The Group,” and “Greater Boston,” New England Cable News Network, Comcast’s Sports Pulse, and WBUR’s “Connection.” He was featured in AMC’s “Diamonds On the Silver Screen,” HBO’s Curse of the Bambino and wrote the Krank column for Boston Baseball from 1996 to 1999. His latest book is "Hollywood and Sunset."

Mr. Salisbury attended The Hun School, New College, and received an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He once taught third grade in the Bronx, and now lives with his wife Barbara and son Ace in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poet Michael Mack July 10

Michael Mack will be my guest on "Poet to Poet, Writer to Writer" July 10
5PM Somerville Community Access TV

Michael Mack is a poet and performer who uses his art to give form to his
feelings about having a mother with schizophrenia and in so doing educates
his audiences about the devastating illness. Courtesy of Michael Mack

The room darkens, and sad, frightening voices echo through the air. Mixing
light and shadow with the skills of an actor and the voice of a poet,
Michael Mack brings the sensations of schizophrenia to his listeners.

The experience is not his directly, but that of his mother, whose
schizophrenia was diagnosed when Michael was 5 years old. Yet the story is
his, too. What child wouldn't be affected by the inexplicable behavior of
his or her mother?

Luckily for him and his audiences, Mack was not shackled by his childhood.
As an adult, he transformed the central experience of that time into a
one-man performance that enlightens patients and clinicians, as well as
people who have never seen mental illness firsthand.

"This has been a tremendously cathartic experience," Mack, 49, told
Psychiatric News. "It keeps the memory of my mother alive, and it's a kind
of mission, opening people's minds."

Patients hear his work as their story. "It's an emotional event for them,"
he said. "It's a human story about a human tragedy that ends up with a
hopeful message."

Mack grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., the oldest of four
children his parents had in the first five years of their marriage. Years
later, he listened to his father tell the story of how he came home to find
Michael's mother in tears and asking if she was the Blessed Virgin (see
box). She was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In periods of remission, she was
a kind and attentive mother, but when the illness returned, her behavior
could threaten and disturb her children.

Once, she gave a party for neighborhood children, handing out cigarettes and
giving away toys belonging to Michael and his siblings.

"I remember it being a real fun party, but at the same time having the
feeling that something was really wrong," he recalled.

The family exhausted its insurance benefits as Mack's mother moved through
hospitals and other facilities around Washington. Eventually, the parents
divorced, and Michael's mother spent the last years of her life in a group
home in Baltimore, where she died of cancer in 2002. She never saw his
performances but expressed surprise that anyone might be interested in her
experiences. His father has seen (and responded positively to) the piece
several times and has brought friends to see it.

"I think it has helped him to see how we saw the situation as children,"
said Mack.

After high school, Mack served in the Air Force, attended community college,
and then went to Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. His march toward a conventional career detoured into the arts
when he signed up for a course in poetry taught by Pulitzer Prize-winner
Maxine Kumin. For the first time in his life, Mack poured his memories and
feelings about growing up with his mother onto paper. He became Boston's
poetry slam champion. He switched his major to creative writing and
graduated in 1988. Since then, he has worked as a technical or freelance
writer, but his personal and professional focus has been "Hearing Voices
(Speaking in Tongues)," the one-man show that he presents around the
country. His big break came in 1997, when an advocate for people with mental
illness heard Mack recite his poetry and invited him to speak to the Boston
chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

As he began writing, Mack went back to the events of his childhood and began
to see them in a different way, experiencing them as an adult, not as a
child. He came to understand what his mother and father did and why they did
it. When he was young, he felt cheated out of his childhood and was angry at
his parents, he said. But in writing the poetry that became his program's
script, he came to understand how they had responded as best they could to
the circumstances of their lives.

Mack never gives the same presentation twice. Each little scene-poem is a
story in itself. He selects elements to construct an essential story that
varies with the place and the audience.

For a general audience, he might have a "doctor" character describe symptoms
of schizophrenia, but leave that out when performing for a more
knowledgeable professional audience. Even they glean value from his show,
however. After a performance at McLean Hospital near Boston, staff members
came up to him and told him that seeing the performance was a way for them
to reconnect with the fundamental reasons they went into the mental health
field, said Mack.

"The performance helped them see the human cost of mental illness and how
they can help," he said.

He recently gave two performances in Rochester, N.Y., the first in a large
auditorium for the general public and mental health care consumers. There,
he performed for an hour and a half, enhancing the show with all the
lighting and sound technology the theater had to offer. Later, before a
smaller group of patients at the Rochester Psychiatric Center, he pared the
performance down to 30 minutes of material that spoke directly to that
specialized audience.

For most audiences, he dramatizes auditory hallucinations by immersing the
stage in total darkness for more than two minutes while speaking in the
voices that reflect psychosis. However, for patients, he may ask for the
lights to be lowered rather than turned off and ask the patients to close
their eyes to lessen the chance of fearful reactions. In either case,
patients have told him how much they appreciated his giving voice to what
they have gone through.

Performing for audiences of patients, psychiatrists, and mental health
professionals has led to another kind of insight, said Mack. His recent
presentation at the rochester Psychiatric Center entailed his first visit to
a state psychiatric hospital since he visited his mother in an aging, dingy
facility 20 years before.

"What a change!" he said. "I was so impressed with the building and how
patients and staff interacted."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 19 Poet Bob Clawson

My Guest June 19 at 5PM will be poet Bob Clawson.

Bob Clawson was Anne Sexton’s friend and associate for the last ten years of her life. He often helped her edit drafts of her work. He also directed the musical group, “Anne Sexton and Her Kind,” which toured the country for three years.

Bob Clawson is a writer, editor, teacher, fisherman, and cook. His formal education includes a rural two-room schoolhouse, Kenyon College, Harvard, and Yale. He has visited 32 of the United States, and has been to France, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Greece, and to several island nations such as Britain, Jamaica, Cuba, Ireland, and Nantucket.

Poetry captured Clawson at Kenyon College, where he studied with John Crowe Ransom and Irving Feldman. He spent a long career in advertising where he was a writer, editor, and creative director. His time for reading poetry dwindled, but, in his words, “ followed like a brindled hound,/just ribs and tongue and tail.”

Fifteen years ago, he left business. For the next seven years, he wrote a self-syndicated golf column that eventually reached over 100 newspapers, but it became, “Too much like work: 56-hour weeks.” In the mid-nineties, a friend asked Clawson to teach poetry to 4th graders. This triggered a powerful urge to write poetry, not just occasional drafts, but serious work. He wrote from 1996 to 1998 and studied with Bruce Weigl, Fred Marchant, Gail Mazur, Stephen Dunn, Heather McHugh, and Thomas Lux, before sending work to poetry journals.

In 1997he published his first book, Nightbreak. It went through three printings. He has published in many fine journals including The Southern Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poet Lore, Yankee, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Lancet ( a weekly British medical journal), and the Shit Creek Review, among others.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sept 11 2007 Carl Von Essen

June 12 2007 5PM My guest will be: Carl von Essen. Carl von Essen was born in 1926 and raised in Northern California. After medical studies in California and Sweden, he practiced and taught in the United States, India, and Switzerland and served the World Health Organization in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Throughout a long professional career spanning the globe, he devoted available time to exploring the natural world and pursuing his passion for angling. He is also the author of The Revenge of the Fishgod: Angling Adventures around the World. Carl von Essen now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the Jungian psychoanalyst Manisha Roy.

His latest book is: ""The Hunter's Trance: Nature Spirit&Ecology."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Poet Dan Sklar May 29 5PM

June 29 5PM ---My guest will be poet and Creative Writing Director of Endicott College Dan Sklar. Dan has taught poetry, fiction, nature writing, Eastern Literature, Drama, Playwriting and Children’s Literature at Endicott College for twenty years. One of Dan’s plays was just published in “The Art of the One-Act” and his poems and stories have or will be published in the Harvard Review, Ibbetson Street, Fulcrum, and many others.

Dan is the author of the poetry collection “Hack Writer” He hold a PhD in Literature from Boston University.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tino Viilanueva May 15 5PM

Tino Villanueva- From his humble beginnings in Texas as the son of migrant workers, "Tino Villanueva emerged as an important voice of Chicano expression in the early 1970s," wrote Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor Julian Olivares. "The poetic voice for him is an existential affirmation of being by which one achieves salvation from silence, chaos, and annihilation."
Growing up in an atmosphere of poverty and prejudice, Villanueva graduated from high school but failed his college entrance exam. Devoted to self-improvement, the young man took jobs and read extensively. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963, Villanueva spent two years in the Panama Canal Zone. This brought him a new understanding of his Hispanic heritage; he began reading the works of poets like Ruben Dario and José Martí.
Returning home, Villanueva enrolled at Southwest Texas University, where he produced his first poem--a sonnet--in a class for native Spanish-speakers. The poem, "Camino y Capricho eterno," was published in a local newspaper in 1968. Villanueva earned a bachelor of arts degree that same year, and moved his studies to Buffalo, New York. "Living away from the Southwest permitted him to take stock of himself and to take into account the injustices perpetrated upon him and his people," reported Olivares. Villanueva embraced the Chicano Movement, and produced the poetry collection Hay Otra Voz. "Appearing in 1972 when there were very few journals that gave space to U.S. Hispanic literary expression," Olivares continued, "Hay Otra Voz was received without any reviews." But with subsequent publications of Villanueva's poetry in journals in the U.S. and abroad, the poet began to gain more recognition.
In 1984 Villanueva began publishing Imagine: International Chicano Poetry Journal, dedicated to poetry of any language, accompanied by English translation. That same year he published Shaking off the Dark, a well-received collection that a World Literature Today critic called "a journey into the semiotic concept of biculturalism." Olivares pointed to one of the poems in the collection, "Now, Suns Later," a tribute to the poet's grandmother, as "[interweaving] light imagery emanating from two sources, the sun and the grandmother."
Villanueva's anthology, Crónica de mis años peores, acknowledges the continuing struggles faced by Hispanic Americans. But the book is "a work of triumph and of overcoming," declared reviewer Susan Smith Nash in World Literature Today. Nash concluded, "individuals are able, by sheer force of will, to overcome the effects of shaming and physical and emotional abuse is tantamount to miraculous." To a Publishers Weekly contributor, the poet's tone is "complex and hard to characterize, more on the order of wistful disappointment . . . than anything like self-pity."
In the movie Giant, a pivotal moment takes place in a Texas roadside diner, where an Anglo customer, trying to prevent the eviction of a Hispanic man by the owner, is himself severely beaten. The Anglo "to a certain extent represents the social conscience of America," remarked Tom Lewis in a World Literature Today review of the collection Scene from the Movie Giant. Villanueva turns the scene into a five-part poem, which begins with the poet at age fourteen seeing Giant for the first time. Whereas the diner scene carries much symbolic weight, Lewis added, "Villanueva's poem quietly and richly extends the movie by revealing how a lone member of its audience derived from the complex emotions it aroused in him a sense of selfhood and creativity."
Family: Born December 11, 1941, in San Marcos, TX; son of Lino B. and Leonor (Rios) Villanueva. Education: Southwest Texas State University, B.A., 1969; State University of New York at Buffalo, M.A., 1971; Boston University, Ph.D., 1981. Memberships: American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Addresses: Office: Department of Spanish, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181. Agent: Odon Betanzos, 125 Queen St., Staten Island, NY 10314.
Ford Foundation fellowship, 1978-79; American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1994, for Scene from the Movie Giant.
State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, instructor in Spanish, 1969-71; Boston University, Boston, MA, lecturer in Spanish, 1971-76; Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, instructor in Spanish, 1974--. Locutor and program director for La hora Hispaña, broadcast for the Spanish-speaking community by Harvard University radio station WHRB. Military service: U.S. Army, 1964-66.
Hay Otra Voz: Poems (title means "There Is Another Voice: Poems"), Editorial Mensaje (New York, NY), 1972, 3rd edition, 1979.
(With others) Literatura Chicana: texto y contexto (title means "Chicano Literature: Text and Context"), Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1973.
Chicanos: Antologia de ensayos y literatura (title means "Chicanos: Anthology of Essays and Literature"), Fondo de Cultura Economica (Visión de Ningun Lugar, México), 1979.
Shaking off the Dark, Arté Publico Press (Houston, TX), 1984, revised edition, Bilingual Press (Tempe, AZ), 1998.
Crónica de mis años peores, Lalo (Los Angeles, CA), 1987, translation by James Hoggard published as Chronicle of My Worst Years, TriQuarterly Books (Evanston, IL), 1994.
Tres Poetas de Posguerra: Celaya, Gonzalez y Caballero Bonald: (Estudio y Entrevistas), Tamesis Books (London, England), 1988.
Scene from the Movie Giant, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 1993.
La llaman America, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 1996.
Contributor in El Espejo/The Mirror: Selected Chicano Literature, edited by O. Romano and H. Rios, Quinto Sol Publications, 1972; and We Are Chicanos: An Anthology of Mexican-American Literature, edited by Philip D. Ortego, Washington Square Press, 1974.
Contributor of poetry to San Antonio Express/News, Persona, El Grito, Entre Nosotros, Caribbean Review, Hispamerica: Revista de literatura, Revista Chicano-Riqueña, Poema Convidado, and Texas Quarterly; contributor of essays to Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, Papeles de Son Armadans, and Journal of Spanish Studies: Twentieth Century

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

April 17 Poet Molly Lynn Watt

April 17 5PM My Guest will be Molly Lynn Watt:

Molly Lynn Watt carries a pen, a notebook and a journal as she travels, whether to Harvard Square, China, Ireland or Alaska to record her wonderings. She shapes adventures and questions into poems, essays and stories sometimes illustrated with photographs. She is an original member of Cambridge Cohousing community, a longtime progressive educator and a peace and justice activist. She facilitates the monthly Fireside Poetry Readings on the last Tuesday of each month (usually) with neighbors, Jenise Aminoff and John Hildebidle. Check out NoCa's events and for reading dates. Molly is the author of the poetry collection: "Shadow People." ( Ibbetson, 2007)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Harris Gardner-Founder of The Boston National Poetry Festival

March 27 2007: 5PM My guest will be poet/organizer/activist/ Harris Gardner founder of:

(Harris Gardner, and friends...)


CO-SPONSORS:Tapestry of Voices & Kaji Aso Studio in partnership with The Boston Public Library. Starts Saturday, April 14th, 2007 10:00 A.M. To 5:00 P.M. and Sunday, April 15th, 2007 from 1:00 P.M. to 4:45 P.M.. OPEN MIKE: Sunday, 2:00 to 3:30 P.M. The festival will be held both days at the library ’s main branch in Copley Square.56 Major and emerging poets will each do a twenty minute reading; also Featuring 15 elementary school students from the John Eliot Elementary School.These fifth and sixth graders will open the festival with poetry by Langston Hughes,Ogden Nash, Carl Sandburg, Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou, other poets, and their own originalpoetry. They will be followed by prize winning poets Alden DiIanni-Morton and Shari Caplan, two seniors at Boston Latin High School. The 55 major and emerging poets will follow with a:

POETRY MARATHON. Some of the many luminaries include Diana DerHovanessian , Afaa M. Weaver, Rhina P. Espaillat, Richard Wollman, Lloyd Schwartz, Maxine Kumin, Fred Marchant, Barbara Helfgott-Hyett, DanTobin, Charles Coe, Steven Cramer, Danielle Legros-Georges, Regie Gibson, Marc Widershien, Tino Villanueva, and Doug Holder.
This festival has it all. A plethora of professional poets, celebrities, a Pulitzer Prize Winner and former National Poet Laureate, numerous award winners, student participation.Even more, it is about community, neighborhoods, diversity, BOSTON and MASSACHUSETTS. This fast growing tradition is one of the largest events in Boston’s Contribution to National Poetry Month. FREE ADMISSION !!
For information: Tapestry of Voices, (617-306-9484) or
617-723-3716 Library: (617)- 536-5400

Wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening devices available. To request a sign language interpreter or for other special needs, call (617) 536-7855 (TTY) at least two weeks before the program date.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Poet, Publisher, Playwright Diana Saenz March 6 2007

My Guest March 6 2007 5PM:

Diana Saenz was born in Los Angeles, California. She lived for a time with her grandparents in Fresno, California. She recounts her memories of Central California as among her most powerful memories, specifically recalling of the scent of Oleanders that proliferated in her grandparents' neighborhood, in Fresno.

Diana Saenz is a playwright and poet who has been writing for 35 years. Her fifteen plays have been produced in California, Massachusetts, Texas and Maine. She has written three books of poetry, and numerous articles and short stories. Saenz founded "The Boston Poet," an event calendar for poets.

Diana later founded the online journal and the Boston Poet Journal.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Feb 27 5 PM Poet Alfred Nicol author of "Winter Light"

Alfred Nicol worked in the printing industry for twenty years after graduating from Dartmouth College, where he received the Academy of American Poets Prize. He now lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is a member of the Powow River Poets. He edited the Powow River Anthology, published by Ocean Publishing in 2006, and was the recipient of the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award for his first book of poems, Winter Light, published by The University of Evansville Press. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Formalist, Measure, Commonweal, Verse Daily, The New England Review, Atlanta Review, and other journals. Several of his poems have been anthologized in Contemporary Poetry of New England, Sonnets: 150 Contemporary Sonnets, and Kiss and Part. The last of nine installments of his long poem, “Persnickety Ichabod’s Rhyming Diary” will appear in Light Quarterly, Vol. 52.

"Nicol is much more than a poet's poet; he is also a reader's poet, and his work, though dazzling, is not intended to simply dazzle but to convey, with charm and profundity, the experiences of our common life." -- Rhina P. Espaillat

"How different an aesthetic Nicol shows in the splendid Winter Light, as canny and moving a formalist collection as I have seen in years." -- Sydney Lea

"On every page Nicol exhibits a genuine largeness of spirit and grace of mind. His techniques are well-honed. This is certainly among the finest new volumes of poetry I have read in years." -- Jay Parini

Friday, February 02, 2007

Feb 13 2007 My guest will be John Hodgen

My guest Feb. 13 5PM will be poet John Hodgen. Hodgen will be reading from his new book, Grace.Winner of the 2005 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Hodgen, who teaches writing at Assumption College in Worcester, has two other prize-winning books, and his poems, according to Ha Jin, National Book Award winner and professor at Boston University, contain "a voice that speaks directly from the heart."His publications include the anthologies Witness and Wait: Thirteen Poets From New England and Something and We Teach Them All: Teachers Writing About Diversity. His other honors include the Grolier Prize in Poetry in 1980 and an Arvon Foundation Award (Kensington, England) in 1981.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Feb 6 2007 5PM: My guest will be Manisha Roy. Roy was born in Northeast Assam, India, and educated in Calcutta. Once an anthropologist, she is now a writer and lecturer of Jungian psychotherapy. She has been a practicing psychotherapist since 1985 in Boston. She is the author of "Bengali Woman" and " Cast The First Stone: Ethics in Analytic Practice" among other works.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jan 16 5PM My guest will be the poet Martha Collins.

Martha Collins is the author, most recently, of Blue Front, a book-length poem based on a lynching her father witnessed when he was five years old in Cairo, Illinois, published May 2006 by Graywolf Press. She has also published four collections of poems, two books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and a recent chapbook of poems, and has edited a collection of essays on the poet Louise Bogan.

Collins' awards include fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Foundation, as well as three Pushcart Prizes, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, and a Lannan residency grant.

A selection of poems from Blue Front won the Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize in 2005; other selections from the book appeared in Kenyon Review and Ploughshares.
Collins founded the Creative Writing Program at UMass-Boston, and since 1997 has taught at Oberlin College, where she is Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing and one of the editors of FIELD magazine and Oberlin College Press.