By Doug Holder
I have known Susan Tepper for a number of years now, and she has not slowed down an iota. She is a consummate New Yorker--she moves fast, talks fast and thinks on her feet. I have read for her at the KGB FIZZ series in the lower east side of NYC, have been on a small press panel she organized for a literary festival at Hunter College and I have published her poetry in The Somerville Times and the Ibbetson Street magazine. Tepper will be in Somerville, Monday June 16 7PM, to read from her latest book The Merrill Diaries, which is a novel told in stories that link one to the next. She will be reading in Gloria Mindock's Cervena Barva Press Art Space located in the Somerville Arts Armory building. It's a gathering of writers and poets published by the Cervena Barva Press and the MadHat Press.
Hundreds of Tepper's stories, poems, essays and interviews appear worldwide in print journals and online venues. Her bi-monthly MONDAY CHAT Interview column ran on the Fictionaut blog for more than a year and is archived on that site. Tepper is host of the reading series FIZZ at KGB Bar in New York City. She has been nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize. Deer, the title story of her collection, was nominated for NPR Selected Shorts. Her novel WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN: Letters of Jackson Pollock & Dori G (with Gary Percesepe) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Susan Tepper: My first experience of Somerville was several years ago when my collection ‘Deer & Other Stories’ came out from Wilderness House Press which is located in northern MA. I had been invited to do a TV spot in Somerville with a certain Doug Holder(!) I found Somerville to be diverse and charming. After the TV interview, a small group of us had a lovely dinner outdoors (I believe you had the salmon, Doug). I always remember what people eat. It’s bizarre. I also remember it was a balmy night in early fall. My 3 city MA book tour. You try and cram in as much as possible since you are paying for hotel nights. I also taught a fiction workshop at Grub Street in Boston which was delightful, and I read at Four Stories Reading Series in Cambridge. It was a whirlwind few days in MA!