Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Episode 17: Huda Al-Marashi

Huda Al-Marashi discusses her mesmerizing Muslim-American memoir published by Prometheus Books, "Then Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story" in this episode.  We talk about her influences, her challenges writing about her family and her life and a lot about the writing craft. More importantly, she talks about the accomplishment of being picked up by a large publishing house after years of submitting and revising.

Huda Al-Marashi is the Iraqi-American author of "First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story", a book the Washington Post called"a charming, funny, heartbreaking memoir of faith, family, and the journey to love. If Jane Austen had grown up as a first-gen daughter of Iraqi parents in the 1990s, she might have written this.”

Excerpts from this memoir have also been anthologized in Love Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of Muslim American Women, Becoming: What Makes a Woman, and Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women and Extreme Religion.
Her other writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the LA Times, al Jazeera, VIDA Review, Refinery 29, The Rumpus, The Offing and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Cuyahoga County Creative Workforce Fellowship and an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writer Fellowship.

Huda currently resides in California with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.hudaalmarashi.com.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Episode 16: Alonso Véner

Listen to Alonso Véner, a Costa Rican writer residing in Japan, speaks of how he started writing poetry and his new interest in writing short stories. His challenge as a Latin American writer living abroad writing in Spanish, is the lack of professional literary Spanish translators to help him translate his work for a wider public. If, after listening to the show, know of someone who may be able to assist him with that, please contact him at info@alonsovener.com.

alonso vener's book cover of "El Guardian de los Cuervos"
Alonso's short story collection!

You can visit his blog at: 
His personal webpage: 
e-mail address: 
The following is a translation of one of his poems:
When my waits come to an end,
and over the garden, there is nothing left,
I think I see your hand drawing my smile in the mud,
dragging away the petals of good-bye, of ashes,
like broken glass next to my window
are hanging chrysalis who teach me
there are always flowers beyond the storm.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Episode 15: Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr.

Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr. is a Filipino poet living in Singapore. Listen to us discuss his latest poetry collection, and hear him read a couple poems from his collection, "Aria and Trumpet Flourish".  We talk about poetic forms, his influences and his process of honoring the creative process by writing everyday.


Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr. is the author of Aria and Trumpet Flourish (Math Paper Press, Singapore), as well as the chapbooks Requiem and Hymnal (Vagabond Press, Australia). His poems have been published in Rattle, Hayden's Ferry Review, Likhaan, Shanghai Literary Review, and other journals and anthologies. He has received prizes from the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Kokoy Guevara Poetry Competition, British Council, among others. Born in the Philippines, he has been based in Singapore since 2011.
Rodrigo Dela Pena's book cover "Aria and Trumpet Flourish"

For more information or to reach out to Rodrigo, please visit his Facebook page:  


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Episode 14: Marivi Soliven

Marivi Soliven is the author of "The Mango Bride" that was published by Penguin Press.  She is a Filipina writer now residing in San Diego. Listen as she explains how she got the idea for the novel, how the novel made its impact helping Filipino women in domestic violence situations and what she is working on next. 
Marivi Soliven profile pic
Marivi Soliven's debut novel The Mango Bride (Penguin, 2013) won the 2011 Carlos Palanca Memorial Award, the Philippine counterpart of the Pulitzer Prize. The novel has been translated into Spanish and Filipino, and a film adaptation is in process, with a projected release date next year. Stories and essays from 16 earlier books have appeared in anthologies in Manila and the United States. When not writing or organizing literary events, she works as a telephonic Tagalog interpreter.
The Mango Bride book cover

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