Thursday, June 04, 2009

"The Paris of New England: Interviews with Poets and Writers" Reviewed in New Pages

I am glad to see my book of interviews " From the Paris of New England: Interviews with Poets and Writers" got a pretty decent review on New Pages, a well-respected literary site for the independent press. Also glad that my fellow Bagel Bard and co-founder of The Somerville News Writers Festival Timothy Gager is listed as a literary luminary, as well as Bagel Bards: Miriam Levine, Afaa Michael Weaver, and Ibbetson poet Marc Widershien "The Life of All Worlds" ( Ibbetson Street Press 2001) I want to thanks Steve Glines for his excellent design work and for putting this book together. I included some excerpts:

From the Paris of New England
Interviews with Poets and Writers
Nonfiction by Doug Holder

Ibbetson Street Press, January 2009

Paperback: 133pp; $18.50

Review by Jeanne Lesinski

At a time when many newspapers – if not going out of business altogether – have cut arts coverage, it’s reassuring to see that poet Douglas Holder works as the arts editor for The Somerville News, in Somerville, Massachusetts, a city on the outskirts of Boston and Cambridge. From the Paris of New England is a collection of Holder’s “Off the Shelf” column interviews and Somerville Community Access television show “Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer” interviews with literary figures, many of whom live in this city. The literary luminaries in this volume include Martha Collins, Mark Doty, Timothy Gager, Miriam Levine, Dick Lourie, Afaa Michael Weaver, Marc Widershien, and twenty-two others.

Readers will likely find something of interest among the varied genres and experiences represented here, especially because Holder knows how to ask the important questions. He often inquires about inspiration, pivotal life experiences, themes, accessibility, talent, and craft. For example, when plied about his writing habits, Marc Widershien answered, “I wrote between the lines of my existence,” and about advice to novice poets, “Think of everything you do as grist. Talent is vital, but study, experiment, self-discovery through art are indispensable.” Other writers were equally forthcoming on subjects important to them...

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