All posts tagged: Melody Nixon

Books Can Help Us Feel Seen: an interview with Crystal Hana Kim

MELODY NIXON interviews CRYSTAL HANA KIM

Crystal Hana Kim’s If You Leave Me is a poignant, lucidly written intergenerational story that will leave you aching. The novel takes a clear-eyed look at the ways adults can end up with the lives we didn’t think we would have—how we deal with the mismatch between dream and reality determines our fate.

Debbie WenBooks Can Help Us Feel Seen: an interview with Crystal Hana Kim
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Salons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen

Iris Martin Cohen

MELODY NIXON interviews IRIS MARTIN COHEN

Iris Martin Cohen’s debut novel is a witty, incisive, and very funny send up of New York City literary circles and the ambition that drives them. The Common’s Interviews Editor Melody Nixon spoke with Cohen this month about The Little Clan, New York high society, contemporary American male writers and their pitfalls, the female socialite ideal, and, you know, what to do about patriarchal capitalism.

Avery FarmerSalons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen
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The Personal (Essay) is Not Dead: an interview with Mensah Demary

MELODY NIXON interviews MENSAH DEMARY

Mensah Demary headshot

Mensah Demary as an editor is most known for his work with Catapult Nonfiction, and more recently, Black Balloon. But Mensah Demary the writer is a force to be reckoned with. The Common published his essay “Blood and Every Beat” in our most recent issue, No. 13. In this month’s Q&A, Interviews Editor Melody Nixon talks with Demary about audience and desire, creative partnerships, “getting out of his own way,” and why the personal essay is not dead (“the idea is absurd”).

 

Isabel MeyersThe Personal (Essay) is Not Dead: an interview with Mensah Demary
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The Female Writer is Political: an Interview with Oddný Eir

MELODY NIXON interviews ODDNY EIR

Oddny Eir

In this month’s interview, Melody Nixon speaks with Icelandic author Oddný Eir about feminism and writing, folklore, and tyranny. Eir’s latest book of auto-fiction, Land of Love and Ruins, is a work of diaristic essay, lyric collage, and rumination. Collaborator Björk describes Eir as “a true pioneer.” Eir appeared this week in New York City’s PEN World Voices Festival on Gender and Power.

Julia PikeThe Female Writer is Political: an Interview with Oddný Eir
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Leaving New York City: an Interview with Cathy Linh Che

MELODY NIXON interviews CATHY LINH CHE

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split, winner of the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize, the 2015 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the 2016 Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Che is a Vietnamese American poet and teacher, originally from Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. She received her MFA in poetry from New York University and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Kundiman, Poets House, and The Asian American Literary Review, among many others. Her poems have been published in Hyperallergic, Hyphen, poets.org, and AAWW’s The Margins. Her work delicately probes the liminal spaces between cultures, identities, nationalities, and bodies.

Isabel MeyersLeaving New York City: an Interview with Cathy Linh Che
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Like an Eggplant Parmigiana, Like Layers of Rock

Saint Sebastian Church

Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.

                                                                                                                        —Plato

1. Four of us are here, in mid-Sicily, waiting for something that will lead us to make art. The life of Akrai Residency for three weeks. Two of us speak partial Italian. One of us has never been to Italy. We come from Poland, Iran, America, and New Zealand. This non-touristic town is now our food, sleep, air, conversation, and confrontation.

Palazzolo Acreide is a small (8,000 person) town built of rock. The streets are cobbled, the buildings are ancient brick, the churches rise solid and baroque from rock. Much of it is limestone, soft, shapeable, and light; it gives the town a yellow glow. People here seem to grow from a desire to be full—not just of food but of color, taste, feeling, and sound. Church bells punctuate each quarter hour, in our central neighborhood and in all neighborhoods; the slightly staggered ringing echoes throughout the town and valley below. Two fifteen, fifteen, fifteen. Two thirty, thirty, thirty.

Olivia ZhengLike an Eggplant Parmigiana, Like Layers of Rock
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Friday Reads: April 2016

By BARBARA MAYER, KELCEY PARKER ERVICK, SUJATA SHEKAR, MELODY NIXON

 

Politics and history crackle through the plotlines of our recommended books this month, as we travel the world experiencing struggle and mourning in a many-layered collage of contexts. Here are four varied works of “healing imagination,” as books both simple and unconventional examine trauma unflinching and then look to what happens next.

Recommended:

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin, Book of Ruth by Robert Seydel, The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Olivia ZhengFriday Reads: April 2016
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Profound Surrender: An Interview with Ellis Avery

MELODY NIXON interviews ELLIS AVERY

Ellis Avery is an accomplished author, editor, and teacher. Her first novel, The Teahouse Fire, won a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction, a Stonewall Book Award, and an Ohioana Library Award. Her second novel, The Last Nude, also won a Stonewall Award. Avery edits the Public Streets column at Public Books, and writes daily haiku poems on Twitter—a year’s selection of which have been recently published as her first volume of poetry, Broken Rooms.

Isabel MeyersProfound Surrender: An Interview with Ellis Avery
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Outer Space as Utopia: Wendy S. Walters on the American Real and Surreal

MELODY NIXON interviews WENDY S. WALTERS

Wendy S. Walters’ work blends poetry, nonfiction cultural commentary, and playful lyric essay to excavate deeply rooted themes of race, identity, and belonging in America. She has published two books of poems: Troy, Michigan (2014) and Longer I Wait, More You Love Me (2009), and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles (2005). Walters is active in the literary world, as a founder of the First Person Plural Reading Series in Harlem, New York, a contributing editor at The Iowa Review, and an Associate Professor of creative writing and literature at the Eugene Lang College of The New School University in the city of New York.

Isabel MeyersOuter Space as Utopia: Wendy S. Walters on the American Real and Surreal
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August Reads: I Believe New Yorkers

By MELODY NIXON

For the month of August we are revisiting some of our favorite content from the past year. Publication of new work will resume on September 1.
skyline from subway

“I believe New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I wont ever dare ask that question.”

– Dylan Thomas

In my first months in New York City I rode in the back of taxicabs through Central Park thinking, “When will this sink in? When will it feel like I know where I am.” I didn’t think I was dreaming – rather, I felt the whole city was dreaming with me inside of it, a poppy-field illusion, a drug trip induced by hidden valves releasing an experimental hallucinogen. The city needed to pinch itself awake, collectively, and climb out of the hollow to find out what was really going on.

“I stopped at Lexington Avenue,” wrote Joan Didion of her arrival in the city, “and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage.” You arrive, you reach the mirage, and you wait for it to clear.

Olivia ZhengAugust Reads: I Believe New Yorkers
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