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James Tolan & Olivia Stiffler

Poetry

Interviewed by: Angela Elam

Catalog Number: 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. James Tolan and Olivia Stiffler 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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Kansas City Literary Events

Poetry & Jazz Improv with River Cow Orchestra

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Kansas City, Mo.

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