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Editorial Reviews


"Ms. Studdard came to each interview supremely prepared, not only with a thorough knowledge of her guests, but also their work." Janet Boyer, "Fizz of Ideas" Blog
"Each chapter focused on the story of how the artist developed their craft and Melissa Studdard's welcoming and generous style created a rapport where she got to the heart of each interviewee's philosophy, with in-depth, well prepared questions.Fiona Pearse
"The interviews are top-notch, and you are certain to walk away from every interview with something of value."- Christine Bissonnette, "The Positivity Project" Blog

An inspirational and moving collection of interviews for anyone seeking creative or spiritual rejuvenation and healing. Ms. Studdard asks the questions that listeners want to know and provides further information about her guests' work, webpages, blogs, new books, etc., making this book a handy guide that I will turn to repeatedly. The speakers all have the common understanding that everyone is creative in some way; everyone is an artist. This book will help open your eyes to this fact, and prepare you to see the world and your life in new and exciting ways.
-Tania Staley for Reader's Favorite

About the Author

Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, which was a recipient of the Forward National Literature Award, among other accolades. She is also a mother, a professor, a poet, a reviewer, an editor, and a talk show host. You can learn more about Melissa and her work at Donna Baier Stein, publisher of TIFERET, has published fiction and poetry in Virginia Quarterly Review, Kansas Quarterly, New York Stories, Prairie Schooner, Washingtonian, many other journals and anthologies from Simon & Schuster and The Spirit That Moves us Press. Her story collection Sympathetic People, a Finalist in the Iowa Fiction Awards, will be published in 2013. She has received the PEN/New England Discovery Award for Fiction, a Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars Fellowship, Bread Loaf Scholarship, a grant from the New Jersey Council of the Arts, prizes from the Poetry Council of Virginia, two Pushcart nominations, and an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Her poetry chapbook Sometimes You Sense the Difference was published in 2012. Donna was a Founding Editor of Bellevue Literary Review and founded and currently publishes Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature ( She is also an award-winning copywriter. Her website is

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Tiferet Press (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615737595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615737591
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,559,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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These interviews inspire us to live and work from our deepest, truest places.
J. Rittenhouse
This book is a compendium of insightful and thought-provoking interviews with a dozen well-known authors.
Lance J. Mushung
I mean, if you work, your life has meaning in it, and you will be a lot healthier and live longer.
Janet Boyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diana Anhalt on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Nice to Know We're Not Alone

Writing and, by extension, creation in general, can often be the loneliest of occupations. When I write, for example, I create in isolation and often lack the contact, feedback, stimulus and encouragement of those who find themselves in similar situations. Thus, I was delighted to discover a book that opens a window onto the lives, thoughts and creative impulses of twelve highly gifted individuals--poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, editors, an architect, a musician, a photographer, and a film maker, among others. "The Tiferet Talk Interviews," a series of conversations, conducted by radio show host, editor and poet, Melissa Studdard, makes it evident that though we may labor alone, we are not alone. Her preparation, skill and ability to ask all the right questions, makes this gripping and inspiring reading. Her interviews are further enhanced by the show's listeners who call in with their questions and comments.

An apt opening to this series of interviews spanning just a little over a year, is that of Julia Cameron, a writer and mentor, who focuses on the spiritual side of creativity, the job of motivating others to write. "What I'm trying to teach people is that they can make contact with the benevolent creative force, and everybody can have free access to it."
Or as poet and writer Jude Rittenhouse puts it: "I have to be willing to go into the creative act having no idea what's going to come of it."

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky focuses on appreciation when he speaks of how emphasis on `understanding' tends to distract us from enjoyment: "If you're having a good time you don't have to understand every single thing.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kate H. on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
From former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky to Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, this book is packed with an exciting array of well-known writers and spiritual leaders who share their intelligent ideas and humbling thoughts for the benefit of the reader. The Tiferet Talks Interviews will captivate your attention as you get an inside glimpse into each guest's original and thought-provoking views.

Although it's hard to come up with a favorite interview, as I have thoroughly enjoyed them all, I would say that I have found Dr. Bernie Siegel's insightful comments on compassionate healing to be truly valuable. He encourages the reader to overcome life's obstacles and turn difficulties into an opportunity to learn and to heal.

Take your time reading through each interview to fully grasp the dialogue between the interviewer (the thoughtful and well-spoken Melissa Studdard) and the interviewee. In doing so, you will come to understand and appreciate the wisdom and reasoning imparted by each guest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick M. Reynolds on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
TIferet Talks April 16

The challenging era we are living in has threatened to turn books into art objects, and shattered the long-held certainties of spiritual people (the latter not necessarily all bad.)
But, these new views of books and religion have contributed to a sense of isolation, deepening division and growing disconnect.
This is a tough fight, which is why a book like "The Tiferet Talks Interviews" is so valuable right now - because "The Tiferet Talks Interviews" can help us all keep the faith - in the value of writing and in the spirit and a sense that life is worth living.
This collection of interviews with a dozen-plus authors will be a touchstone for anyone who holds that writing and faith sill make a difference.
"The Tiferet Talks Interviews" heartens my belief that even writing at is most fundamental-- keeping a journal - helps us figure out what we think; and that I can pass on that legacy of the value of writing to my middle-school age offspring, who at the moment have decided they neither like books nor reading.
The interview format also makes this volume convenient to bookmark and reference.
"The Tiferet Talks Interviews" is a way for readers interested in all facets of writing, and in things spiritual, to connect - so vital now.
What could be more important, one wonders -- in this review written near Boston, just days after the Boston Marathon bombings. I feel as if connection, at least trying to connect, is the necessary next step, and "The Tiferet Talks Interviews" is a book that will enhance our ability to connect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rinzen Ellar on May 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The Tiferet Talks Interviews" represents an expansive correspondence between influential authors & poets, and Melissa Studdard, a highly renowned author in her own right. The programmatic platform, on which these discussions take place, creates an air of openness, honesty and evocation. These talks between writers consist of more than some desultory Q&A, perhaps found in a tabloid or magazine: A true search for meaning and artistic relevance is achieved, perhaps by Studdard's vulnerability and sensitivty in approaching her guest. Each guest is treated like royalty, with an uncanny respect and consonance. And, in turn, each guest tends to endeavor to express their beliefs, opinions, etc. in a similar manner. The exchanges are almost symbiotic. Yet, one can tell that each guest bears something a little different. And, when one reads the interviews as taken all together, one can glean a continuity altogether unique and refreshing. The depths to which these interviews examine the human psyche, as it refers to the literary, and beyond, is matched by its willingness to exist naked, childlike; in wonder of ourselves, without resorting to the legalism of humanism. The talks are more than conversation pieces; they harbor something ineffable in spirit---something indelibly haunting in their simplicity.
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