Interview with Ellen Bass

Interview with Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass is one of my favorite poets and people. Her work is instructional, showing us not only how to create beauty on the page, but also how to live it off the page. She calls herself a praise poet because she never forgets that we’re going to die – which is why each poem has so much gravity and so much light in it. She is one of my mentors, and a writer who I continue to learn from. You do not have to be someone who writes poetry to get a lot from this conversion on finding joy and beauty in dark times. Interview :: January 28, 2021 Ellen Bass’s most recent collection, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her other poetry books include Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. Her poems appear frequently in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many other journals. Among her awards are Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and The California Arts Council, The Lambda Literary Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bass founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and the Santa Cruz, California jails, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University. She also teaches a popular poetry series called Craft Talks. If you’re inspired to learn more about Ellen and to study with her, please check her out here to discover more. https://www.ellenbass.com/events/living-room-craft-talks-the-third-series/ share this...
Interview with Maya Stein

Interview with Maya Stein

Maya Stein is a writer I rely on to help me understand how to live in this world with sensitivity, artistry, and grace. Her observations on living, from a poet’s point of view, are always illuminating. Maya has taught me and so many writers to pay attention to the smallest things; the peach hanging from the tree, the trash dredged up from the lake, the conversation overheard at the filling station. Nothing is lost – everything is used – nothing is wasted, the instruction is everywhere. Interview :: March 15, 2021 Maya is one of the directors of Toad Hall Editions, a publishing house in Maine. Her own books include, Grief Becomes Us: Navigating Loss Through Storytelling, and How We Are Not Alone. She also puts out a weekly poem called Ten-Line Tuesday which the whole world should sign up for. Find out more about Maya here: https://mayastein.com share this...
Interview with Susan Vespoli

Interview with Susan Vespoli

Poet, and nonfiction writer, Susan Vespoli is such a great example of someone who uses the material from her life to create from. In this interview we talk about how to take the base stuff of life and turn it into the gold for poems and essays. We also talk about how to take the delicate journey of writing about real people in your life. So much good instruction here. Interview :: May 14, 2021 Susan Vespoli’s poems and essays have been published in places like Rattle, Nailed, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, Mom Egg Review, Emrys Journal, Write Bloody, New Verse News, Verse Wisconsin, Role Reboot, and Pact Press. She’s received Pushcart Prize nominations for her poetry and is the author of two chapbooks by dancing girl press. You can read Susan’s work on her website – https://susanvespoli.com share this...
Interview with Nan Seymour

Interview with Nan Seymour

I had the honor of interviewing poet, Nan Seymour this morning. We used her prayer/poem, Let Them Say, in the live Zoom class this past Monday. I’ve loved all the interviews I’ve done in the last year, but I was completely moved by Nan’s magic in this piece. There are so many life-giving things she says about writing and living. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it when you can.  Interview :: August 11, 2021 Her latest book, Prayers Not Meant for Heaven, can be found through Maya Stein’s new press, Toad Hall Edition, and Nan’s book can be purchased here :: https://www.toadhalleditions.ink/toad-hall-editions-books Nan Seymour is a poet and writing teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah.Find out more about her and her work at :: https://nanseymour.com share this...
Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye

Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye

The poet, Naomi Shihab Nye is a national treasure, and generous beyond measure. She is a natural teacher, and is completely lit up, and on fire. In this interview she has so much to share about what it is to walk the world as a creative person, gathering moments as she goes, and then gently reflecting on what it means and why it matters. Her instruction is to live as though you live in a poem – and I couldn’t agree more. Interview :: July 2, 2021 Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent. Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. Nye is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work, including the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Book Critics Circle, the Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Charity Randall Prize, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, the Robert Creeley Prize, and many Pushcart Prizes. She has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and she was a Witter Bynner Fellow. From 2010 to 2015 she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and is the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate. share this...