LIVE from the NYPL 

Fountain of Curiosity – Paul Holdengräber on Attention, Tension, and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library

Paul Holdengräber

Photo Credit: Oliver Holdengräber

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity. —Eleanor Roosevelt

On a glorious sunlit afternoon at a café table beneath the London plane trees in the New York Public Library’s outdoor living room, Bryant Park, Paul Holdengräber, creator and curator of the LIVEfromNYPL interview-conversation-happening series, empties his pockets and spreads out their contents: a wallet, bits of notepaper, loose change, and a set of keys for the new home he’s settling into with his wife and two sons.

“These are important,” he smiles, holding up the keys. “I had better not lose them or I won’t get back in.” The doors those keys open, and what waits beyond the threshold, could be a metaphor for the series itself, now in its twelfth year, a series that remains fresh, surprising, intellectually rigorous, and playful. This year’s guests include the actor Alan Cumming, who opened this year’s series; photographer Sally Mann; performance artist Marina Abramović in conversation with punk rock trailblazer Debbie Harry; architects Daniel Libeskind, Steven Holl, and Elizabeth Diller; the novelist T.C. Boyle; and the musicians Robbie Robertson and Steve Van Zandt.

Whether Holdengräber is in direct conversation with his guests or curating conversations between the guests themselves, he becomes immersed in their work, and additionally studies every aspect of their lives, revealing bits of himself in the process.

“It’s about creating the space for potential. I don’t mind awkward pauses or silence,” he notes. “In fact, I rather like them. So, one of my goals at this stage of life is … I don’t know how your pockets are, but mine are very messy. And when I take things out, God knows what I’ll discover.”

Emptying one’s pockets has a literal meaning for Holdengräber, but there is more at stake. He is invoking the great English psychoanalyst and essayist Adam Phillips, who says that when we speak to each other things fall out of our pockets.

This is exactly how Holdengräber envisions his interviews and conversations—things inadvertently and not falling out of pockets in speech. Holdengräber also connects each guest to the world-famous collections housed in the New York Public Library’s main branch, where its librarians were recently named the “Human Google.”

In fact, the New York Public Library, with more than 51 million items, holds treasures such as Christopher Columbus’s 1493 letter announcing his discovery of the New World, George Washington’s original Farewell Address, and John Coltrane’s handwritten score for Lover Man. “There are so many things NYPL does that spring from the collection of books,” says Holdengräber. “The books are, in a sense, the landscape from which we can operate. That’s why before an event, whenever possible, I always take people into the special collections.”

As LIVE settles firmly into its second decade, we were eager to revisit Holdengräber, whom we interviewed in 2011 in conjunction with the Rolex Mentorship program. He has lost none of his enthusiasm, believing as Ralph Waldo Emerson did that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. In fact, if curiosity is the key to the Fountain of Youth, Holdengräber possesses it in spades. But he also possesses curiosity’s mate, the desire to follow that curiosity wherever it leads.


“My appetite has not waned one bit,” affirms Holdengräber. “I remain convinced that conversation and exchange is at the heart at what is important—what keeps us vital. And that also our lack of it, generally speaking, is at the heart the problems we have.”

WRR: It’s a great pleasure to sit down with you again. And an even greater pleasure to feel your enthusiasm for the new season.

Holdengräber: And for me as well. You know, in 2004, when the former NYPL president Paul LeClerc called me in Los Angeles where I was the Director of the Institute for Arts and Cultures at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and asked me to “oxygenate” the library, I had no intention of moving to New York. But I was intrigued by the challenge of bringing all that the library contains—which is much more than simply the collections of books—to an audience who would enlarge the conversation. In fact, here in Bryant Park we are literally sitting upon books since the stacks are right below us. So, when I accepted the offer, I literally took him at his word. I uprooted my family from beautiful Santa Monica and we went from a very blissful life near the beach to the glorious hurly burly of New York.

WRR: Were there many programs like LIVE at the time?

Holdengräber: There were fabulous programs at the 92nd Street Y and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and elsewhere, but nothing at the library. Most people didn’t think of the library in that light.

WRR: You are a master of using quotations to great effect, not only to make a point, but also to put people at ease, to make us think, of course. But also to make us laugh.

Holdengräber: Well, it’s my quotomania. A disease from which I wish no cure. I always rely on these quotations, not really to impress but because they are like signposts of my life and also markers in terms of how people react to the various situations and conflicts.

Like keys. In a metaphorical sense, we might ask, “What is the key? And, how do I discover it? And, is the key I’m holding actually the key I’m after?” In many ways, the greatest compliment I can get is when I finish an interview with someone I admire, not yet knowing which keys I have used to open which doors; and a lover, a husband, a wife, or someone who knows the person well, says, “What a revelation. I never heard him or her say that before. I didn’t know that about them.”

I did an interview for the Paris Review with Adam Phillips—the first time in over half century that the Paris Review featured a psychoanalyst as the subject of an interview. And at the end of the introduction to that interview, Adam says, “Digression is secular revelation.” That interview is the fruit of a decade-long conversation I have been having with Adam—yes over ten years of speaking to each other—much like an analysis itself.

WRR: What you’re saying is that a set of keys, or the research you do before an interview, allows you the space for digression. But, a key also allows you to become the driver.

Holdengräber: When we talk about digression, we’re talking about getting lost, about taking the side roads, or the road just behind the road we thought we were taking. What doesn’t quite fit, what might be dismissed, but isn’t, becomes the road to revelation. Charlie Mingus said, “Improvisation, yes; but you need to improvise on something.” Although showing up is important, a good interview doesn’t come just because you show up. You have to create the conditions for conviviality. I must say, after being here for a decade and 500 events, I can certainly think about my shortcomings. But, for me, the success is that I’ve created space for attention and tension.

WRR: Attention and tension?

Holdengräber: Many, but not all, guests I interview feel a bit of both. There are people who perform before crowds as large as 30,000 people, but an intimate venue like the Celeste Bartos Forum can make them feel exposed. Yet, in creating that tension, you must also pay attention to the audience. In this discombobulated, distracted world where any of us are doing a hundred different things at the same time, I ask myself, How do we create a world where we remain attentive to someone for about two hours? Which sometimes seems very long to people because they’re used to an interview happening quickly. Katherine Hepburn said that she was so very much looking forward to dying so that she wouldn’t have to do any more interviews. When I read that I thought, if only I could speak to her for two hours.

WRR: After more than ten years, are you still as excited as that first day when you made the lions roar?

Holdengräber: An Israeli friend of mine recently said, “Paul, soon you will have spoken to everyone.” And I suppose it’s correct in some way. I’ve spoken to such a variety of people that one could think, which the statement implies, in some way there’s wear and tear and there’s fatigue and that maybe it’s enough. But I don’t feel it. I still feel real excitement. I felt it when I was talking with Laurie Anderson  who closed our last season. She trusts laughter over intelligence. Not only was she magnificent and passionate and funny, but she was also luminescent.

WRR: How do you choose whom you interview, or who appears together on the LIVE stage? In a sense, you are choreographing a larger story over the course of a season.

Holdengräber: The interviews arise from conversations like ours. The big problem I face is that there are many people I would like to interview, but I have to consider whether they have resonance in a crowd. For instance, it is hard to take the academy out of its natural setting. But my conversation with the great Italian and eminent historian Carlo Ginzburg, who has grappled with persecution and identity and who should be heard by so many more people than naturally hear him, held the audience spellbound from the first question until the last.

WRR: An interesting element of LIVE is that while you interview many guests, you also curate and facilitate conversations between guests.

Holdengräber: I have a yearning to speak to certain people, and a sense that a pairing is good, such as the upcoming conversation between Margaret Atwood and Fiona Shaw. But, I always ask myself what would be best for the event? Sometimes guests “request” me—as a guest once said, for “the Holdengräber treatment,” which made me think that it was a form of (psycho) analysis. Being in treatment—yes, as in the Holdengräber treatment.

There are certain people I wish to talk to because I know so little—there we go again, with the “euphoria of ignorance”—and I become the spokesperson for the audience, that curator of public curiosity asking the questions perhaps on everyone’s mind in the audience, or perhaps not.

After all what did I know about Jay-Z , or RuPaul or for that matter Helen Mirren? But what JOY! The same is true for Mike Tyson. I wish to take my guest out of the specialist in conversation—the (often deadly) academic discourse. As for preparing my guests to be in conversation with someone of equal accomplishment whom they’ve most likely not met before, I always, or most always, have a conference call with the participants. But also, I conduct the conversation because I believe that improvisation is something one prepares for (to a point). And so, I have people talking to each other mostly over the phone and briefly, so as not to lose the magic in the green room.


WRR: The New York Public Library system, like all library systems, has evolved since you began LIVE.

Holdengräber: The question becomes how do we make the materials more available, yes—we need to grow our online presence or “our digital footprint,” as the library is doing successfully and continues to do. We have to ask, how can what we experience here at the library become a shared experience with the larger public? Because our community is much more than geographically local.

WRR: We enjoy following you at @Holdengraber on Twitter.

Holdengräber: I do like Twitter because the form is concise and compatible with quotes. But we have a fantastic team who are experts in their fields to make sure we spread our messages effectively. Since the beginning of LIVE, I’ve been asking my guests to describe themselves in seven words, which lends itself beautifully to the Twitter platform.  Guests at LIVE have often heard my seven words: “My mother said, ‘You have two ears, one mouth.’” That’s one of the reasons I like Twitter. Someone read that quote on Twitter and gave me the whole background to that story. They told me that it is attributed to Zeno, one of the Pre-Socratic philosophers. And so, they sent a T-shirt to me with the quote in Greek.

But Twitter is a very interesting medium in which to discover all kinds of tidbits of information. In a way it’s like the florilège—which literally means a beautiful bouquet of flowers as does an anthology—the sum of what is beautiful in culture. From time to time on Twitter you can find these tidbits. Of course, Twitter contains all that is beautiful as well as crass in our culture.

WRR: But you always bring your social media platform back to the physical, back to the library and LIVE.

Holdengräbar: Most people get their information through social media, but people still want to engage in cultural events. In this city, on any given night, when we have an event at NYPL, there might be twenty-five other events going on. The truth is that if I were on the other side of what I do; if I wanted to expand my mind in that way, I would be truly torn because there are so many different things happening of equal and diverse quality. I’m very heartened by that. You know, people say that they were inspired by the creation of LIVE and have taken it to other places. And people constantly ask me, How did you go about creating it? And I have no idea. As the philosopher Hegel said, “The Owl of Minerva spreads its wings only at the falling of dusk.”

But I have seen a real hunger connected to the fact that we live our lives in such separate units isolated in front of screens, myself included. We want to come together. We want to feel other bodies in the room with us, listening and having the same experience, that heightened moment—two hours at most of being on stage—lives on in the memory. And it lives on quite physically online because you can see it. There is an afterlife of the conversation that continues.

fountain-of-curiosity-mike-tysonI always bring up my parents. When I visited my mother in Brussels, she would ask me, “Who are you speaking to next?” I interviewed Mike Tyson, certainly one of the most eloquent, vulnerable, violent people I’ve met, shortly before my mother died and it became one of her favorite interviews.

She posed a question, which I asked him: “What does it feel like to be so forcefully hit on your head?” He said, “What I did for a living is what you should try to avoid for your whole life.”

In those words, he spoke about the pain. He spoke about what it felt like without ever saying it. And these heightened moments with someone like Tyson, someone like Laurie Anderson, every aspect of a conversation takes them out of their specific sphere and on the uncharted road.

WRR: You also took Tyson, as you do all your guests, to see the library’s special collections.

Holdengräber: I took Tyson into the reading room; and then, yes, into the special collections and showed him a first edition of Machiavelli. He said that there may be an earlier edition, and he was right. I remember saying to him, “It’s amazing how immersed you are in the reading room.” And he said, “A room without books is like a body without the soul,” which is a line from Cicero. So there I was, with the world’s greatest heavyweight quoting Cicero. We had invited a hundred boxers into the room and after that, many of them felt it was cool to read. And cool to come to the library. And so, the library, which to my mind, is the Ellis Island of New York, the point of entry, becomes the welcoming point of the city. If you think of it in terms of the émigré, it was their living room when they didn’t have one. Now it’s transformed yet again. It’s not only the living room, it’s also a place where people congregate around ideas and can learn from a boxer.

WRR: When you share something specific with your guests it can be incredibly disarming.

Holdengräber: You know, I do this for so many reasons. One of them is strategic. One of them is simply that many people who take to the stage are terrified. They’re fearful that they might slip, that they might say something or that they may not have an answer to a question. I have countless examples of people to whom I said, “I really want to bring out the best in you.” Also, I really don’t mind awkward silences. I actually quite like them.

WRR: There was a point in your interview with Tyson when he said, “I’m not an incredible fighter. I’m an incredible student.”

Holdengräber: The special collections is a way to anchor the experience of our guests in the space. We’re not a shopping mall. The library is not a venue. There are seven floors of books and nearly 52 million items. It’s important that Neal Gaiman see the skull of Percy Bysshe Shelley. It’s important for basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, possibly one of the tallest athletes at 7 foot 6 inches, to hold the smallest book we have.


The greatest treasure of all that we have at the library are the curators who come up with these wonderful ideas and pair our guests with items full of meaning. In this case, Thomas Lannan, Isaac Gerwitz, Michael Inman, and so many other curators. All I tell the curators before inviting a guest is, “Surprise Us.” We showed Roseanne Cash Shakespeare’s first folio that had probably been touched by the poet Ben Jonson. The curator said that you too can put your hand on it. Roseanne certainly felt some form of tactile inebriation, something transmitted from more than 400 years ago.

WRR: From our vantage point in the audience, your interviews are so very wide-ranging; and, as you said earlier, jazz at its best. How do you know when something is going off? How do you pull it back?

Holdengräber: I get a feeling in my stomach, my head, my muscles, my tissues. And so the question becomes, “What has my guest said that is intriguing? What can I further develop? And what have they not said that I should somehow bring up? It’s not about following a script. All I really know is more or less where I want to begin and more or less where I want to end.

Everything in between is a foreign country. If I am interested, possibly the public will be interested, too, and want to enter the artist’s world. I’m hoping that people who attend or watch the interviews online will want to immerse themselves in Laurie Anderson’s world, or Jhumpa Lahiri’s world, or Elvis Costello’s world. I’m hoping for those moments when people say, “Oh yes, I want to know more. I want to do something that is really diametrically opposed to what is happening in this room. I want to be alone in the company of the author, writer, poet, musician.”

There are times when I have to modulate and make myself a bit smaller or a bit less visible. And some times it’s not enough and I have to make myself bigger and more visible. That happens often when I have somebody who is shy or recalcitrant. Or someone who is terrified. There are quite a few people who are invited, but don’t want to be there. But they need to because they are on tour and it’s part of what you do. So, I want to give them the best night of their life with what they themselves have done or produced.

WRR: Your interviews interlink with other interviews over the years as if people have been talking to one another across time.

Holdengräber: I try to create what I often refer to as an organized web of obsessions. Some of them are simply things I’ve been thinking about for years. One of them as I get older is the relationship between aging and taste. What did we care about once upon a time and what do we remain faithful to? I find myself asking those kinds of questions, which are really questions about reading and rereading.

WRR: Zadie Smith said when you write anything you reveal beliefs and they change over time.

Holdengräber: Remember her collection is called Changing My Mind. How do we change our minds? And I would say the way we change our minds is by being exposed to different viewpoints. Which is what I’m doing constantly. Surprise me. I wish to be surprised by myself.


WRR: One sort of paradigm doesn’t change. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, the mother carries her native Calcutta in her soul. That was her cultural reference, her touchstone. You always bring passion and fire and vibrancy to each interview. And attention. Have your beliefs changed? What has changed or evolved for you over time?

Holdengräber: When you mentioned the word attention, I was thinking of the wonderful line by philosopher Simone Weil, who said, “Attention is a form of prayer.”

To me, to be attentive is a form of real distillation, a concentration in the literal sense. When you’re paying attention to something or someone, you are immersed in their world, as in the best literature.

If I’m not to calcify, I need to expand what I’m doing through so many other realms. And part of the goal for LIVE is that it remains alive to different points of culture. Because calcification of a thought or an idea or a way of being is contrary to life. It’s what makes us brittle and we break. And so, for me, the question becomes, what limits do I need to push? I’m keen to find out who should help me stretch the limits. Who would you really want to hear? Or, perhaps, whom have we not heard that we need still to hear? What and who would make us swoon? Tell me, please.


October, 2016

Joy E. Stocke


Joy E. Stocke

See other contributors.

In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.

With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.

In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.

In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.

She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.

In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey.  Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.

Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013).  The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.

She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.



Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition


The Eagle of Ararat
The Eagle of Ararat-Part II: The Meaning of Freedom


Where Were the Shells Fired From?


Suzanne Opton and Michael Fay – The Human Face of War


Katherine Schimmel: A Meeting in a Garden and a Mystic Pen


Anatolian Kitchen: Cuisine at the Crossroads – For the Love of Beets


ABULHAB – Arabic from Left to Right: An Interview with Type Designer, Saad Abulhab

BELBRUNO- Ed Belbruno – The Colors of the Universe: Microwaves and Art

CLARKE – Rock & Roll, Cybernetics, and Literature: Bruno Clarke’s Intersecting, Interconnecting World

COMBS – Hazard: A Sister’s Flight From Family and a Broken Boy

FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir

EARLE – An Extraordinary Hope Spot: Sylvia Earle on the 20th Anniversary of Cabo Pulmo Marine Park and the Future of the World’s Oceans

FULBRIGHT –  Harriet Mayor Fulbright- World Peace through Education

JOSEPH GLANTZ –  Inner Lights, Electric Kites – The Sparks of Philadelphia’s Creativity

HALIFAX – Joan Halifax, Roshi – Letting Go, Letting in Light: Halifax Talks about Her Life & Groundbreaking Book, Being with Dying

HONEY – The New York Hall of Science Hosts 1001 Inventions – Muslim Heritage in Our World: A Conversation with Dr. Margaret Honey

KUPCU – How to Weave a Culture: The Art of the Double-Knot with Murat Küpçü

Jonathan Maberry’s Ghost Road Blues

MAJOR – A Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age: Judith Major and Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer

MAURO – New World Monkeys: Primates, Boars, and a Conversation with Author, Nancy Mauro

MEHTA – Talking about Global Healing with Political Scientist Vipin Mehta

OLSEN – Greg Olsen – Reaching for the Stars: Scientist, Entrepreneur, and Space Traveler

SHOR – Music in Stone: Jonathan Shor Constructs a Lithophone for Quark Park

SMITH – ROLEX ARTS INITIATIVE-Poet Tracy K. Smith: Memory, Creation, Mentoring, and Mastery

SODERMAN – The Solace of Vacant Spaces: An Interview with Visionary Peter Soderman

EVAN THOMPSON – Waking, Dreaming, Being: Philosopher Evan Thompson Explores Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience and Meditation

TIMPANE – This Has Never Felt Like A Job
Poetry, Science and the Big Bang: John Timpane Goes to Cambridge

YUNUS – Opening the Gates of Capitalism: In Ecuador with Economist Muhammad Yunus, “Banker to the Poor”

ZALLER – Robert Zaller – Cliffs of Solitude – A World of Activism: Talking of Troubadours and Poetry with the Historian

Every River Tells A Story: Founders Kim Nagy and Joy Stocke

Dorion Sagan and Tyler Volk – Death and Sex: Dorion Sagan and Tyler Volk Get Intimate about Their New Book

Orhan Pamuk – The Melancholy Life

Per Petterson: Language Within Silence


Istanbul, Memories and the City: by Orhan Pamuk, Translated by Maureen Freely
The Road to Home: Rachel Simon’s The Story of Beautiful Girl


Anatolia – Istanbul’s Flaming Horn
End Times Down at the Kingdom Hall
Reclaiming Friday the 13th


Love Affair with Turkey

Anatolian Days and Nights – The Steamy Side of Istanbul


The Bath: Athens, Greece


The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation


 2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..


Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson

Quark Park

Algorithms, Google & Snow Globes: David Dobkin

WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK

Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn


UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul


Conservation – East of an Aquatic Eden and into the Desert
Controversial Marcellus Shale Gas Pipeline Threatens Delaware River Basin and Rural Communities in the Northeast


Migration, Remittances and Latin America


The Slow Web Movement: Wild River Review’s Philosophy on the Media


Rumi and Coke


Post-Thanksgiving Plane Ride with a Soldier on His Way to Iraq
Turkey – Of Protests and Fruit: A Report & Updates from Istanbul

Kimberly Nagy

Kimberly Nagy, Contributor

Kimberly Nagy

See other contributors.

In 2006, Kimberly Nagy founded Wild River Review with Joy E. Stocke; and in 2009, they founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.  With more than twenty years in the field of publishing, Nagy specializes in market outreach and digital media strategies as well as crafting timeless articles and interviews. She edits many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.

Kimberly Nagy is a poet, professional writer, and dedicated reader who has interviewed a number of leading thinkers, including Academy-Award winning filmmaker, Pamela Tanner Boll, MacArthur Genius Award-winning Edwidge Danticat, historian James McPherson, playwright Emily Mann, biologist and novelist, Sunetra Gupta and philosopher Alain de Botton.

Nagy is an author, editor and professional storyteller. She received her BA in history at Rider University where she was influenced by professors who stressed works of literature alongside dates and historical facts–as well as the importance of including the perspectives of women and minorities in the historical record. During a period in which she fell in love with writing and research, Nagy wrote an award-winning paper about the suppression of free speech during World War I, and which featured early 20th century feminist and civil rights leader, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

Nagy continued her graduate studies at University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she studied with Dr. Karen Kupperman, an expert in early contact between Native Americans and the first European settlers. Nagy wrote her Masters thesis, focusing on the work of the first woman to be accepted into the Connecticut Historical Society as well as literary descriptions of Native Americans in Connecticut during the 19th century. Nagy has extensive background and interest in anthropological, oral history and cultural research.

After graduate school, Nagy applied her academic expertise to a career in publishing, in which she worked for two of the world’s foremost publishers—Princeton University Press and W.W. Norton—as well as at Thomson, Institutional Investor MagazineRoutledge UK, and Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.

TWITTER: kimnagy

Kimberly Nagy in this Edition


Postcard from Haiti


Lady of the Largest Heart: Remembering Muna Imady


Pamela Tanner Boll – Dangerous Women: Creativity, Motherhood, and the World of Art
Suzanne Opton and Michael Fay – The Human Face of War


Slim Hopes
Who Does She Think She Is?


Beata Palya – The Secret World of Songs


Christine Matthäi – The Light of Innocence: On Playfulness, Trees and Growing up in the former East Germany
Every Face Tells a Story: A Conversation with Photographer, Beowulf Sheehan


The Triple Goddess Trials: Fire in the Head: Brigit’s Mysterious Spark
The Triple Goddess Trials: Introduction
The Triple Goddess Trials – Meeting Virginia Woolf at the Strand
The Triple Goddess Trials: Me and Medusa
The Triple Goddess Trials: Aphrodite and the Lightbulb Factory
The Triple Goddess Trials: Goddess of Milk and Honey
The Triple Goddess Trials: Kali’s Ancient Love Song


ASHLEY – Renee Ashley: A Voice Answering a Voice
BELLI – Giocanda Belli – The Page is My Home
BOLL – Pamela Tanner Boll: Dangerous Women: An Interview with Academy Award Winner Pamela Tanner Boll
DANTICAT – Create Dangerously- A Conversation with Edwidge Danticat
CHARBONNEAU – A Cruise Along the Inside Track: With Le Mobile’s Sound Recording Legend Guy Charbonneau
de BOTTON – The Art of Connection: A Conversation with Alain de Botton
GUPTA – Suneptra Gupta – The Elements of Style: The Novelist and Biologist Discusses Metaphor and Science
HANDAL – Nathalie Handal – Love and Strange Horses
KHWAJA – Waqas Khwaja: What a Difference a Word Makes
MAURO: New World Monkeys: An Interview with Nancy Mauro
MORGANSing, Live, & Love Like You Mean It: An Interview with Bertha Morgan
MOSS – Practical Mystic–Robert Moss: On Book Families, Jung and How Dreams Can Save Your Soul
OGLINE – BEN FRANKLIN.COM: Author & Illustrator Tim Ogline explains why Ben Franklin would be a technology evangelist today
OLSEN – Greg Olsen – Reaching for the Stars: Scientist, Entrepreneur and Space Traveler
PALYA – Beata Palya – The Secret World of Songs
SCHIMMEL – Moonlight Science: A Conversation with Molecular Biologist and Entrepreneur, Paul Schimmel
SHORS – Journey into the Male & Female Brain: An Interview with Tracey Shors
von MOLTKE and SIMMS – Dorothy von Moltke and Cliff Simms: Why Independent Bookstores Matter, Part I
WARD – On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part One, and
On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part Two
WILKES – Labor of Love: An Interview With Architect Kevin Wilkes


Truth Hunger – A Meditation on Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir


PEN WORLD VOICES – The Chador and the Walled Homestead: Modern Poetry of Pakistan
PEN WORLD VOICES – Found Poetry: A Wishing Poem


Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library at 100: From the Stacks to the Streets
Paul Holdengraber: The Afterlife of Conversation
That Email Changed My Life: Rolex Arts Initiative. Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Tracy K. Smith Celebrates Rolex Arts Initiative


First Editions / Second Thoughts — Defending Writers: PEN and Christie’s Raise One Million Dollars to Support Freedom of Expression
ON AFRICA: May 4 to May 10 — Behind the Scenes with Director Jakab Orsos: Co-curated by Award-Winning Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Page is My Home: Giaconda Belli – Nicaraguan Poet, Writer and Public Intellectual
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
The Power of Conversation: David Grossman and Nadine Gordimer – The Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture


NEW FROM WILD RIVER BOOKS – Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library
Wild River Books Announces the Stoutsburg Cemetery Project: The Untold Stories of an African American Burial Ground in New Jersey
Wild River Books: Surprise Encounters by Scott McVay
Wild River Review and Minerva’s Bed & Breakfast Presents – “BITTER” Writing in a Weekend: How to Write About the Things We Can’t Change


ALLEN – Quarks, Parks, and Science in Everyday Life: Filmmaker Chris Allen’s Documentary Where Art Meets Science in a Vacant Lot
HOLT – Rush Holt: An Interview with Rush Holt
MANN – Boundless Theater: An Interview with Emily Mann
Keeping Time: A Conversation with Historian James McPherson


Lady of the Largest Heart: Remembering Muna Imady


Living the Dada Life: Andrei Codrescu Style
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul


Controversial Marcellus Shale Gas Pipeline Threatens Delaware River Basin and Rural Communities in the Northeast
Down on Honey Brook Farm