The Writer’s Block: A Video Q&A With Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

by Sampsonia Way    /  July 17, 2014  / No comments

In June 2014, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon came to City of Asylum Pittsburgh with Cave Canem, an African American poetry organization founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996.

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon was one of three readers at this year’s Cave Canem reading, held at City of Asylum Pittsburgh. Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval, a 2009 National Book Award finalist, and Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, as well as Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, a chapbook in collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and in such journals as African American Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and Shenandoah. She is currently at work on a third collection, The Coal Tar Colors.

In this interview Van Clief-Stefanon discusses why she considers herself the “nerd of the century,” what she does when she gets good ideas in the shower, and how growing up in a Florida swamp cultivated her as a poet.

  1. About The Writer’s Block
  2. The Writer’s Block is an ongoing video series of interviews with visiting writers at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. In these Q&A’s, conducted on Sampsonia Way, writers sit down with us to discuss literature, their craft, and career.
  3. View all previous interviews →

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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