Donna Baier Steinis the author of two story collections, the recently released Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton and Sympathetic People, which was a finalist for the Iowa Fiction Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Award; a novel, The Silver Baron’s Wife, which was a PEN/New England Discovery Award winner, a Bronze winner in Foreword reviews 2017 Book of the Year contest, and the recipient of a Will Rogers Medallion Award; a chapbook, Sometimes You Sense the Difference; and a poetry collection, Letting Rain Have Its Say. She was a Founding Editor of Bellevue Literary Review and founded and publishes Tiferet Journal. She has received a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University MFA Fellowship, grants from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and Poetry Society of Virginia, a Scholarship from the Summer Literary Seminars, and more. Donna’s writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Saturday Evening Post, Writer’s Digest, Confrontation, Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly, Washingtonian, New Ohio Review, and many other journals, as well as in the anthologies I’ve Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books) and To Fathers: What I’ve Never Said (featured in O Magazine).
“The best writing is transformative…Writing succeeds, too, when it acts as a mirror, reflecting our humanity back to us”: R.L. Maizes talks with Donna Baier Stein about writing outsiders, literary influences, and the path to releasing her debut collection.
“By imaginatively playing with a visual work of art, the writer can expand its meaning—not in terms of enlarging the original work, but in terms of offering more possibilities.” Donna Baier Stein explores the limits and liberties of perception in this essay on writing fiction from images.
“Many characters in the book deal with unexpected changes in their lives and would welcome facts to guide them. The title seemed to reflect the emotional struggles of the characters and almost implies that it’s simple to change a life. But my characters find that life is complex; what works for one person will not work for another.”
“Then you sit back one day and think, ‘Who really will care about this? It’s just another story that’s been told so many times, just in different ways.’ Yet there is that illogical reasoning, or rather lack thereof, that makes you continue.”
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