Julia Stein’s poems in "What Were They Like?" look at lives—Iraqi lives, Afghan lives, and U.S. lives—caught up in the Iraq and Afghan. wars. Her book is inspired by Whitman’s “Drum-Taps,” poems the Civil War. At the end the Stein’s poems imagine peace and healing. Stein writes as if Whitman met up with Sumerian myths by way of Hemingway.
"What Were They Like?" is Julia Stein’s fifth book of poetry. From the feminist poetry work of her first book Under the Ladder to Heaven (1984) to the love poems and poems about teaching in SouthCentral during the 1992 troubles in "Walker Woman" (2004), Stein’s poetry ranges from love lyric to explorations of war, peace, women’s lives, and work
Lionel Rolfe’s THE MISADVENTURES OF ARI MENDELSOHN. is picaresque memoir by noted author and journalist. Rolfe recounts the sexual and political travails of the irascible, blacklisted title character, a reporter still harboring his besieged idealistic belief in humanity's innate goodness and America's dubious potential for good amid a reality of avarice, pragmatism, cynicism, and materialism.
Rolfe grew up in Los Angeles; his mother Yaltah was a concert pianist and the sister of the famed violinist-prodigy Yehudi Menuhin. His first book The Menuhins: A Family Odyssey, in 1978. He has written Literary L.A., which is now the basis of a film titled Literary LA about Los Angeles writers. In the early 90's Rolfe co-researched and co-wrote Bread and Hyacinths: The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles, on turn-of-the-century urban politics and the life of Socialist politician Job Harriman.