Writers' News 2010-2011


Alimentum contributors share their recent experiences at the literary table.

Michael Aleman | Bonnie Lee Black | Ellen Estilai | Robert Long Foreman
Tzivia Gover | Amy Halloran | Ann Hood | Tim Horvath
Eric LeMay | Angela Long
Sophie Menin | Peter Selgin | Steven Sher | Maya Stein
Wally Swist | Nick Vagnoni


Alimentum author Tzivia Gover has just published a new book, Learning in Mrs. Towne's House, about which Lesléa Newman writes: "Tzivia Gover tells us that according to the educator, Paulo Freire, 'It is impossible to teach without the courage to love.' In this beautifully written memoir, Gover musters up the courage to love her students despite the often difficult differences between them. By having the pregnant and parenting teens in her classroom learn to read, write, and recite poetry, Gover exposes her students to a whole new world. Upon reading their poetry, Gover is exposed to a whole new world as well. Learning in Mrs. Towne's House is a testimony to the power of poetry. Reading it will enrich your life."  Congratulations, Tzivia!


Two of our esteemed Alimentum contributors are featured in Best Food Writing 2011, published by Da Capo Press and edited by Holly Hughes. Web and Book Review Editor Eric LeMay's "A Tomme at Twig Farm" is a chapter from his book Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese. Ann Hood's essay, "The Golden Silver Palate," first appeared in Alimentum Issue 11. Congratulations to them both!




Nick Vagnoni's collection of nine poems, titled "Victual," is now available online (and on your Kindle) as half of the latest edition of Floating Wolf Quarterly. Started last year by Vagnoni's friend and fellow Miami poet Christopher Louvet, each edition of FWQ pairs an emerging poet with a more established contemporary poet (in this case, Matthew Zapruder). You can find both at FWQ's website. Says Vagnoni, "Most of you probably won't be surprised to find that all the poems in my collection are about food."

Ellen Estilai's essay, "Front Yard Fruit," which appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Alimentum, is included in New California Writing 2011, an anthology edited by Gayle Wattawa and published by Heyday Books. Heyday notes that Mark Sarvas from the The Elegant Variation calls the collection "a grand literary tour of the Golden State. New California Writing 2011 showcases California in its infinite variety...and all without ever getting on a freeway."




At the age of fifty, New York caterer and food writer Bonnie Lee Black closed her catering business and joined the Peace Corps. Posted to the tiny town of Lastoursville in Gabon, Central Africa, she taught health, nutrition, and cooking, in French, to local African women and children. During her two-year service, she also developed her own recipe for a purposeful life. Like M.F.K. Fisher’s classic, How to Cook a Wolf, Bonnie’s true stories comprise a lively, literary survival guide. Visit her website.



Tim Horvath let us know that he's published a couple more pieces in the "Urban Planning" series. According to Tim: "They don't involve food all that much, but always a little (I mean, who can write a complete story without food? That's, like, fasting fiction, or a lipogram, perhaps, without fat?)" One story appears in Wigleaf and another appears in the new Conjunctions.




Steven Sher's forthcoming chapbook of poems, The Skipping Stone from Finishing Line Press, is a series of observations and images of the natural world and our place in it. The title poem explores how a stone found during childhood can connect one to a place throughout a lifetime. The release date is February 12, 2011. For his latest work, visit Steven's website.




Robert Long Foreman tells us that his essay "Pigs and Eggplant," published in Alimentum Issue 8 (Summer 2009), was listed in the Notable Essays of Best American Essays 2010, guest edited by Christopher Hitchens.







Angela Long had never heard of "off-the-grid" until she found herself living there. In a cedar-log cabin on a remote archipelago, she collects rainwater and fuels her laptop with windpower. Here, her first collection of poems emerged—the product of twenty years wandering through countries and cultures. From Chicacao to Varanasi, Milan to Haida Gwaii, Observations from Off-the-Grid explores life beyond conventional demarcations. Reader meets author as English teacher in war-torn Guatemala, meditation student in India. The collection gives voice to victims of torture, beggars, the homeless. It gives voice to the heartache of a Sunday afternoon.

Peter Selgin, Alimentum Editor and Co-Art Director, has a new blog. Free writing advice! Submit the first page of your book, story, or essay and Peter will critique it for free. Visit Your First Page to find out more. (And for news about Peter's new book, click here.)


This summer Sophie Menin has a multi-week series on The Daily Beast called A Hundred Summer Nights: A Global Celebration of the Summer Table. It explores two of the great impulses of summer: long leisurely meals with family and friends, and faraway voyages. Here's the first installment. Check it out and pass it on!


San Francisco poet Maya Stein has been writing an original 10-line poem once a week since June of 2005. Every week, she emails "10-line Tuesday" to a subscriber list of nearly 550. Later this summer, Maya will travel across the country to introduce herself to her readers, most of whom she's never met. In addition, Maya will offer free writing workshops and other events in the hopes of gathering 10-line poems from participants for an anthology to be published when she returns. "On the Road with 10-line Tuesday" will take Maya on a 6-week tour to big cities (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, New York) and small towns such as Whitefish, Montana; Boone, North Carolina; and Peterborough, New Hampshire. She is using Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced fundraising site, to help finance the project. For more information, visit On the Road with 10-line Tuesday.


In June, Alimentum Web Editor, Eric LeMay released Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese, an engaging love letter to the food that Clifton Fadiman once called "milk’s leap toward immortality." Immortal Milk brings us cheese from as near the cheese shop around the corner to as far as the Slow Food International Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy. In the company of his best girl, Chuck, LeMay endures surly fromagers in Paris and dodges pissing goats in Vermont, a hurricane in Cambridge, and a dispiriting sense of hippie optimism in San Francisco; looks into curd and up at the cosmos; and even climbs a snow-encrusted, lynx-trodden mountain, to discover the mysteries of cheese. For more, visit the Immortal Milk website.


Michael Aleman’s poem, "The Interpreter's Hands," was published in the Penwood Review; plus two short stories have been published: Allies appears in SpokeWrite, and Adios Mi Abuela appears in The Acentos Review, on-line.






Amy Halloran is raising chickens! She provided a report and photos: "Here's some chicks, born on Sunday—Mothers Day phenom, for sure. The birds got broody, meaning they wouldn't leave the hen house, so we gave them fertilized eggs from a friend who has roosters. They sat and they sat and they sat for 21 days and three chicks hatched. There are still more eggs, but who knows if they will become chicks. Here's a couple of odd pictures—they are hard to catch." For more news on Amy and her family's adventures in the kitchen, visit her website.

chickens and chicksmore chicks!


Peter Selgin, Alimentum Editor and Co-Art Director, has a new book. Having trouble with your novel? Let this book be your guide. 179 Ways to Save a Novel condenses advice collected and collated from over a thousand critiques. Award-winning author Selgin's experience as an editor and a teacher will help you discover ideas for troubleshooting through insights gleaned from a life of reading, writing and loving literature. Guaranteed to challenge, inspire, provoke—and occasionally tickle or annoy, these meditations will awaken a deep awareness of the fiction writer's many challenges and thorny choices. For more about Peter Selgin, visit his website


Wally Swist’s scholarly monograph, entitled The Friendship of Two New England Poets, Robert Frost and Robert Francis: A Lecture Presented at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, was published by The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009. Visit Wally Swist's website.


Visit our archive page for Writers' News 2009.