Who is an expert you admire and why?
When you’re into writing, literature, theatre, and acting, there are so many to choose from, if you’re really studying your craft.
Just from people still living, I admire Dinty W. Moore, essayist. He’s written my favorite books on creative nonfiction. His way of explaining the genre has resonated with me the most.
On the poetry front, E. Ethelbert Miller and Afaa Michael Weaver are my favorites. I like Ethelbert’s work because of its accessibility. It’s not the overly complicated, dense sort of poetry championed more in some circles. It seems like he’s trying to communicate something and not hide it. His poem “Nasrin” is my favorite poem, ever.
I might be biased towards Afaa Weaver because he’s from wherE I’m from, but I also love how he blends the sensibilities he grew up with in Baltimore with the wisdom and experience he’s gained in China and from immersing himself in Chinese culture.
For drama, I think Lynn Nottage is the best around right now, specifically because of “Ruined.” I don’t normally read anything cover to cover in a sitting, but when I read “Ruined,” I couldn’t stop. Everything about it was amazing: characters, setting, theme, everything. It has to be one of the top plays last decade and since 2000.
Actors* (I’ll just list a few favorites):
Viola Davis and Meryl Streep: They’re my 1a and 1b. Actually, they could fill the first several spots by themselves. They’re achieving transcendence. They’re that good. Go watch “Doubt.” Immediately.
Chiwetel Ejiofor: Go watch “Tsunami: The Aftermath.” He and Sophie Okonedo won Golden Globes for this. They will break your heart in this. When she grabs the child to pass off as the one she lost and he tries to stop her, that is one of the best scenes I’ve ever witnessed in anything. The pathos is so deep.
Al Pacino: Yeah, “The Godfather” and “Scarface.” But really, for “Angels in America” and “Dog Day Afternoon.”