• Mbizo Chirasha

READING AMERICA WITH LAUREATE GLORIA MINDOCK.

Updated: May 23, 2020

GLORIA MINDOCK is a celebrated Readership Culture Curator, Poet Laureate and a revered Publisher. Acclaimed literary arts Doyen. Maestro of book arts culture. A dedicated human being. Multi- Award-Winning Writer. Live Literature Projects Curator. Distinguished Poet. Founder and Publisher of the Cervena Barva Press, an international publishing gig. The current Executive Director of Reading America. TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC is overjoyed and humbled to have got this golden opportunity to profile prowess and feature on its digital walls, a very important and highly celebrated international literary arts maestro Madame GLORIA MINDOCK. We are also proud to be associated with Artistic prominence and literary excellence in form of Publisher Emeritus Gloria Mindock- Aluta Continua- blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA,


Question. You are a Literary Arts Culture legendary. Your resume glows with creativity and shine with prowess. How do you unlock value and what’s your secret to success?

G. Mindock.I work hard at what I do. Believing strongly in the work I publish and bringing it out into the world is important to me. That is what I consider to be success and of value.

I write about atrocities in the world to be a voice for those who have no voice and to bring awareness. For me, speaking about the horror happening in the world, reaching out to others, is what success means. Awareness for me equals action. I have learned so much from writers in different countries and together we can be a strong voice.



Question. You have been at the helm of the prestigious Cervena Barva Press for a long time. How was the journey and what were the challenges during infantile stages?





G.Mindock. When I first decided to start Cervena Barva Press, a friend said to me that I could not do this. I said “watch me” and Cervena Barva Press was born. The press was founded in 2005. We have published over 200 books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and translations since 2006. Challenges were having enough time to do what I wanted with the press. I was working full time. I would say that was the biggest challenge for me.

Question. A lot of young and established poets have done book and chapbook projects with Cervena Barva Press. What are their success stories after publishing with you?

G.Mindock .Many of our authors have gone on to publish more books and have won awards for their poetry and fiction. The only thing I care about when choosing a manuscript is that it is good. I never cared about where they have been published or what awards they received. The work speaks for itself.





Question. What is your prestigious title, award or literary accolade in your lifetime?

G.Mindock. Besides being a publisher, I am also a poet. Awards include the Ibbetson Lifetime Achievement Award, the Allen Ginsberg Award for Community Service, the 5th and 40th Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman’s Voice, numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, St. Botolph nomination, a Somerville Arts Council fellowship, and being selected as Poet Laureate in Somerville, MA for 2017 and 2018.

Some of my other titles include being one of the USA editors for Levure Litteraire (France),

editor of the Istanbul Literary Review/ILR (Turkey)from 2007-2011, editor and co-founder of the Boston Literary Review/BLuR from 1984-1994, co-founder of Theatre S. & S. Press, writer of plays, musicals, adaptations, performance art pieces, and being an actress.

Author of 5 books of poetry, “ I Wish Francisco Franco Would Love Me” (Nixes Mate Books, Allston, MA), “Whiteness of Bone” (Glass Lyre Press, Glenview, IL), “Nothing Divine Here” (Cetinje, Montenegro), La Portile Raiului (Ars Longa Press, Romania) translated into the Romanian by Flavia Cosma, “Blood Soaked Dresses,” (Ibbetson St. Press, Somerville, MA), and my sixth collection of poetry called “Ash” is forthcoming by Glass Lyre Press. Also the author of three chapbooks that have been published.




Question. You are Poet Laureate, what that entails, What are the duties meant for you alongside this title of excellence?





G.Mindock. Becoming Poet Laureate and representing the city of Somerville, MA in 2017 and 2018 was such an honor. I met so many wonderful people in the community. I brought music and poetry into an elderly nursing home with numerous poets and a musician, puppet shows to children at two Somerville libraries, a bi-monthly poetry roundtable, poetry readings and how-to workshops at the Arts at the Armory, as well as outdoor poetry readings at Union and Davis Squares. a tribute to Claribel Alegria and other Salvadoran Poets, reflecting the sizable Salvadoran community in Somerville. and gave away 500 books of poetry all over town.

Question. How is Cervena Barva Press and your literary projects coping during these times of COVID 19?

G.Mindock.It is difficult to adjust to staying home for me. My bookstore, The Lost Bookshelf, which has been online since 2005 and has a physical location since February 2013, has been closed since the beginning of March. All the events, which are many, that Cervena Barva Press organizes and hosts there, have been cancelled, and not having many book orders has hurt us. The space I rent at the Arts for the Armory is small so when it does open, having people 6 feet apart will not be an option so I will be unable to host any events in the space until there is a vaccine. Not sure I will keep the space. There are many books there but will only be able to have three customers in the store at a time. In the building, it is hurting all the artists. I intend to keep publishing books and had a fund-raiser, will continue to pay rent for my bookstore and press, and just take it slow. If I close my physical space, the press will still continue and the bookstore online.


Question. How are you developing or empowering the voices of young writers and girls local and abroad?

G.Mindock. I have found, from what many women have told me, that they are shy and don’t feel good about their writing. I will be doing an online workshop speaking about women writers and how to gain good self-esteem.

In some countries, many women are afraid to speak out and send their writings out to be published for fear of being killed or physically hurt in some way. It is a challenge. I still believe that women do not have equal rights and we have been fighting this since the 1960’s and here it is 2020, and women’s equality is still an issue. There is human trafficking, female genital mutilations, and rape and murder of women in certain countries of the world. Some have escaped and wrote about their terror. I hope more women will be able to escape this treatment.

Since I publish writers from all over the world, there has been many women writers besides men.

I have published writers and translations from Romania, Serbia, Herzegovina and , Bosnia, Poland. Sweden, Czech Republic, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, France, Kurdistan, Iraq, Israel,

Ukraine, Estonia, Ireland, Switzerland, Russia, Canada, Mexico, England, Belgium, and South Korea. I look forward to publishing writers and translations from other countries too.





GLORIA MINDOCK ( Courtesy of Amazon) is the founding editor of Cervena Barva Press and one of the USA editors forLevure Litteraire (France). She is the author of "Whiteness of Bone" (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), "La Portile Raiului" (Ars Longa Press, 2010, Romania) translated into the Romanian by Flavia Cosma, "Nothing Divine Here" (U Soku Stampa, 2010, Montenegro), and "Blood Soaked Dresses" (Ibbetson, 2007). Widely published in the USA and abroad, her poetry has been translated and published into the Romanian, Serbian, Spanish, Estonian, and French. In 2014, Gloria was awarded the Ibbetson Street Press Lifetime Achievement Award and in May, 2016, Gloria was the recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Award for community service by the Newton Writing and Publishing Center. Gloria recently was published in Akadeemia (Estonia), Poetry.com, Gargoyle and her work is forthcoming in the We are You Project Anthology.Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals including: Murmur of Voices, Vatra Veche, UNU: Revista de Cultura, and Citadela in Romania, Arabesques in Algeria, Poesia, Phoebe, Poet Lore, Blackbox, River Styx, Bogg, Ibbetson St., WHLR, Web Del Sol, Lost in Thought, Bliss, Tell-Tale Inklings, and in the anthology Hildagards Daughters (Belgium). Her flash fiction has appeared in Thrice and Thunderclap.Gloria has had nominations for several Pushcart Prizes, St. Butolph Award and was awarded a fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council. She was co-founder of Theatre S & S. Press, Inc. and was one of the founding editors of the Boston Literary Review/BLuR from 1984-1994. Theatre S. received grants from the Polaroid Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Globe Foundation, NEFA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Somerville Arts Council. Gloria works as a social worker and freelances teaching workshops. She facilitates events in her Červená Barva Press studio, located in the Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA.In October, 2015, she founded Read America Read, which leaves free books each month throughout the country to get America reading again. Many writers, small presses and the public take part and leave books on park benches, train stations, cafes etc... for anyone to take.Gloria founded the bookstore, The Lost Bookshelf in 2005, which is an online bookstore but now has a physical location at Arts for the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA. The store sells new and used books.Gloria is the author of three chapbooks, "Pleasure Trout" (Muddy River Books, Newton, MA), "Oh Angel" (U Soku Stampa, Montenegro), and "Doppelganger" (S. Press, Somerville, MA).



Porcupine Quill is authored and edited by Mbizo CHIRASHA



MBIZO CHIRASHA . 2020 Freedom of Speech atPEN-Zentrum Deutschland.2020 Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café (International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival(https://ihraf.org/international-fellows ) , Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .Featured Writer Poet Activist at The Poet A Day(https://jamiededes.com/). Core Team Member and African Contributor to Bezine of Arts and Humanities(https://thebezine.com/) in USA. Flash/Short Fiction Writer for Squawk Back Publication(http://www.thesquawkback.com/2020/01/mbizo.html).Contributing Writer( Africa) to IHRAF Publishes-https://ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes.The Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Curator of TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC Journal(https://miombopublishing.wordpress.com/).

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