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In conversation: Laura Hemphill and Nancy Mauro

November 22, 2013 4:15 pm | Posted by: stephen pierson
Nancy Mauro and Laura Hemphill

Nancy Mauro and Laura Hemphill

Novelists Laura Hemphill and Nancy Mauro discuss the trials of working in advertising and on Wall Street, career changes, and the invention of a now famous (in northern Ontario) donut called the Persian. Canteen correspondent Lee Bob Black curated this interview.

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Interview: Edward Vilga and Sarah Herrington

June 30, 2013 12:45 pm | Posted by: khristina_w

sarah-herrington-3-i-heart-nyEdward-Vilga-and-Bell-bw copy

Authors and yogis Edward Vilga and Sarah Herrington interview each other about the yoga of writing, spontaneity versus structure, and gender issues in print and readership. Canteen correspondent Lee Bob Black curated this interview. read more


Interview: Nathan Larson and Bill Peters

December 10, 2012 1:38 pm | Posted by: stephen pierson

“It’s much better to stop writing when you’re in a good mood, when you’re excited about what you’ve written… It’s like drinking: there’s real advantage in keeping yourself from getting upset, entitled and creepy, and just stopping sometimes.”

Nathan Larson (left) and Bill Peters

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Interview: Caits Meissner and Tishon Woolcock

September 26, 2012 11:26 pm | Posted by: stephen pierson

“That was the fear, that you either have one thing or the other as a woman—you either have love and marriage or you have an incredible career and an interesting life. ”


Brooklyn poets Tishon Woolcock and Caits Meissner recently published a collaborative book of poetry, The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You. In a conversation curated by Canteen correspondent Lee Bob Black, the two authors discuss each other’s work—its process, history, and meaning—sorting out a few misreadings along the way. read more


Interview with Dana Wachs, a.k.a. Vorhees

September 10, 2012 12:47 am | Posted by: stephen pierson

“I’m simply thrilled to play in front of people. My anxiety comes from the fact that it’s challenging as a solo artist because I don’t have someone to question me.”


Dana Wachs discusses her years touring the world with acclaimed rock bands, her work at NYC’s Tonic, her recent career change, and the best place to stand at shows. Dana will be performing as Vorhees on Sept 21, 2012, at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, immediately following Canteen’s Outwrite event.

Dana Wachs has spent the last 13 years touring the world as the audio engineer for bands such as Cat Power, MGMT, M.I.A., Lykke Li, St. Vincent, and Jamie Lidell (among many others). She also served as the sound engineer at NYC’s legendary experimental music venue Tonic. She is currently completing a full-length solo album.

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“Right now, as we converse, someone is reading my work whose opinion matters a great deal to me, and I have to put it out of my mind or I will go insane.”


In a conversation curated by Canteen correspondent Lee Bob Black, authors Elliott Holt and Marie-Helene Bertino interview each other about the roles that dogs, Twitter, grad school, depression, and Christmas Eve have played in their creative processes.

Marie-Helene Bertino’s debut story collection, Safe as Houses, will be published in October 2012. Elliott Holt’s first novel, You Are One of Them, is forthcoming in spring 2013 from Penguin Press. Full bios are at the bottom of this page.

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Joanna and Evan Smith Rakoff: Interview

February 16, 2012 11:45 am | Posted by: stephen pierson

“I couldn’t reconcile those two worlds: It was so hard going back and forth, feeling like, well the New York Times wants me, but some Nowheresville Review won’t publish my poem.”


Inspired by Eric Puchner and Katharine Noel’s essay “I Married A Novelist” from Canteen’s fourth issue,  Lee Bob Black interviewed another literary couple—Joanna and Evan Smith Rakoff. The Rakoffs, from their Lower East Side apartment, discuss creativity, uncertainty, parenthood, ignoring how-to-write books, being rejected by tiny literary magazines, and how love and creative frustration can cause you to kick your wife out of the house.

Joanna Smith Rakoff is the author of the novel A Fortunate Age (Scribner) and the forthcoming memoir My Salinger Year (Knopf). Evan Smith Rakoff is a writer and online editor at Poets & Writers. Lee Bob Black is the co-director of canTeensCanteen magazine’s literacy program in Harlem. Full bios are at the bottom of this page.

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Garth Risk Hallberg: Interview

March 25, 2011 12:43 am | Posted by: stephen pierson

“I’m pretty sure novels of this size are to the publishing world what a big old box of garlic is to the vampire world.”

Garth Risk Hallberg
is the author of A Field Guide to the North American Family and was selected by Richard Bausch as one of 2008’s Best New American Voices. He blogs for the Millions and teaches at Fordham University, and New York magazine called him “one of the smartest literary-critical writers writing anywhere.” He lives in Brooklyn.


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