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The Tiferet Talk Interviews Paperback – March 19, 2013
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"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
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.
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 www.melissastuddard.com. 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 (www.tiferetjournal.com.) She is also an award-winning copywriter. Her website is www.donnabaierstein.com.
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What I hope any reader will find in this collection of interviews is a discovery of their own artistic voice within the voices of all these writers. It is a rare opportunity to engage in a literary dialogue with their peers at many levels and with many different visions. But, one grounded in the Word, where words are uttered as a transcendent sound held in common, an echo, in memories that cross many generations who came before our own, in a spiritual testimony. I like how the poet, Edward Hirsch, summed up his own feelings by quoting Randal Jarrel who wrote; "A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he (or she) is great."
For a more in depth book review found on Saint Julian Press, please go to the web site ([...] and look for the extended book review on The Tiferet Talk Interviews.
The Tiferet Talk Interviews
Featuring edited, transcribed conversations that occurred between host Melissa Studdard and her guests on the Tiferet Talk Radio Show between June 15, 2012 and July 24, 2011, The Tiferet Talk Interviews offers a soulful feast for readers.
The idea of transcribed radio interviews may sound like boring stuff for a book, but I assure you that the dynamism of such an outlet translates magnificently in interviewer Melissa Studdard's thoughtful hands.
It's evident that Ms. Studdard came to each interview supremely prepared, not only with a thorough knowledge of her guests, but also their work and--perhaps more importantly--how their creative contributions added to the larger conversation of what it means to be human, to be creative, to find meaning, to live our personal truths.
There's so much ground covered in The Tifert Talk Interviews--each author and poet talking about their books, poetry, music and purpose-- and yet, there's an intimacy here, too. In fact, there's great depth in this book, a lot of it, which surprised me. I wouldn't have imagined that transcribed radio interviews could translate so well into book form.
Here are but a few of my favorite passages from the book:
Marc Allen (on dealing with doubts and fears):
"One thing that helped me was the knowledge that a plane is off course over 95% of the time, but a pilot keeps correcting over and over, and they reach their destination...Once you set a goal, once you dare to dream, you set a course, and whatever you do, you move toward it. It's always just small obvious steps. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step, and then just another small step. There's no huge leaps you make. You just take the little obvious steps in front of you when you set your course...We can be off course most of the time, but if we just continue to return to our goal, our dream, our plan and take the next obvious little step, over time we will reach our goal."
Edward Hirsch (on writing poetry):
"You can't be sure you'll get hit by lightning, but you need to go out and stand in the rain, or you won't get hit at all. You need to do your work. So, one of the constants is that you need to fasten your behind in the chair and sit down and do some work and try to consciously practice your craft."
Robin Rice (on how she does so much):
"I do work from early in the morning until I can't go any more most days. You could say I'm a workaholic if you really want to be pathological about it, but the truth is that this is what I feel the time is for. We are here now to do all we can. To usher in some kind of change in this world. And it's desperately needed, and anybody who can do anything I feel should get out there and do it."
Jeffrey Davis (on how writing is like a self-portrait):
"I don't have anything in common biographically with these characters, yet there are parts of my personality that I can also explore...I overheard a conversation in the waiting room of the family clinic where we go, and it was just myself and this woman on a cell phone, and I got to hear her half of the conversation, and at first I was annoyed, and then I realized I had something really good, and I pulled out my notebook and acted like I was making my grocery list, but I was really quoting her."
Bernie Siegel (on behaving like a survivor):
"Do I have a sense of meaning in my daily activities and relationships? And you know, that relates to the mortality rate of Monday. I mean, if you work, your life has meaning in it, and you will be a lot healthier and live longer. Well, I always say, find your way of contributing love to the world. So, it isn't about what job you take; it's about how to contribute to the world. Because people are everywhere, whether you are landscaping, plumbing, or a veterinarian, people are attached to what you're doing and you have to really relate to those people."
Below is a list of contributors to The Tiferet Talk Interviews:
Melissa Studdard (Author)
Donna Baier Stein (Introduction)
Robert Pinsky (Contributor)
Bernie Siegel (Contributor)
Lois P. Jones (Contributor)
Julia Cameron (Contributor)
Robin Rice (Contributor)
Marc Allen (Contributor)
Jude Rittenhouse (Contributor)
Floyd Skloot (Contributor)
Arielle Ford (Contributor)
Jeffrey Davis (Contributor)
Highly recommended for mindful creatives!
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