Memoir—Where Writer and Reader Meet: an interview with Lorraine Ash


JACKSON: How did you get started writing memoir?

ASH: I started in 1999 in a hospital bed days after the stillbirth of my first and only child, Victoria Helen. Up to that point, I’d written thousands of articles as a journalist, a few published plays, and a few unpublished novels, all in third person.

After my daughter died, I reflexively started writing to process the experience. I reached for the notebook that my thoughtful husband had placed on my bedside table and jotted down images, aromas, snippets of conversation, and sensations. At that point I was still too grief-stricken and ill to string together sentences.

Later, when my emotions had just begun to settle and realign themselves with my new view of the world, I wrote about the horrendous separation my daughter and I had experienced.

read more…


Diana Goestch on Free-Writing, Ego & Working with Emotion

Interview by Sylke Jackson

Diana Goetsch returns to Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space at CILK119 to teach the third installment of the Free-Writing Intensive on Saturday, February 6.

Sylke Jackson: You have mentioned ego and the need to get it out of the way in previous interviews. Recently you’ve come out as a transitioning woman. Do you have any thoughts about how our concepts of ourselves can hold us back or free us to access imagination and perhaps power in our writing? 

Diana Goetsch: William Packard, one of my root teachers, used to say that, while writers aren’t better than anyone else, they do need to know themselves better than most. I agree—in the sense that the more you understand yourself, the more you can put the egotistical urge to “self-express” to rest, and fix your attention on your subject. I’ve always felt the freedom and license to write on any subject under the sun, and now that I’m out to myself and others as a trans woman, I feel even better equipped to do just that.

read more…

LoPinto’s next course—tracking a master


The thing about Anthony LoPinto is, he loves food, he loves people, and he loves the planet. You can feel this warmth in everything about him—from his conversation to his consommé. We talked together Monday morning about his holiday chocolates and upcoming wine and extravagantly-delicious food pairing scheduled for December 19th at CILK119.

“Yes, we’ll be serving last year’s squash soup,” Anthony laughs. “A participant of the tasting for fall of 2014 took some of the seeds from the hubbard squash I cooked, and in the spring, gave me a seedling. I planted it in my garden and the fruit it bore will be mixed with honey dumpling for this year’s tasting.” The community connections apparent in the sourcing of the squash belie the profound intentionality that is behind Anthony’s delectable creations. A circle of loving care for the planet is completed with the meals he creates. And then of course there are new seeds to sow.

read more…

Music of the moment —Stone, McCarthy, and Sullivan


It’s the blustery evening that hurricane Joaquin threatened to come and blow all our houses down. The poets decided, as poets will, to keep on with their plans whatever storm may come. The night, perhaps in deference, has turned fair. Alison Stone, Gerald McCarthy, and Christopher Dean Sullivan will whip up a tempest of their own.

“I’ll Start You with an Image,” Alison Stone reads from her book of poems, They Sing at Midnight. “One wet elm leaf, /two smashed cars, a bony dog /on a Mexican street. Breathe into these things.”

read more…

Rocket ships, robots, and whirling lights—an interview with Duncan Bell

DHB with Miss Peggy-2

JACKSON: I’ve heard you describe yourself as a lifelong tinkerer. Were there any projects or machines that you tinkered with as a young person that especially captivated your interest? If so, why did they?

BELL: My tinkering skills were acquired at an early age. I have my father to thank for that. He grew up on a farm during the Depression and needed to make by hand many of the things that were used every day around the house. He was especially proud of a croquet set he made as a teenager— even turned the balls on a homemade lathe. At the age of 6 or 7 I knew the names of  most of the tools because my job was to fetch them for my father. One special memory I have is of my twin brother and me “helping” my father work under the car. He would ask for tools and we would pass them to him. If there was an especially reluctant nut to loosen or something heavy to lift our task was to grunt loudly to give him more strength. I wish I had a video of our efforts.
read more…

Courting writing —an interview with Douglas Goetsch

In the following conversation, conducted via email over a few weeks, Douglas Goetsch addresses the writing relationship. Douglas will be teaching Part 2 of the Free-Writing Intensive on September 12th at CILK119.

Q: Do you have any advice on developing a writing practice (i.e. a consistent relationship with your work)?

A: I like that you say “consistent relationship,” because our practice should be like a relationship. At first we need to fall in love, which on the writing path translates to a moment of early success: some ray of natural talent momentarily shines through. We may sense an inner excitement, or others might point it out to us, perhaps with applause—and we’re in love!

read more…

Hot poetry—made to order


Have you ever sampled a really fresh poem?
Dreamed up and pounded out on the typewriter while you watched?

Well, the strapping, young organic farmers and the efficient, multitasking mothers and even the Orangetown supervisor got their own, just-picked poems a couple of weeks ago, on market day in Nyack. People handed 3 words over to the genius crew of River River, a new literary association, and the poets handed back some tasty bits of verse.

read more…

The Alchemy of Memoir

cuppa pulp group shot with text

They opened the space with a deep reverence for the blessing of creativity. They snacked on fresh berries, pineapples, and bananas dipped in chocolate. They luxuriated while their feet were anointed with healing herbal salves and massaged by skilled reflexologist, Elle Levenson. Oh, and they managed to get some writing done too—mining lives that might seem messy and labyrinthine to illuminate significant stories.

read more…

Braincore Therapy – Hayley and Ron Nathanson


Hayley and Ron Nathanson are the cutting-edge chiropractors who moved in across the hall from CILK119 a few months ago. Their specialty is helping your brain to shift. Neurofeedback, a modality introduced in the 60’s, is their main tool.

The Nathansons have both been chiropractors for many years, and Braincore, an application of neurofeedback developed by a chiropractor, allows them a powerful asset in addressing many of today’s most pervasive physical and psychological conditions.

Braincore diagnostics use electrodes on the surface of the head to measure the frequency of the brainwaves and see where a client might be stuck. Then patients are given a recommended course of sessions (at least 20 to see real improvement) that encourage the brain to move into frequencies that allow it to rest or be stimulated, bringing balance and regulation. Fibromyalgia, depression, autism, ADD, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and insomnia all can be treated with neurofeedback. Professional sports teams like the Giants also use it to stimulate peak performance.

Hayley and Ron love Braincore because of the results they’ve seen. Kids who were alienated and reclusive become socially comfortable and participative, formerly depressed clients grin ear to ear, and people who were all over the place can focus. The Nathansons stress that the changes are permanent and none of their clients become reliant on something outside of themselves as can happen with medications.

“We want to help people move through life, expressing who they are, well from the inside out,” Ron says. At CILK119, we think that sounds awesome. Rockland-Bergen Braincore is an inspiring addition to our building and community. Hayley and Ron, welcome to the ‘hood!

Check out the Rockland-Bergen Braincore facebook page too!