“It’s a cold inhospitable place, but you should go”: in conversation with Chris Tarry

At the Sunday Salon, we’ve had the immense pleasure of hosting Chris Tarry twice – as musical guest and as featured author. His debut collection, How to Carry Bigfoot Home, came out this March from Red Hen Press with glowing blurbs from Jim Shepard, Pamela Erens, Roy Kesey, and Matt Bell. The Masters Review’s Kim Winterheimer writes, “Each of his stories is laced with humor and heart.” And Stefan Merrill Block says, “What would happen if some mad scientist were able to fuse the otherworldly exuberance of H.P. Lovecraft with the nuanced pathos of John Cheever? The result would be a dazzling, explosive, and inexhaustible new kind of illumination: a …

Non-Belonging and Eternal Adaptation: An Interview with Laurel Fantauzzo

Her artist statement reveals this: “much of her work finds her studying appetites, identity, the signals for real love, and the search for home.” Born in Southern California to a Filipina mother and an Italian-American father, Laurel Fantauzzo has lived in Brooklyn, Manila, and Iowa over the past few years. Currently, she calls Quezon City, Philippines home and teaches at Ateneo de Manila University. She is well-acquainted with starting over and telling stories from the margins. Largely a nonfiction writer and an essayist, Laurel also writes young adult fiction. Poet Hossannah Asuncion describes Laurel’s writing as “lyrical and technically elegant—what makes it glorious is the kindness that is imbued within …

Leigh Newman

Interviewed by Nita Noveno

When Leigh Newman walked into Jimmys no. 43 this past June to read at Sunday LeighNewmanPicSalon, she looked sun-kissed and at ease. She’d just spent the day with her family in a remote area of Fire Island. The author of Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-Up World, One Long Journey Home (The Dial Press, March 2013), Leigh is no stranger to far-flung places. She is the third fellow Alaskan I have met in the twenty years I’ve lived in NYC. Needless to say, I was excited to meet her and listen to her story. She didn’t …

An Interview with Achy Obejas

Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins (Akashic Books, 2009), Days of Awe (Random House, 2001) and two other books of fiction. Her poetry chapbook, This Is What Happened in Our Other Life (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2007), was both a critical favorite and a best-seller. She edited, and translated into English, Havana Noir (Akashic Books, 2007), a collection of crime stories by Cuban writers on and off the island. Her translation into Spanish of Junot Diaz’ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead, 2009)/La Breve y Maravillos Vida de Oscar Wao (Vintage/Mondadori) was a …

Nancy Martini

Interviewed by Barbara Sueko McGuire

When Nancy Martini was in the third grade, she remembers being the worst artist in her class. That’s because she’d given up drawing.

“I remember kids making fun of me and feeling very awkward,” she says. It wasn’t until the seventh grade, at the encouragement of her science teacher, that she began sketching again. “He made me believe I could be an artist because I had thought it was this special talent,” she continues. “It’s not. He was right, it’s a matter of repetition and practice, and I didn’t stop from there.”

Fast-forward to today, and …

Ed Pavlic

Interviewed by Nita Noveno

It has to be said: Ed Pavlic is a cool guy. I met Ed in December 2006 at the Summer Literary Seminars in Kenya. He was a curiously calm, welcoming presence to a just-arrived, disoriented traveler. Eventually, I would discover his finely tuned powers as a poet and the inspired musicality of his writing. His most recent book But Here Are Small Clear Refractions (Achebe Center, Bard College, 2009) is jagged and beautiful and absorbing. Ed shares the back story of his latest publication and a few other observations about music and life.

Nita Noveno: Tell me …