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Interview with Richard Hoffman

Interview with Richard Hoffman

By Amy Yelin   

An interview with Richard Hoffman on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary Edition of his memoir Half the House, with a foreword by Louise DeSalvo. An excerpt of Half the House is available here How did the process of writing Half the House differ from your second book, Love & Fury? Do you see Love & Fury as a… Read more »


The Uncomfortable Part of Art: Tips for Promoting Your Book

The Uncomfortable Part of Art: Tips for Promoting Your Book

By Margaret Elysia Garcia   

Yay! Congratulations your book is out! What will you do next? Now comes the uncomfortable part of art for many of us: commerce. After all that’s a huge aspect of the book—to get people to BUY it. In a world with literally millions of books that’s not an easy task. I recently completed a second… Read more »


And now, the end is near…

And now, the end is near…

By Amy Yelin   

My parents loved Sinatra. I recall many Saturday evenings in the mid-1980’s sitting in the backseat of my father’s Buick Regal as we drove slowly around what was called ‘the big circle’ listening to the radio program “Saturdays with Sinatra.” Both my parents sang along as I cringed, a teenager trapped in her parent’s back… Read more »


In Conversation with 2015 Fiction Contest Winner Shanyn Fiske

In Conversation with 2015 Fiction Contest Winner Shanyn Fiske

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel   

Wendy: Why did you decide to submit “Calligraphy,” your winning piece, to the contest? Did you see it as a good fit for Solsticelitmag and our diverse voices theme?  Shanyn: “Calligraphy” is one piece from a collection of related stories that I’m currently writing. The collection focuses on the four Yu daughters as they grow… Read more »


In Conversation with Michelle Blake

In Conversation with Michelle Blake

By David Fox   

David: At one point in your contest-winning essay “A Fable for Our Times”, you write, “The call for change did not die, but its message often seemed lost amid the static roar of greed and violence that filled the next forty years, until new leaders again stirred the conscience of the nation.” As someone who… Read more »


An Interview with Poetry Contest Winner Alysia Nicole Harris

An Interview with Poetry Contest Winner Alysia Nicole Harris

By Ben Berman   

You are currently pursuing a PhD in linguistics at Yale. In what ways do you see overlap between your work as a linguist and as a poet? In what ways do you see these as distinctly separate fields?  My linguistic work and my poetic career are both sourced in the same love of language. I… Read more »


Mask of Submission: Alexie, Hudson, and Chou

Mask of Submission: Alexie, Hudson, and Chou

By Danielle DeTiberus   

At 5:30AM on the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, I woke up to three post-midnight text messages from friends who have the luxury of staying up late. Had I heard about the controversy regarding one of the contributors to Best American Poetry 2015? Did I read the recent blog post by this year’s guest editor,… Read more »


SolLitMag MFA Voices Blog: A Trip to the Planet MFA

SolLitMag MFA Voices Blog: A Trip to the Planet MFA

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel   

I like to tell people who ask about my graduate schoolwork that I gave up the lucrative field of journalism to take up the more practical work of creative writing. Sometimes my audience gets the joke. Graduate MFA students are keenly aware the odds are stacked against us. Very few, we are told, will go… Read more »


An Interview with Martha Collins

An Interview with Martha Collins

By Danielle Legros Georges   

Martha Collins is a poet, translator, the editor-at-large for Field Magazine, and an editor at Oberlin College Press. She is the author of the poetry volumes, Day Unto Day (Milkweed, 2014), White Papers (Pitt Poetry Series, 2012), Blue Front (Graywolf, 2006), Some Things Words Can Do (Sheep Meadow, 1998), A History of a Small Life on a Windy Planet (University of Georgia, 1993), The Arrangement of Space (Gibbs Smith,… Read more »


Dialogue and Respect with an Indie Press

Dialogue and Respect with an Indie Press

By Maggie Kast   

When Fomite Press accepted my first novel, A Free, Unsullied Land, a conversation began. Marc Estrin (editing) and Donna Bister (production) run Fomite along with a couple of interns, and the press is actively engaged with their authors every step of the way. Marc liked my characters and their story, but wanted more about the… Read more »


A Conversation with Poet & Teacher Natasha Sajé

A Conversation with Poet & Teacher Natasha Sajé

By Amy Yelin   

How did you come to poetry? I wrote animal stories as a child. In seventh and eighth grade classes, I’d read Tennyson and Poe, but then my friend Catherine Patterson sent me Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. Poems not in a textbook—and by a woman! I was hooked. In college at the University of Virginia, I took… Read more »


SolLit Dialogue on RACE, CULTURE & CLASS: Cleaving

SolLit Dialogue on RACE, CULTURE & CLASS: Cleaving

By Lisa Friedlander   

Yesterday in Brooklyn, NY I saw young mothers strolling their own children, and Jamaican women strolling other women’s children. Mothers and nannies walked, did errands, negotiated cease fires between siblings, bartered lollipops for patience, tickled and explained the teaming stimuli of the surround. I thought of the ease with which people, beginning as strangers to… Read more »


The Politics of Empathy

The Politics of Empathy

By Jennifer Jean   

For over two years I’ve been researching and writing a poetry collection about sex-trafficking and objectification issues in America. When I give poetry readings there is always at least one person, if not more, from the audience who comes up to me and asks: “Why are you writing about this issue?” What I’ve discovered is,… Read more »


An Interview with Poet Betsy Sholl

An Interview with Poet Betsy Sholl

By Kathleen Aguero   

KA: First, congratulations on winning the 2015 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. I know you’ve won several other awards as well. How does getting this kind of recognition affect your writing or sense of yourself as a poet? BS: This is an interesting question because certainly winning an award is a boost to confidence, and… Read more »


Talking Creative Nonfiction with Michael Steinberg

Talking Creative Nonfiction with Michael Steinberg

By David Fox   

DF: In your craft essay “One Story, Two Narrators” included in the anthology SolLit Selects, you talk about how many personal essays and memoirs fall short, because they fail to create an internal narrative to accompany the surface-level events. Why do you think that so many aspiring nonfiction writers struggle with this? Also, you give some examples… Read more »


Chatting with Author Elizabeth Gonzalez

Chatting with Author Elizabeth Gonzalez

By Mariya Taher   

MT: Your story “0=1” was the Fiction First Runner-up for SolLit Magazine’s  Annual Lit Contest in 2013. Now the story appears in SolLit Selects: Diverse Voices, the magazine’s first print anthology. Congratulations! Could you tell us what inspired you to write this story? EG: The story was inspired by experience, and in fact is so close to… Read more »


Review: I Carry My Mother by Lesléa Newman

Review: I Carry My Mother by Lesléa Newman

By Rebecca Hart Olander   

I Carry My Mother by Lesléa Newman, Headmistress Press, 2015, 108 pp/, $10.00   Lesléa Newman’s latest book, I Carry My Mother takes as its subject the death of the author’s mother and the process of grieving this loss. In this unflinching, layered account, Newman opens a window on a human experience deeply her own… Read more »


Review: City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver

Review: City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver

By Pablo Medina   

City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014, 96pp/, $15.95   City of Eternal Spring confirms what I felt when I first started reading Afaa Michael Weaver’s poems about ten years ago. He is a master poet who is comfortable in his craft at the same time that he takes… Read more »


Review: Otherwise Unseeable by Betsy Sholl

Review: Otherwise Unseeable by Betsy Sholl

By Alison Stone   

Otherwise Unseeable by Betsy Sholl, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2014, 78pp/, $16.95   Betsy Sholl’s seventh book offers a world of contradictions, the friction of disparate and contradictory objects and experiences struggling to coexist. The first poem, “Genealogy,” begins, “One of her parents was a flame, the other a rope.” Odd juxtapositions continue with… Read more »


Review: A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea by Denise Bergman

Review: A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea by Denise Bergman

By Barbara Blatner   

A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea by Denise Bergman, winner of the West End Press 2013 Patricia Clark Smith Poetry Prize, West End Press, 2014, 72pp/, $14.95   The subtle, fierce poems in Denise Bergman’s new collection, A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea, offer a biography of the Statue of Liberty, beginning with… Read more »


A Conversation with José Skinner

A Conversation with José Skinner

By Mariya Taher   

MT: Your short story “The Edge” is included in SolLit Selects: Diverse Voices, the magazine’s first print anthology. Congratulations! Could you tell us what inspired you to write this story?  JS: I’m fairly sure Russell Banks’s “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story” was the initial inspiration for “The Edge.” It’s been many years since… Read more »


An Interview with Last Year’s Nonfiction Contest Winner, Mary Collins

An Interview with Last Year’s Nonfiction Contest Winner, Mary Collins

By Amy Yelin   

Your essay “The Coverless Book” won our nonfiction contest last year and is also included in SolLit Selects: Diverse Voices –our first print anthology. It’s a beautifully crafted essay in which you explore your brother Daniel’s death, which followed a number of suicide attempts, by using excerpts from a notebook of his you found after… Read more »


Find us at #AWP15!

Find us at #AWP15!

By Amy Yelin   

Your Guide to All Things SolLit at #AWP15! Visit us at booth 409 at the bookfair with our friends from Talking Writing! We’ll be selling copies of our brand new anthology SolLit Selects:Diverse Voices. Thursday April 9 4 to 6pm Kiernan’s Irish Pub Poet’s Corner, 85 6th Street New Rivers Press Book Launch & Readings Come hear… Read more »


Foreign Text in English Writing

Foreign Text in English Writing

By Kristyn Bacon   

Since I’ve started traveling and living abroad, I’ve developed a growing appreciation for foreign words in English text. While I enjoy the occasional italicized vocabulary, I love reading sentences and dialogue in a foreign language, even one that I don’t understand. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway practiced this regularly in their work. Both lived and… Read more »