Join me as I welcome Joy Silver to this week’s podcast. Joy is the principal for SilverSenior Living, consulting for Diverse and Sustainable Aging Communities, headquartered in Rancho Mirage, CA. Until January 2015, she served as Chief Strategy Officer at Choices Women’s Medical Center, Inc., a New York State Article 28 Ambulatory Surgery Center, in Jamaica, New York.
One of the benefits of having a website in its 6th year is that we have lots (and lots) of great archive interviews and columns. The following interview with iconic author and activist Patricia Nell Warren first appeared December 27, 2011.
By Mark McNease
I came out at 16 in a small Indiana city of 30,000 people. It was 1974, and I was deeply hungry for images of myself as a gay person. There wasn’t much available then, aside from books I ordered from the Psychology Today book club, some of which did more harm than good. Then came a novel called “The Front Runner” about the love story between a young college athlete and his coach. The book gave me hope and, along with the few others I could find, let me know I was not alone in the world.
Patricia Nell Warren has never stopped writing. At 75 she has a new non-fiction collection out, titled “My West,” that presents her personal impressions of the American West, a book she describes as, “a collection of blogs, commentaries, historical essays and other personal writings… past, present and future.” It was a privilege to interview her and very much a reminder that passion has no shelf life.
One of the benefits of having a website in its 6th year is that we have lots (and lots) of great archive interviews and columns. I’ll be sharing them weekly. Here is a fabulous interview from 2012 with Karen Wolfer, founder of Dog Ear Audio, a wonderful production company that specializes in lesbian literature.
By Mark McNease/Editor
I recently became aware of Karen Wolfer and her audio book production company located 9,000 miles above sea level in the Rocky Mountains. Dog Ear Audio specializes in lesbian fiction and currently has a project on Kickstarter to bring the book ‘Safe Harbor’ by Radclyffe to a listening audience. Karen was kind enough to give me the following interview, shedding light on the process of audio recording, living with solar energy, and generally being one of those interviewees I’ve been privileged to pose a few questions to.
Kate Walter’s recent book, Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing, is a deep examination of despair and recovery from a relationship that ended after 25 years. Not legally married at the time, she found herself single again, dealing with bewilderment and uncertainty, and ultimately on a road to healing. The memoir is her journey through that experience and her emergence on the other side. Following are Kate’s answers to ‘6 Questions’ about the book, her life and her plans for the future. – Mark McNease/Editor
MM: It was nice to meet you in person at the Rainbow Book Fair. You’re a fellow New Yorker (I’ve been here since 1993). Can you talk about your journey from there to here, wherever there was?
KW: I was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. As a teenager, I was influenced by Allen Ginsberg, home town celebrity, who used to return to read at the local public library. I graduated from a conservative Catholic women’s college in New Jersey, one of the few hippies on campus.
I recently had the pleasure of featuring Robert Hill’s newest book, The Remnants, a story of two near-centenarians preparing to observe their annual birthday tea and a town at the end of its days. His previous, debut novel, When All Is Said and Done, was shortlisted for the Oregon Book Awards’ Ken Kesey Awards for Fiction. A longtime resident of Portland, Oregon, Robert writes in an engaging style compared by one reviewer to James Joyce. It was a delight to have a chance to ask him ‘6 Questions’ and share his answers with you. – Mark McNease/Editor
MM: We’ll get to your new book The Remnants in a moment, but can you tell us first about yourself? I know you’re a New Englander by birth and a West Coaster by choice. How did that happen?
I recently read a series of profiles in the San Francisco Chronicle based on their Last Men Standing Project, focusing on the lives of long term HIV survivors. Among those profiled in the piece and in the documentary is the extraordinary Jesús Guillén. Not only is he a long term survivor, but he also helps countless others on a dedicated Facebook page, through his art, music, shamanism, and in his indomitable spirit. I was delighted to have the chance to ask him ‘6 Questions.’ – Mark McNease/Editor
Note: This interview was edited with Jesús Guillén’s permission.
MM: How did you come to be involved with the ‘Last Men Standing’ project, and what was the process like for that as a written feature and a documentary?
JG: Ah, my point of view, my story, hopefully represented well. In the end all I can do is be myself and tell you how and what I’m going through or how I happen to be part of the LAST MEN STANDING project.
Wonderful connections are often made out of the blue. I recently had another of those serendipitous moments when I corresponded with Grace Anne Stevens, author, educator, Huffington Post blogger, mover and motivator. Grace’s most recent book, No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth provides more than a memoir – it gives readers a first-hand tour of change, renewal and authenticity. Following are Grace’s in-depth answers to ‘6 Questions,’ answers I think you’ll find as educational and informative as they are encouraging for anyone wanting to live their truth. – Mark McNease/Editor
MM: It was so nice to connect with you. Let’s start with your book, No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth. What was the genesis for this book, and what can readers expect to find in its pages?
GS: Thanks so much, Mark. It is such a great pleasure to connect also, and thanks for all of these great questions.
Now and then I’m fortunate to share a new Featured Book and immediately want to interview the author. Paul Plumadore’s recent Archive 1957-1974 was one of those times. The book is his memoir of a life in dance that began at age 7 and carried him through an extraordinary series of achievements, including a stint in the internationally renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company in his 20’s. Utilizing photographs from the period, the book “chronicles the joy as well as the agony of the life of a dancer coming-out during the sexual revolution in 1970’s New York City.”
Following are Paul’s answers to ‘6 Questions’, each revealing a remarkable life of accomplishment, setback, grief and renewal. – Mark McNease/Editor
MM: You’ve recently published a book, Archive 1957 – 1974, about your life in dance. Can you tell us about the book and what readers can expect to find in it?
PP: Archive is a memoir that begins at age 7 when I took my first tap lesson and told my mother that same day that I would become a dancer, and ends in the year 1974 after my time with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Those 17 years were filled with determination, excitement and, ultimately, hardship. It is the journey of a wide-eyed country boy who struggled to prove himself and turn himself into an artist through dance.