New Letters
On The Air

James Tolan and Olivia Stiffler

Poetry

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.) 

| Subject Matter: Family, Religion, Aging, Mentorship | Interview Year: 2014 | Genre: Poetry |

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Winners Announced: New Letters Literary Awards

New Letters is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of the $2,500 Conger Beasley Jr. Prize for Nonfiction, the $1,500 New Letters Prize for Fiction, and the $1,500 Prize for Poetry. See the winners, judges, and finalists here.

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Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.