Richard HoffmanJan 24, 2024
A Discussion with Richard Hoffman
New Books Network 2024
Richard Hoffman is the creative nonfiction editor at Solstice and is the author of seven books, including two memoirs and four books of poetry. He’s won a Massachusetts Book Award for his poetry and is an Emeritus Writer in Residence at Emerson College.
Over the 16 years that Richard Hoffman has been involved with Solstice, he’s happily seen it evolve to be ever more conscious of including more diverse voices in a literary conversation that was once upon a time literally “segregated.” For him, the essay form is often most attractive when a writer is positioning their personal content in a larger, societal context. In this episode, the focus was on two essays from the magazine and two other essays from Hoffman’s recent essay collection, Remembering the Alchemists. The Soltice essay “How Much Time Do You Want for Your Progress” by Allen M. Price uses repetitions of an entry in his childhood notebook to reflect on the negative impact of racism on his maturing psyche. Adrianna Paramo’s essay “A Minute of Silence” unflinchingly explores a time when her controlling mom had her receive a gynecological exam given her concerns about maintaining her daughter’s virginity. Hoffman’s two essays recounted here, “The Egg” and the title piece deal, respectively, with grieving over a lost opportunity to be closer to his now deceased mom and on how Eisenhower’s warning about the country’s “military-industrial complex” has come to complete, unfortunate fruition.
Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc.