Our Guest Blogger is the Los Angeles poet Julia Stein, who is also a novelist, playwright, critic, and teacher.
Julia shares her poem, "The Woman Disappears Bit by Bit," which is part of her fifth book of poetry, What Were They Like?, a collection of poems that look at lives― Iraqi lives, Afghan lives and U.S. lives― caught up in the Iraq and Afghan wars. The last poem imagines peace.
Stein’s poems were inspired by Whitman as well as Sumerian myths by way of Hemingway.
Julia Stein's powerful book, What Were They Like? protests war and the effects of war on the victims and perpetrators alike. Underlying the vignettes depicting the different parties affected by the war is a firm belief that poetry and literature can provide healing.
Her poem "The Woman Disappears Bit by Bit" ends ironically --- the woman crosses into Syria for refuge.
What Were They Like? is only available online from C.C. Marimbopress: http://ccmarimbo.com/
BIT BY BIT
Bio of Julia Stein:
After receiving a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and M.A. in Psychology from California University at Los Angeles, Julia Stein left psychology to be a writer. Later she got an M.A. in English from UC Irvine.
In 1973 she produced a reading of 2000 years of women's poetry at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in English, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Spanish. Stein was editor/writer in 1975 for Sister, a monthly feminist newspaper out of Los Angeles as well as a producer-reporter for a women’s TV news program, Luna Video, which reported on women’s news. The programs were then broadcast on the "Miscellany" show on KVST TV.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s Stein handset type for Plantain Press -- the best fine press in Los Angeles. She was also a writer and oral historian specializing in Los Angeles history, and the first to teach creative writing to teenage girls in the Los Angeles county delinquency system at Camp Scott.
During the early 1980s she was associate editor and then editor of Electrum, a multi-cultural poetry magazine. She published her first book of poetry Under the Ladder to Heaven (finalist in the Whitman competition) as well produced as an six-hour anti-war broadcast on KPFK radio entitled "Flowers for Central America." The show featured poets and Central American music.
She helped found Los Angeles local of the National Writers Union and worked as an arts journalist throughout the 1980s publishing articles and commentary inthe Los Angeles Weekly, Los Angeles Reader, Village Voice, Daily News, High Performance, and the American Book Review, among other publications.
She has taught psychology at California State University at Los Angeles and English at Los Angeles City College, Santa Monica College, Valley College, UCLA Extension writers program etc. Beginning in 1992, she published more poetry books as well as literary criticism essays on such topics as women’s and working-class literature. She was a featured speaker at several national conferences, and has been an invited poet/reader in venues from Honolulu to Paris.
In 1995 Stein produced an anti-sweatshop literary reading at Midnight Special bookstore for Common Threads. The reading was taken to court by Guess Jeans as slanderous, and she as part of Common Threads waged a 6-month battle against and defeating Guess Jeans. In 2010 she cofounded Los Angeles Laborfest and helped organize a series of six literary/art events around the Triangle Fire centennial in March 2011.
Julia Stein Official Website
tags: literature, poetry, poem, Julia Stein, protest poem, poet, writer, Iraq, Afghan, war