Buster Simpson stayed last night on a too-rare visit to Los Angeles. Buster and his artist wife Laura (Sindell) are among our dearest friends. It was thanks to Buster, really, that Lloyd and I met... or met again.
Buster was my next door neighbor in an artists' tenement in Seattle, WA in the early 80's. We all shared garden space in the backyard. Buster did his wash on an old ringer washing machine. In downtown Seattle, he was known as the unofficial Mayor of Belltown, holding court over root pie at the Belltown Cafe. He was already known for his public art which explored ecological issues in then unheard of ways. He placed limestone discs (antacid tablets) into the Hudson River to neutralize the acid rain.
Our building, on Western Avenue just half a mile north of the PIke Place mkt, was originally built for the cannery workers. The back stairs were rickety but the view from my pantry was stunning-- Puget Sound, Myrtle Edwards Park. i could hear the blast of Princess Marguerite, the ferry to Alaska, at night when she docked. I was recovering from a severe car accident and a divorce, writing my first book (The Knowing Body).
Buster told me he was collaborating with a fellow artist named Lloyd Hamrol, on a public art competition in Port Townsend, WA. A benefactor, Ruth Seavey Jackson, had left her fortune to the city: "to create an art work that could be seen from the sea." (and if no artwork were chosen, the money would go to Guide Dogs of the Desert.)
I remembered Lloyd from student art days in Los Angeles. I told Buster I'd enjoy seeing him again. Lloyd and I met gazes on those rickety back stairs. The proverbial lightning bolt struck. Now it's twenty-six years and several cities later, and Buster our dear friend has come to spend the night at our house on Earl Street. in Los Angeles, after giving a talk.
Our Seattle Cupid.
Check out Buster's website: www.bustersimpson.net
Interviews, Essays, Podcasts, Video
Los Angeles Times profile of me by Jeffrey Fleishman, July 2017
Louise Steinman, through the library's ALOUD program, invites writers and thinkers to ponder L.A. and the world
Cultural Weekly- In Her Own Words
What happened at ALOUD, an interview with Adam Leipzig
When a Rock is a Stone: Finding "Spiral Jetty"
Aug 8, 2018 essay in Los Angeles Review of Books
Slight Exaggeration: An Interview with poet Adam Zagajewski
May 28, 2017, Los Angeles Review of books
The Aphasia Book Club
My essay published in Los Angeles Review of Books, Summer Quarterly 2015
Interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hisham Matar
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
"Elegantly Wrapped Dung": or, a Polish Journalist's Posthumous Victory
Oct 2016, Los Angeles Review of Books blog, Maciej Ziembinski, European Court of Human Rights
The Body in Question: Two Poets/ALOUD series 2016
Conversation with Poets Sharon Olds and Robin Coste Lewis
ALOUD podcast, April 2016, with Helen Macdonald
My interview with Helen Macdonald, "H is for Hawk"
Los Angeles Review of Books, December 17, 2015
"Writer in Exile: An Interview with Yasmin Merei"
Interview with poet Jane Hirshfield, ALOUD series
"A Seismographic Aattention: An Evening of and On Poetry"
Los Angeles Review of Books blog "MY ENGLISH TEACHER"
In Memoriam Lorraine Schulmeister (1918-2012)
November 20, 2014 Los Angeles Times book review
"Three Minutes in Poland" offers glimpse of world lost to Holocaust
June 27 2011, Los Angles Review of Books THE GLATSTEIN CHRONICLES
Yizkor Bukhor: Reflections on the Yiddish Poet Jacob Glatstein
CROOKED MIRROR INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR
Nov 7, 2013 Louise Steinman in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jack Miles, ALOUD series
VERA GRAN: The Accused (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2013)
a controversial singer of the Warsaw Ghetto, the subject of a fascinating investigative memoir by Agata Tuszynska
When Women Were Birds/Conversation with Terry Tempest Williams
Podcast of my conversation with Terry Tempest Williams at ALOUD on May 9, 2012 (or download from itunes)
Recognizing the Righteous in My Family's Polish Town
Jewish Journal of LA, Dec 2011
Father Patrick Desbois interview
Louise Steinman interviews Father Patrick Desbois, author of The Holocaust by Bullets, Oct 20, 2009
North Atlantic Books Interview 2008
Read an author interview about THE SOUVENIR on North Atlantic Books website
Los Angeles Times Nov 11, 2007
Louise Steinman: "Talking about L.A." interview with Jim Newton
Adopt a Village in Guatemala
I've volunteered with this terrific grassroots org aiding Mayan families in northwestern Guatemala. 10 stars.
Hunter in the Landscape (31.0KB)