I had the opportunity to interview poet Esther Cohen for the Festival of Women Writers. She is an amazing talent, and I learn so much just from listening to the types of questions she asks. As someone who has studied writers in collaboration, I was particularly interested to ask Esther about her collaborative projects.
Here’s a snippet from our Q&A:
Nikolopoulos: You’ve done several collaborative projects. For your book Unseen America, you gave cameras to the working class so that they could document their lives and you helped tell their stories. For Don’t Mind Me: And Other Jewish Lies, you worked New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chas. For Painting Brooklyn Stories, you contributed bio-poems to Nina Talbot’s portraits. What is it about collaboration that appeals to you?
Cohen: Yes I have done many collaborative projects, all my life. I’ve written poems with visual arts like the wonderful Nina Talbot, I was lucky enough to collaborate with amazing cartoonist Roz Chast, and I’ve been doing an ongoing project for many years with my favorite photographer Matthew Septimus (our work is on the ON BEING blog on the NPR site at http://bit.ly/1Mb5MZa.) Other people often bring our own work Somewhere Else. Matthew’s pictures, for instance, take my words into another place, a place they want to go.
You can read the rest of the Festival of Women Writers blog.
And just in case you missed it, here’s the interview novelist and Festival co-founder Breena Clarke did with me.
The summer 2014 issue of Resource features an article I wrote that I’m extremely proud of. I interviewed the founder of Flashes of Hope, a nonprofit that takes photographs of children with cancer, to talk about how the portraits empower these children. The professional portraits also serve as lasting mementos for the families of the 25% of the children photographed who don’t survive. The nonprofit shows just how powerful art can be.
Cancer is a personal subject for me. This summer I did a few readings from a chapter I wrote called “Grief Gone Wild” about the summer I lost both of my grandmothers to cancer a month apart from each other. I was glad to likewise get to put my creative nonfiction to positive use to write this article on Flashes of Hope and show that moments of strength, beauty and even joy can be found even in the midst of trying times.
via Lit Kicks
I’m not sure how I possibly missed this, but the blog I’ve been reading for the longest time ever mentioned my Aristophanes post back in December.
Literary Kicks is one of the very first websites I ever discovered on the Internet. Founded by Levi Asher in 1994, it used to cover mainly the Beat Generation but has since expanded to contemplate other forms of literature, philosophy, and art. I always feel like I’m exposed to new works of literature and ideas I wouldn’t have otherwise considered thanks to Literary Kicks. The comments section is full of regulars, some of whom have been around for well over a decade, who write thoughtfully and considerately.
What an honor to get a shout-out on the Literary Kicks Facebook page!
If you flip — or scroll! — to page 40 of Scripps Magazine you’ll see me featured in their regular column of alumnae authors, “ManuScripps.”
The column talks about how Scripps, the women’s college of the Claremont Colleges, fostered my education in the Beat Generation. …Which just goes to show you that feminists can like the Beats!
Special thanks to the Scripps Magazine and the Scripps College Alumnae Association for their support of my writing.
And if you missed it, here’s a post on the New York chapter of the Scripps book club reading Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”
Marco Polo was an explorer. Marco Polo is a lit mag, edited by Darin Beasley, that explores language and love and existence and beauty and Frank O’Hara. It’s a capricious call-and-response. A call to explore the little moments. Responses that show that those small moments can lead to big discoveries. It kind of makes you think about life.
And that’s why I’m so excited to have two short works of fiction* published in Marco Polo.
*They’re mashups of incidents from my life (sort of) and works of literature by William Faulkner and Evan S. Connell.
Burnside published my top 10 art picks of 2013
Largehearted boy mentioned my book picks of 2013
Burnside re-published my essay “Does God Laugh at Our Resolutions?” along with several other archival articles on New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any resolutions this year?
Do you have a favorite Christmas story? Burnside published one of the most beautiful stories of sacrifices — and irony — I’ve ever read. The O. Henry story, “The Gift of the Magi,” is published with a short introduction by me.
LTJG John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 in 1943 (public domain)
I’m doing a bonus post today! Today marks the day that President Kennedy was shot, and Burnside Writers Collective published my photo essay of iconic photographs of JFK. You can see it here.
Whenever I think of the Kennedys, I think of my grandmother. She was always reading biographies about JFK and Jackie O.
I’m thrilled to be published in vox poetica. The lit mag was founded in 2009 by Annmarie Lockhart, a resident of Bergen County, New Jersey — where I’m from!
The poem featured, “In a Diner in America Circa 1956,” came to me one day as I was walking on Park Avenue during my lunch break. I was thinking about Jack Kerouac stopping in a roadside cafe for a little nourishment as he traveled across the country, and the awkwardness and opportunities that abound when one travels on one’s own.
It’s a pastiche of Jack Kerouac’s interview on The Steve Allen Show, his narration of what may be the only true Beat film Pull My Daisy, and an amalgamation of information from his novels and letters as well as biographies.
You can read it here.
Ten years ago — wow, time flies! — I had the pleasure of penning an introduction to Rough Rider Theodore Roosevelt’s adventure memoir Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches. As part of my research, I toured his birthplace, a gorgeous brownstone right here in New York City. I loved hearing the inspirational story of how he was a sickly child whose love for reading and nature led to him becoming an advocate for conservation. Just like Jack Kerouac later would, Roosevelt read Leo Tolstoy and dime-store westerns, traveled America, dreamed of ranching (Roosevelt actually did ranch; Kerouac was a lot of talk), became associated with hyper-masculinity, and created a legend out of himself through his writing.
Today marks the 155th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt’s birth.
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Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is now available as an ebook and paperback!