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

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Doug Holder Interviews Poet Gary Margolis--Dec, 2020


Gary Margolis is the author of four poetry books: Raking the Winter Leaves: New and Selected Poems (Bauhan Publishing, 2013); Fire in the Orchard (Autumn House Press, 2002), which was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Falling Awake (University of Georgia Press, 1986); and The Day We Still Stand Here (University of Georgia Press, 1983).

A Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts award, Margolis has published his poems in PoetryAmerican ScholarPoetry Northwest, and other literary magazines.

A licensed psychologist, Margolis is the former executive director of counseling and former associate professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. He lives in Cornwall, Vermont, where he is a volunteer firefighter.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Nov. 22, 2020 Doug Holder interviews poet Durane West


I am going to be interviewing poet Durane West this afternoon at 3PM.

He writes:

I write spoken word poetry that paints the perspective of an innercity black boy from Boston, MA. Raised in the city, he went to Boston Public Schools through high school. Winner of the Max Warburg Courage Essay Contest in 2001, Durane has been a frequent member of open mic scenes since 2017. He has performed at local spots like Haley House, Lizard Lounge, and Cantab Lounge among others. He is currently working toward creating his first chapbook. A former tour guide at Fenway Park, Durane works for an education non-profit that supports BPS students."

Friday, November 13, 2020

Doug Holder Interviews Outlaw Memorist, Poet and Editor Alan Kaufman Sat Nov. 14, 2020 3PM


Alan Kaufman, born January 12, 1952, in New York City to a French Holocaust survivor and raised in the Bronx, is a teacher, writer, poet, editor, performer, artist, and impresario known for his work as editor of the Outlaw Bible series of literary anthologies. In addition to his editorial work on these books and the alternative Jewish cultural magazine Davka , which he helped to found, Kaufman is also the author of a memoir, Jew Boy (2000), and the novel Matches (2005) as well as several volumes of poetry. Active as a poet from an early age, Kaufman has been involved in both the New York and San Francisco poetry scenes and played a role in the popularization of Spoken Word poetry in both the United States and abroad. More recently, Kaufman has taken up the brush as a painter, a medium in which he has proven equally productive.

A prolific writer from an early age, Kaufman both edited and published in the Magpie , the literature and arts journal of DeWitt Clinton High School. After graduating high school in 1970, Kaufman enrolled at the City College of New York. In 1971, Kaufman traveled across the United States by riding freight trains. In the course of his travels, he was arrested in North Platte, Nebraska, and was the victim of anti-Semitic slurs by his jailers, an event that profoundly affected him. Returning to New York, Kaufman began a life-long exploration of his Jewish heritage and identity. One of the first tangible results was Kaufman's founding of the Jewish Arts Quarterly , the first issue of which appeared in 1974.

After graduating from CCNY in 1975, Kaufman started to publish his short stories. In 1977, Kaufman moved to Israel where he lived and worked on a Kibbutz. He also became a contributing editor to the magazine Shdemot . In 1979, he became an Israeli citizen and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). During his initial service, he helped start the IDF Journal , the first English language journal published by the IDF. When his enlistment ended in 1984, Kaufman returned to the United States. The same year, his first book, a collection of short stories titled The End of Time , appeared.

Accepted into the Columbia University Writer's Program in 1986, Kaufman soon after published his first edited anthology, The New Generation: Fiction for Our Time from America's Writing Programs . He also began to create drawings around this same time. In 1988, he became editor-in-chief of the Jewish Frontier , married Esther Murray, and had a daughter, Isadora. Kaufman left Columbia in 1989 and separated from his wife, who moved to Israel with their daughter. After becoming involved with the New York underground poetry scene at the Nuyorican Poet's Café, Kaufman moved to San Francisco in 1990. Once there, he quickly became engaged in the Spoken Word poetry scene at the legendary Café Babar and published his first collection of poetry, American Cruiser . Kaufman chronicled his thoughts and experiences of the emerging Spoken Word poetry movement in a series of articles for HOWL: San Francisco Poetry News . His growing prominence led, in 1992, to his first Spoken Word tour of Germany with poet Bob Holman. He returned two more times over the next few years, once with a larger group of poets in 1993 and again in 1994 with Allen Ginsberg, Kathy Acker, and others as part of the Berlin Jewish Cultural Festival. Despite his international presence, Kaufman remained committed to the San Francisco scene. In 1993, after police shut down a poetry reading, Kaufman helped to lead the San Francisco Poets Strike, which received national and international attention and forced the city to rescind the ordinance requiring poetry readings to be issued permits. At the same time, Kaufman was organizing the successful WORDLAND reading series, which brought together poets and rap and hip-hop artists.

In 1995, Kaufman worked with New Jersey poetry legends Danny Shot and Herschel Silverman on a special issue of Long Shot magazine called "It's the Jews!". A wildly successful anthology of underground Jewish artists and writers, the work helped to solidify Kaufman's thinking about alternative culture and his own Jewish identity. Kaufman's thought found form in the magazine Davka: Jewish Cultural Revolution . Although it lasted only three issues (1996-1997), Davka proved a major influence on later publications covering alternative Jewish culture and on the very idea of an alternative Jewish culture.

In 1998, Kaufman began work on what has become one of his most notable achievements: the Outlaw Bible series. Shaped by his experiences with the national and international Spoken Word movement, the first volume of the series, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry , was published in 1999. The second volume in the series, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature , was edited by Kaufman, Neil Ortenberg, and publisher and editor Barney Rosset and came out in 2004. The final volume in the series, The Outlaw Bible of American Essays , was published in 2006.

In 1999, Kaufman's memoir Jew Boy: A Memoir was purchased by Fred Jordan. It was published the following year by Fromm International. Kaufman also made his debut as an artist in 1999, holding his first one-man show at the Chelsea Fine Art Building in New York. In 2004, he exhibited his paintings alongside those of artists David Newman and Tim Wicks in San Francisco. After another show with Newman and Wicks in 2005, he sold his first paintings. His novel Matches , begun during his service with the IDF reserves in 2003 and loosely based on his experiences, was sold to Little, Brown/Time-Warner Books and published in October that year.

In 2007, Kaufman signed to the Himmelberger Gallery in San Francisco where his paintings, exploring a variety of styles he grouped under the name "Visionary Expressionism," were shown several times. Controversy erupted, however, when the gallery's plans to publish a catalog of his paintings fell through over an objection to the use of the word "Zionism" in the title and the Zionist theme of some of the included articles. Kaufman, together with Polly Zavadivker, ultimately launched his own imprint, Miriam Books, to publish the catalog.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Oct. 25, 2020 Poet Steven Cramer will be my guest on Poet to Poet


Steven Cramer’s sixth poetry collectionListen, was published in 2020 by MadHat Press. His previous books of poetry are The Eye that Desires to Look Upward (Galileo Press, 1987), The World Book (Copper Beech Press, 1992), Dialogue for the Left and Right Hand (Lumen Editions/Brookline Books, 1997), Goodbye to the Orchard (Sarabande Books, 2004)—winner of the 2005 Sheila Motton Prize from the New England Poetry Club and named a 2005 Honor Book in Poetry by the Massachusetts Center for the Book—and Clangings (Sarabande Books, 2012). His poems and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Field, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and other journals. His work is represented in anthologies such as The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Autumn House Press, 2005 and 2011), The Book of Villanelles (Knopf Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets Series, 2012), and The POETRY Anthology, 1912–2002 (Ivan R. Dee, 2002). He has also written essays for Simply Lasting: Writers on Jane Kenyon (Graywolf Press, 2005); Touchstones: American Poets on a Favorite Poem (Middlebury College Press, 1996); and Until Everything Is Continuous Again: American Poets on the Recent Work of W. S. Merwin (WordFarm, 2012). Recipient of two grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, he has taught literature and writing at Bennington College, Boston University, M.I.T., and Tufts University; and he founded and now teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Interview with writer Tom Meek Sep 30th 3PM


Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, Cambridge Day, Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Interview with Boston Playwright Debra Wiess


Debbie Wiess is a Boston-based writer, who writes in French and English. She has created a wide variety of projects for stage and screen, poetry and short stories, in both languages. Her work has been presented throughout the US and abroad, in traditional theaters and alternative venues (including in a moving trolley during the Somerville Open Studios several years ago), as well as on cable, radio and the internet. Many of her poems have been published. She is a proud member of the Bagel Bards and has had work included in its Anthology since joining the group in 2012.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Interview with Rod Kessler: " What I Am Always Waiting For" by Malcolm Miller August 2020


Malcolm Miller (1930-2014), reclusive poet of Salem, Massachusetts and Montreal, published dozens of books of poetry during his lifetime. Many of these were cheap, self-published books; a few were published by main-stream presses. Seldom holding a job, sometimes homeless, the constant in Miller's life was poetry. Rod Kessler, who wrote the introduction for this volume of Miller's Selected Poems, was among the advocates for Miller and his poetry. He and other admirers sifted through over 3,000 of Miller's poems to select the ones included in What I Am Always Waiting For.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Friday July 31 3PM writer Jacques Fleury

Jacques Stanley Fleury is a Haitian-American Poet, Author and Educator. He holds an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and currently pursuing graduate studies in the literary arts at Harvard University online. Once on the editing staff of The Watermark, a literary magazine at the University of Massachusetts, his first book Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir was featured in and endorsed by the Boston Globe. His second book: It's Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories is a collection of short fictional stories dealing with the human condition as the characters navigate life's foibles and is featured on Good Reads. His current book and hitherto magnum opus Chain Letter to America: The One Thing You Can Do to End Racism, A Collection of Essays, Fiction and Poetry Celebrating Multiculturalism explores xenophobia in America and is available at The Harvard Book Store, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. His work has been published by Poets Reading The News, Oddball Magazine, The Boston Haitian Reporter, Spare Change News, The Somerville Times, Patch News, Boston Events Insider, The International Network of Street Newspapers (INSP) reaching over 120 countries and languages, 'HOME Anthology' edited by Anne Brudevold of Eden Waters Press and the Cornell University Press anthology 'Class Lives: Stories from across Our Economic Divide' edited by Chuck Collins et al. He was the Official Poet for the Annual Urban Walk for Haiti and has made personal appearances at many Boston and Cambridge area venues including Harvard amf North Eastern Universities  and many others. His Cd A Lighter Shade of Blue as a lyrics writer in collaboration with the neo-folk musical group Sweet Wednesday is available on Amazon, iTunes & Spotify to benefit Haitian charity St. Boniface. He is Cantabrigian living in the great state of Massachusetts.  

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Monday July 20, 2020: Interview with author Nick Antonopoulos about his new novel "Slender Notions."

SEE IT LIVE at 5PM  July 20th at....

Nick Antonopoulos' novel Slender Notions explores opiate addiction, writing and the quest for joy. 
“I have nothing to offer anybody exce

pt my own confusion.” – Jack Kerouac

Kerouac’s words were never more timely than they are today. We are living in a period of confusion, unrest, injustice, and absurdity. We need laughter in our lives as a way to combat the day-to-day drudgery of modern life. Debut author Nicholas Antonopoulos explores this theme in his unflinchingly unapologetic debut novel, Slender Notions

Leo is a hard living aspiring writer cut from the Kerouac cloth. He has a secret heroin addiction to cope with the inanity of his life in suburban Massachusetts. Leo bides his time with drug-addled trips to the Zen Monastery and pilfers the works of Henry Miller along with his idol, Jack Kerouac, from the local bookstore. At a poetry reading in Boston, Leo meets Cole, a divorced man on the brink of a mental breakdown and a streetwise homeless man named Zanzi.  Together they devise a perfect plan to combat the struggles of their lives: The Laughter Challenge. The men decide to completely give into hysterical laughter. Echoing the words of Henry Miller, “To make the world laugh is one thing; to make it happy is quite another.” Leo and his new friends want to start a revolution from stoicism and austerity to pure joy and prove that laughter truly is the best medicine.

While their viral video of mass laughter propels Cole to guru status and new found fame, Leo and Zanzi wonder if madness really is the path to happiness and why unbridled joy and silliness are stigmatized in a society riddled with anxiety and depression?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Timothy Gager on Poet to Poet Writer to Writer July 14, 3PM

Timothy Gager

Timothy Gager is the author of fifteen books of fiction and poetry. His latest, Spreading Like Wild Flowers,is his eighth of poetry. Timothy hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2001 to 2018 and was the co-founder of The Somerville News Writers Festival. He has had over 600 works of fiction and poetry published, of which sixteen have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work also has been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award, The Best of the Web, The Best Small Fictions Anthology and has been read on National Public Radio.

Timothy is the Fiction Editor of The Wilderness House Literary Review, and the founding co-editor of The Heat City Literary Review. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Timothy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts with some fish and two rabbits, and he is employed as a social worker. He is currently seeking representation for his third novel, Joe the Salamander, a semi-finalist for The Holland Prize.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Monday June 15: 3PM Short Fiction with Michael C. Keith and Greg Wolos

   Join me as I discuss two new short fiction collections by Michael C. Keith and Gregory Wolos.  Both authors have a wonderfully twisted and odd body of work. The authors will also discuss  publishing during the pandemic.  Here is the link:

Friday, June 05, 2020

Poet Tom Miller Monday June 8th 3PM

Tom Miller has taught school and has worked as a rehabilitation counselor in both private and public settings focusing in the main on mental health services for children and teenagers.  He changed career paths and worked in the automotive aftermarket for thirty some years rising from sales representative to Vice President/Regional Manager. Upon “retirement” Tom went to work for Historic New England and is currently serving as the Lead Guide for two historic house museums in Salem MA. Along the way Tom garnered a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from The Ohio State University, a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Bowling Green State University and most recently a Masters of Arts Degree in History from Salem State University.  He has also studied voice over work with Jordan Rich of WBZ radio and has been involved with a number of commercials and voice over projects.  

Tom has written poetry for many years but became active as both a writer and a performer at various venues on the North Shore and around Greater Boston since his “retirement” began.  His work has been published in Ibbetson Street, The Wilderness House Literary Review, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Lyrical Somerville, and a variety of anthologies and other journals.  He has received a nomination for The Pushcart Prize.  
Tom has also appeared on Jordan Rich’s nationally syndicated Friday night talk show.  With Jordan’s help he released a CD of his poetry set to music called “Dancing At Red’s” which is the title of one of the collection’s poems.  

Tom grew up in a small farming community in Ohio and has lived in Florida, New York, Minnesota, California, and New Hampshire as well as Massachusetts.  He currently resides in Ipswich MA. 

Monday, June 01, 2020

Poet to Poet: Interview with Poet Marc Goldfinger: June 1 2020

Review of Marc D. Goldfinger’s Heroin’s Harbour

Review of Marc D. Goldfinger’s Heroin’s Harbour ( Ibbetson Streeet Press) by Gregory J. Wolos

The Split Man

            Heroin’s harbor is the addict, as Marc D. Goldfinger’s collection of poems and stories, Heroin’s Harbour makes harrowingly clear. Heroin is the body of the addict that craves the drug, and it’s the mind of the addict that cooperates with the insistent body, paradoxically rationalizing any action that might provide safe harbor for a poison. Human beings are frail things, ultimately, Goldfinger’s poems and stories illustrate, too weak to commit to our resolutions or to stave off gratifications that have become needs. Goldfinger’s work does more than merely describe the habits, lifestyle, and thoughts of a junkie; he takes his reader hostage, straps us to the back of his motorcycle so that we do more than simply observe—we participate. Goldfinger’s craft enables us, along with him, to feel the needle and the need.

            In “A Junkie’s Prayer,” one of the first poems in the first section of Heroin’s Harbour, “An Epistle to Opium,” the reader is told what the junkie prays for: not redemption, not relief, not freedom from addiction. The narrator of this poem is so embedded in his world of dependency—the “harbor” of the drug—that what is prayed for are his most immediate needs: “please keep our needles disease free”; “keep us safe from those who would poison our dope”; “keep the police the police from our door”; “keep us free from abscess.” What is prayed for is not an escape, but that “heroin’s sweet sleep” will “ease the pain that lives within our hearts.” The junkie does not beg for a way out and doesn’t seem to want one, asking only that God “keep watch over the farmers and the fields of poppies they tend.”

            A poem like “What Would You Do for a Fix?” lacks a religious core, but uses liturgical “call and response” and repetition to emphasize the all-encompassing nature of a junkie’s need. In this poem, there are sins against the family: “For a fix/ I would steel my mother’s purse; For a fix/ I would take my sister’s coin collection; For a fix/ I would desert my children.” There are sins against the purity of his own body: “For a fix/ I would risk hepatitis; For a fix/ I would shoot toilet water.” There are sins against society: “For a fix/ I would take the money out of the pocket of an unconscious man on the street, For a fix / I would sell dangerous drugs to novices.” Later in the poem, further biblical allusion occurs in another repeated construction: “In the beginning, I got high because I liked it./ In the end I got high because it was all I had left . . . In the beginning I got high because I was searching for the way./ In the end I got high because I was searching for the way out.” As the narrator concludes in “I Have Trouble with Names”: “Some of us name the Gods. / I have trouble with names.”

            Love itself for the junkie isn’t to be found through religion, as Goldfinger testifies in “Drug Store Christ (Heist): “They tell me to turn to Jesus Christ/ Just wait till I do this drug store heist/ . . . ‘Well, we found God/Just sittin’ in the safe of that drug store.’” And True Love for one’s significant other, as described in “Junkie Love” means “giving her the biggest hit,” or when you’re strung out and broke and don’t ask her to hit the streets.”

            Again and again, Goldfinger repeats the message stated in “Death Trippin,” one of the poems written in hard driving couplets that he suggests are “songs” but are all the more frightening in that they come off more as feverish rants: “One thing I know, Heroin’s the best/ For nullifying the pain that’s in my chest.” The shift from reading Goldfinger’s poems to reading his short stories is like a shift from listening to songs to watching a movie that uses those songs as background music. The refrain stated in the poem “Getting Fixed in South Carolina”: “addiction only remembers what it needs” throbs through the prose of stories that describe in detail the underworld of junkies. There are stories about dealing with crooked pharmacists and hard-ass police (“A Controlled Dangerous Substance Act”); stories about navigating life with various women who shared the narrator’s addictions (“Femme Fatale”); stories about obtaining prescriptions from doctors (“Running on Empty in Vermont”); stories about living in filth and failing to care for those innocents for whom you’re responsible (“Two Dogs and a Kitten”). The long poem “Getting Fixed in South Carolina” is itself expanded into a short story that depicts the life-threatening hazards a junkie will undertake to satisfy his habit. These stories powerfully convey the life of addicts whose focus is reduced to remembering “what it needs.” But even detailed stories are insufficiently descriptive, Goldfinger asserts in “The Rocking Chair,” which shows a recovering junkie’s return home to aged and ailing parents: “The imagination is limited when it comes to the real. Things get left out.”

            Recovery for the junkie seems a struggle doomed to Sisyphean failure. In his second section of poems, “The Fight to Stay Clean,” Goldfinger presents several portraits of those lost to drugs (“Medusa with Fire,” “One of the Tough Guys,” “Significant Other,” “Open Casket,” “The Way She Shakes”), or those who will be (“A Couple of Kids”). But there is a whisper of hope in the sisterhood of “The Angels of Gloucester,” who “walk an ancient path now, join hands at signs of trouble, hug each other’s children, knit their families into hot strong blankets with threads of prayer.” Ultimately, Goldfinger points to the necessity of the recovering junkie never losing sight of the fact that he is “The Split Man”: two alternate realities, this poem illustrates, are perpetually present, contending for the junkie’s heart: “I am the happy married man/ the junkie in the street begging/ the house-owner sitting  sitting at my computer/ in the bathroom sticking a needle in my arm . . . / I am a split man, this half of me dances with joy/ I am a split man, this half of me is dying day by day/ I can choose, I can stand by a lake holding the hand of my wife/ or my choices are gone, I probe my arm looking for a vein.”
            With devastating honesty and heartbreaking detail, Marc D. Goldfinger offers in his poems and stories glimpses into the lives of tortured souls who have abandoned themselves to an all-consuming, unsafe harbor. “A junkie’s body never forgets,” he concludes in the poem “All of Me”: “If it was just physical, I would never use dope/ again. It is not my body, it is me, all of me, my body, my soul, my mind/ interlocked in heroin hypnosis, even/ free, I will never be free again.” Goldfinger’s words seem less buoys warning of an unsafe passage than a testament to the hope of a single split man’s survival.