Our guest today is the awesome Uvi Poznansky, who earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. At the age of 25 Uvi moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children. Before long, she received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she guided teams in a variety of design projects; and where she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Taking a sharp turn, she earned M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and became a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices.
Uvi wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.
Uvi published two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper. For each one of these books, she created an animation video. She won great acclaim for her 2012 novel, “Apart From Love”, and for her poetry book, “Home”.
Welcome Uvi. Could you pease share with us an interesting moment while writing your contemporary fiction book, Apart From Love?
My novel, Apart From Love, gained speed and purpose when right in themiddle of writing it I stopped, and turned to write the last chapter, called ‘Editorial Notes’ which is appended at the end of the book. In this chapter, a character called Mr. Bliss comes to visit the Santa Monica Apartment after Ben and Anita have left the place for good. The description given by Mr. Bliss provided the ‘stage set’ for the last scene: the white piano is gone, and the mirror lies broken on the bedroom floor. How would these things happen? I did not know yet, but now I had the end waiting for me.
You wrote “Home” in tribute to your poet and writer father, Zeev Kachel. Share with us about your father, your interaction with him, and your book Home.
I started telling stories and composing poems before I knew how to hold a pen between my fingers. My father, who was a poet, writer and artist, would write these for me, and even quote words I invented. He would also ask me to ‘help’ him rhyme his poems, and so he opened the door for me to a world of creativity.
When he passed away, I went back home for the traditional Shiva-a, the seven days period of mourning. It was then that I discovered his poetry, which he had never shown anyone, because it had come out of a place of pain. It took me six years to sort through this body of work, translate it, and add my own poetry and prose. I hope the readers will be awakened to the same questions that haunted me. At the core, what does home mean to you? When you close your eyes, what image comes to mind? What memories?
Perhaps the grief did something to change the way I viewed things, or else it was sitting in that space—my childhood home—in a spot I rarely sat before, discovering it from a new angle, observing how light penetrated the far reaches of this place, how the furniture signified
relationships in the family. I drew what I saw on a napkin; wiped my tears with it, and later discarded it. This image later became the inspiration for my book, and the cover art for it.
Tell us about your new-release, “Twisted”. And what a great artwork you have created for the cover!
In this unique collection I bring together diverse tales, laden with shades of mystery. There are four of them: I Am What I Am; I, Woman; The Hollow; and The One Who Never Leaves. Here, you will come into a dark, strange world, a hyper-reality where nearly everything is firmly rooted in the familiar-except for some quirky detail that twists the yarn, and takes it for a spin in an unexpected direction. The word Twisted related both to the yarn of the story and to the mind of the writer. Reviews are coming in almost every day. Here is a quote from one of them, written by Top 1000 Amazon reviewer Sheila Deeth:
“From lilting poetry to feline’s fearsome claw, these pieces draw the reader in, enticing with intriguing depths and surprising with sudden light. Twisted, puzzling, but perfectly put together, the collection has the feel that it was meant to be this way, no random grouping of fiction but a twisted exploration that turns and returns this reader to the singular question: What is woman?
Share with us your Get-Twisted event.
Well Ia, I learn from the best… Several months ago I attended one of your launch event and it was so much fun, so sparkling with creative ideas that I took it as as a model for my own book launch events. Right now there is a fabulous happening on facebook: the launch event for my newest book, Twisted.
I believe that it’s the journey that matters, so unlike any other facebook events you might have attended, this one is happening every day between now and August 21, the end date. Every day there is a something new, such as a cover reveal, or sharing the inspiration for the writing, or a voice clip of the actress narrating the audiobook edition.
Also, there are ongoing activities in the event, for example a Writing Contest as well as an invitation to Come Into My Twisted Universe. The first is a competitive activity, the second—a cooperative one. Both of them are hugely popular with everyone and a great fun for me to orchestrate!
Good luck with the event! And your audio books are impressive, congratulations! Now, who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?
I appreciate the nuances, the overloading of words, and the musical rhythms used in the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, the sonnets by Shakespeare, and the lyrical descriptions of Virginia Wolfe, to name but a few. I love American authors as well as authors from around the world, for example The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, for their expressive use of ‘stream of consciousness’.
Any writing tips?
Read your story aloud in front of a live audience, and listen not only to their comments and suggestions, but more importantly—to their breathing pattern while the story is being read. Are they holding their breath at the right moment? Do they burst out laughing, or wipe a tear when you intended? If not, you must go back to the drawing board and adjust your sentences.
What’s cooking? Tell us your latest news.
I am writing my next novel about the life of David. At this stage, I am still considering what the title should be: perhaps ‘A Crown Within My Reach’ or else ‘Larger Than Life’. Either way, the novel might well be developed into two or three volumes, because this is a richly dramatic life, rife with vices, sensuality, pride, and deadly ambition. Here he is, serving as an entertainer in the royal court, watching King Saul:
“No longer do I ask, what was it in him that allowed him to become who he is. Instead I wonder, whatever it might be, is it in me? Do I have what it takes to become a leader? A king, even? And on my way up, how do I overcome my shortcomings? How does a kid like me—who is too young to grow even a single hair on his chin, let alone a fancy beard like his—find a way to project himself into an iconic role, a role that will become memorable for ages to come? In short: how do I become larger than life?”
Intriguing! Best wishes with David. Happy writing! But before you go, what one thing is important for your readers to know about you?
You may have seen my art, and you may have read my books, or at least excerpts from them. Perhaps you even know that I design my own book covers, based on my art. But do you know that I combine my writing and art to create animations? If you visit my Amazon Author Page,you will find two of them under the subtitle Author Video (on the right-hand side, about the middle of the page.) Check it out.
Thanks you so much for your precious time, Uvi!
Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting the great Uvi Poznansky. Come follow her blog, Twitter and pInterest; and visit her art site, Facebook page, Amazon Page, Goodreads Page, AUTHORSdB and Audible Author Page. Click the followings to purchase Uvi’s books:
And readers, here is my review of Uvi’s book of prose and poetry, which was cowritten with her father:
“HOME” ~ Reviewed by Ia Uaro
Book Title: Home
Poetry and prose by authors: Zeel Kachel and Uvi Poznansky
Zeev Kachel, son of a Russian Jewish family, was born in 1912, on the eve of the First World War. When German declared war on August 1, 1914 and its army marched into Russia, his parents bundled him and his sister into the wagon, leaving behind their store and worldly belongings, to escape for the lives.
“Ma, why did you fool me,” Zeev was still bleeding as 70 years later his pen dripped “We Were Born in Darkness”,
“what was it for,
When you sang me a lullaby, not a song of war?
Oh why did you hide the fateful truth from me
We were born in darkness, our life—not to be?”
Welcome to the poetry world of Zeev, beautifully rendered into English by his daughter Uvi Poznansky. He was a man of passion with the ability to capture it in his work, as Uvi aptly calls it. You can’t but be emotionally affected by Zeev’s powerful laments of loss. Of a child after his mother has departed,
“I had travelled to a place so alien, so cold
How bitter it had felt, to you I never told.
How you waited to receive a word from me, a letter…”
I feel a very special connection to Zeev. To me his moving words provoke long-forgotten memories, tucked away because they were too painful to remember, or to share. I could just imagine his agony as he wrote,
“You’re asking me to record, on paper to pour
All that I lost, my esteemed counselor?”
And bravely he wrote, and wrote and wrote and wrote. Of very beautiful things that are only beautiful while they last, “Lie to me boldly, don’t misgive”
Poetry is cruel honesty—and here is Zeev baring his soul, driving us to share his pain of the well-captured memories,
“For that lost moment, how I pine!”
of his confusion,
“Is this really the path I envisioned?
Then why is the night here so black?”
And yet even as he anguished over his loneliness, “In a night with not a friend, all’s bleary,” his daughter had understood him. His lucky daughter, in whom he has carved: “I am a poem, I inspire”