James Tolan and Olivia StifflerPoetry
Interviewed by: Angela Elam
Catalog Number: 20170825, 20140725
Olivia Stiffler always wanted to be a poet, but writing took a backseat to her family life. Decades later, while at a Savannah writing workshop, she met James Tolan (shown), a poet and English professor, who helped her envision her work as a complete collection. Olivia Stiffler and the late James Tolan discuss their unique mentorship and recount how James found her a publisher. They also talk about some of their similar experiences, including growing up in the Catholic Church and surviving difficult family situations that inspired much of their poetry. James Tolan reads from his book, Mass of the Forgotten and discusses co-editing the 2012 collection of drama, poetry, and short stories called, New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society, while Olivia Stiffler reads from her debut collection, Otherwise, We Are Safe. (WARNING: THIS PROGRAM CONTAINS SOME MATURE CONTENT.)
In part one of this conversation, Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, whose numerous books of poetry, essays and stories have delighted children and adults alike, reads her poem "Famous" that was recently turned into picture book and discusses wh...
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