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 |

See All audio

    Philip Lee Williams

    In the second half of this interview with Philip Lee Williams, winner of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers Association, he discusses his most recent works of poetry, ...

    Susan Aizenberg

    Poet Susan Aizenberg discusses the use of fiction within poetry, admitting that she draws from real life, but notes that there is a distinction between truth and fact. Recently retired from teaching at Nebraska's Creighton University, she reads fr...

Kansas City Literary Events

Beatriz Williams

Monday, July 23, 2018
Kansas City, Mo.

News

New Letters Summer 2018 Poetry Series

Follow our new series of poems about children, each day or two through July. Begin reading here. 

Shop

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.