Authors Talk: Alison Mandaville

Today we are pleased to feature Alison Mandaville as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this podcast she speaks with her partner and takes the time to reflect on how her journey as a writer has progressed and how she got to where she is today.

For Alison, “poetry was always there” from a young age and she recounts some of her earliest memories of writing poetry. Like many other writers, there was a time in her life when writing took the backseat to other priorities, but Alison came back to writing later in life. She discusses the events and inspirations that have recently fueled her creative writing such as her work in Azerbaijan, where she made connections with other writers, and her choice to go back to school. She claims that it was experiences like these that “opened up the page ” for her to get back to poetry. She also discusses her work with translation and how it helped her to write poetry. She notes that translation is a way you “take something that was already beautiful and get to make another beautiful thing out of it.”

Along with her close work with the intricacies of language, Alison gives credit to her experience with creative residencies where she has been able to collaborate with other writers who are serious about their work. She gives advice on how to apply for these residencies and the benefits of attending them for aspiring writers. Here is a non-profit resource for finding these residencies designed for artists and creative writers.

You can read Alison’s poetry in Issue 23 of Superstition Review.

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9 thoughts on “Authors Talk: Alison Mandaville

  • October 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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    That’s so awesome! I can relate to keeping writing more on the back burner while doing other things. It’s always interesting to see what draws people back in. I never would have guessed at translation, that sounds so cool!

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  • October 15, 2019 at 10:14 pm
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    It’s interesting how translation could make for great experience in writing poetry. In some ways, translation can be an art form, when done correctly. I certainly have been on the receiving end of bad translations on many occasions, but its good to see someone using it wisely!

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  • October 16, 2019 at 9:00 am
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    Interested to see what she has to say about working with translation. I’ve always had a special interest in foreign literature and what it can teach us about writing in a global context.

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  • October 16, 2019 at 9:52 am
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    I loved reading about Alison’s writing journey. I also had a passion for writing when I was younger, and drifted away to pursue more “professional” areas, but seeing the success Alison has had in her return to writing is very encouraging.

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  • October 16, 2019 at 10:38 am
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    I related to Alison when she said “poetry was always there”. Whether it’s through reading it or writing it, it’s always helped. I’m glad she has that as an outlet as well!

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  • February 16, 2020 at 6:15 pm
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    I am interested to learn more about these residencies for writers! I had never heard of those before and I think its super cool that Alison is so involved in them!

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  • February 16, 2020 at 8:01 pm
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    I had no idea that writing residencies were a thing, but now I really want to be a part of one! I appreciate the recognition that sometimes writing takes the backburner, but it’s encouraging to read that it usually comes back around.

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  • February 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm
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    It’s so great to hear about Alison’s journey. Translation is such a difficult, but beautiful, form of poetry. It places the author in a head-space that is unfamiliar and challenges them to make connections and see images they wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. This is such an encouraging post to share with other writers. Thank you!

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  • February 16, 2020 at 11:02 pm
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    It’s really interesting to hear how, even from a young age, Alison was drawn to the art of poetry. I love hearing about the ways in which people’s life circumstances have led them to pursue their art later on in life. Keep up the amazing work!

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