contributor spotlight

Contributor Spotlight: Elrena Evans

Literary Mama has brought me many great writer friends, and Elrena Evans was one of the first. She submitted an essay to the section I edited, and over the course of our editorial correspondence we hatched the plans for our first book; Mama, PhD was our exploration of whether it’s possible to combine a career in higher education with a satisfying family life. We learned a lot about each other during the years we worked on that book — we had three children, so that alone gave us plenty to talk about — and Elrena published a lot of terrific work: a long-running column on Literary Mama, a collection of short stories — but I didn’t know what her food story might be until her pitch arrived. More

Contributor Spotlight: Dani Klein Modisett

It’s one of the most common tropes of childhood eating, the kid who will only eat white food. Lisa’s son did it briefly, and as a child, my brother wouldn’t tolerate soy sauce on his rice, only table salt. What do you do with kids like that? Do you just wait it out, trusting that eventually they’ll want some color in their meals? Do you stuff them with vitamins? Do you sneak spinach into their brownies? More

Contributor Spotlight: Elizabeth Crane

Liz and I like to tell the story of how we met, twenty years ago, when I first moved to San Francisco and interviewed for a job as an office assistant at the translation agency Liz managed. At the end of the interview — in which we mostly talked about our favorite books and poetry — she gave me a math test to see if I could accurately estimate the cost of translation jobs. I was off by a factor of 100. But Liz still hired me, figuring that a calculator could compensate for my mathematical deficiencies, and that interesting office conversation is priceless. More

Contributor Spotlight: Stacie Stukin

She writes about quilting and yoga and architecture and design. She lives in LA, as do a handful of our writers, and originally planned to write us an essay about mindful eating. Cooking rice would be a focus of the essay, she proposed; she would write about what she’d learned from the meditative practice of swirling a pot of rice in water before cooking. More

Contributor Spotlight: Karen Valby

When Karen, who makes her home in Austin and writes for Entertainment Weekly, first sent us her essay, its focus was almost entirely on her childhood, and how it was darkened by her mother’s mental illness. Hunger — physical and emotional — ruled those days; she was never consistently, satisfyingly fed. Mooching lunch from classmates, lingering at play dates in hopes of a dinner invitation, Karen wrote with a matter-of-factness about those days. She concluded her essay with her father’s simple menu of roast chicken, boiled rice, beets and steamed frozen corn that was heartbreaking in its final instruction: “Serve family style.” More