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Thursday, March 1, 2012

First of the Month Book Giveaway: Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis


In case you didn't know, St. Louis, Missouri is a blossoming hub for writers. Have you ever wished that you could sit down and talk to a group of great writers?  How about a chance to interview:
  • Eric Pankey: Poet
  • Harper Barnes: Novelist
  • Tess Gallagher: Poet
  • Jean-Claude Baker: Biographer
  • Carl Phillips: Poet
  • Donald Finkel: Poet
  • Ntozake Shange: Poet, Playwright, and Novelist
  • Eddy L. Harris: Non-fiction writer
  • John N. Morris: Poet
  • Gerald Early: Essayist
  • Kathleen Finneran: Memoirist
  • Qui Xiaolong: Poet and Novelist
  • Jane O. Wayne: Poet
All of these great writers interviewed by journalist, poet, writer, and fierce spirit Catherine Rankovic.

From Amazon.com about this book:
In "Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis, author Catherine Rankovic invites us into the intimate space of the personal interview with thirteen well-known writers who were living and working in St. Louis or visiting the city in the service of their art. Included in this collection are interviews with Carl Phillips, Kathleen Finneran, Gerald Early, Don Finkel, and Ntozake Shange, to name a few. Rankovic conducted most of the interviews during the 1990s while working as a journalist. The interviews, thus, form a record of the development of these creative personalities, a snapshot of a moment in their lives against which to measure current and future achievements. Recently Rankovic added interviews with three more acclaimed St. Louis writers, making the book a must-have resource for anyone interested in contemporary American literature. A photograph of each writer, a sample of the writer's work, and a biographical introduction precede each interview."

"Charlie Reilly, Professor of English, Montgomery County Community College, PA, Editor, Conversations with Amiri Baraka: Right from that eye-catching title, you can tell this book is special. Not only does Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis serve up that electricity which has always been part of the St. Louis literary scene, but its broad canvas and incisive comments provide insight after insight about the way literature is written and the way authors worry their materials into print. Want to know why Josephine Baker's adopted and not-quite-adoptedsons said their mother was afraid of love? Why Ntozake Shange, author of the Broadway hit For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf insists "I still say I'm from St. Louis and I'm very glad to be claimed by St. Louis"? Why Chinese poet and novelist Qiu Xiaolong worries about being arrested if he everv returns home? Why Jane O. Wayne's poetry has been influenced by her obsession "with not being able to find doors"? It's all here in a rich literary context, framed and focued by Catherine Rankovic's precise questions and enriched by her unfailing background materials. A worthy book and a fine job of it!

Don Marsh, Host, "St. Louis on the Air," KWMU, St. Louis Public Radio: I found Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis to be an interesting insight into many writers who are not household names to the general public. Of special interest is the peek we get into the creative processes during their most productive years. Of course, it was a pleasure to learn that St. Louis was such a positive cultural nurturing ground. It was also enlightening to learn of the people who shaped the writers' lives.

Lisa Ampleman, Associate Editor, River Styx Literary Journal: In Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis, Catherine Rankovic introduces us to thirteen writers whose work and lives intersect with the Gateway City. These lively conversations and profiles show us the active minds behind the poems, stories, and memoirs, and many explore the question: why write in a particular place? The picture of St. Louis that emerges is that of a city struggling, among other things, with its racial inheritance but feeding the creative energy of these writers who often work in more than one genre. A special gem: the interview of the late, reticent John N. Morris, who recognizes writing as a way of "drawing attention to yourself." The attentions Rankovic pays to him and to her other interviewees enlarge our understanding of the literary life in St. Louis.

"About the Author
Catherine Rankovic has a B.A. from Marquette University and an M.F.A. from Washington University. She is the author of Island Universe: Essays and Entertainments (2007), and Fierce Consent and Other Poems (2005). Her work appears in several anthologies including Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak About Health Care in America (2008). Her prizewinning poetry and essays have been published in The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, River Styx, 13th Moon, Margie, Boulevard, Natural Bridge, and many other journals. She has taught creative writing at several universities and in community workshops."

Personally, I have had the honor of know Catherine and the privilege of learning from her. She is a fierce personality and a fantastic poet and writer.

On March 3rd, I will post a Coffee with David interview with Catherine.


How do you win a free signed copy of this novel?  To enter the contest, simply leave a comment or question on the Coffee with David blog between now (March 1st) and midnight March 31, 2012. Please include your email so I can reach you if you win. The more comments you leave, the greater your chance of winning the contest. If you refer others to Coffee with David who mention your name in their comments, I'll enter your name again in our random number generator along with theirs, also increasing your chances at winning! The winner will be chosen after midnight on Saturday March 31, and the announcement made on Sunday, April 1st, when I will post the next contest. Good luck and comment often.

Next week, I will bring the next segment in the series "Writing the Fight Scene" blogs. Emails I have received asking questions have led to future blog posts.  So, keep the comments or emails coming and I will either answer you by email and/or make the question and answer a blog entry in this series.

Thank you for reading and please visit www.davidalanlucas.com and www.thewriterslens.com. You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

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