Monday, November 04, 2013

Always Your Fan: Interview with Barbara Kraft on Anais Nin: Her Last Days

Alerting readers of this blog of a interview with Barbara Kraft we mentioned earlier in the blog, now available on You Tube

I am in the midst of watching it now, and wanted  to share it with fans,
who I bet like me, say Nin to rhyme with Tin, enchanting to hear Kraft refer to her as Nin sounds like Neen!

Wonderful interview with author Barbara

Actual You Tube link is below for those who may be frustrated by non link in years to come!
if servers change.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Barbara Kraft Interview: Santa Monica Public Access Station 10/2/2013

Barbara Kraft

former reporter for Time magazine

Former reporter for Time magazine and contributor to the Washington PostUSA Today and Architectural Digest, whose interviews with leading literary figures Henry Miller, Anais Nin and Eugene Ionesco have been published in scholarly journals; classically-trained pianist and author of radio plays and opera libretti, she has written concert program notes for the Music Academy of the West, Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium and UCLA's Center for the Performing Arts; producer and narrator for KCRW’s 2006 documentaryTransforming OC, on the opening of the newSegerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California

For those blog readers in the Santa Monica area, Barbara Kraft will be interviewed for a half hour over Santa Monica 's Public Access station which goes to Time Warner users in Santa Monica tomorrow. She 
will be discussing her beautiful paperback edition of Anais Nin; The Last Days which has just
been published by Pegasus Books.

Please remember to purchase the book on Amazon so you can post a review that notes you are an authenticated buyer. Of course it still makes a great gift and even if you have already read the electronic version, think seriously of buying a copy for your local library. Help make this gorgeous paperback a best seller on Amazon so they will consider making an audible version.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte for The Soul: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Just a little reminder to  readers of Valerie' Harm's book Your Soul at a Crossroads to write a review if you are enjoying it.
I just posted mine and although Amazon has just told me it can't be posted because I mention the paperback and Kindle version and they can't take a review mentioning both products (Huh???)
I am putting the entire review here.

I travel a lot and am enjoying this book which I consider a little spa/retreat in a book.I carry it along in my luggage. Although the book can be read without doing the exercises, its fun to take a chapter, read through it, date your entry and then see where you are next time you have a moment to attend to your soul when you are somewhat solo!  Sometimes being in transit (whether going to Bhutan or just down the corner to a little cafe on a day off) with a notebook and book to spark action in one’s life is just what one needs to get a new perspective. This informative, beautifully researched and thoughtfully constructed book, is like a Starbucks for the soul, a “third place” not office or home, that allows one to think about one’s life and relationships, goals and dreams in a new way. A lively addition to a library and a fun gift to a friend facing a big birthday (21, 30, 40, etc!) or someone who has just been hospitalized or has broken a leg as in achieved some success.(I’d give the actual book with a little notebook and pen too) Of course given in a Kindle edition, it’s just four dollars so you can always easily gift yourself for the cost of a pumpkin spice latte! These crossroads in life are important moments that can be remembered. Bet you think you’ll always remember what was happening when your baby took their first baby steps, or you first fell in love or took or left a job however as Everything Changes, each day presents a new  set of cross roads (always four directions) and it’s helpful to have a  reflective record to refer to help you discover that the crossroads of the soul are different. Crossroads is a special book and is appropriate for all ages! it’s a jump start road map to look at the paths one walks  or road map one is using  in one’s life. Stop. Pause. Go.  Red Yellow Green We’re used to stop and go stoplights in our fast paced lives, so this book is a refreshing companion helping us to look at the path we are following with new eyes. Pause a little longer when your are between  the Red and Green of a busy life. Bask a little bit  in the yellow glow of the soul by reading a few pages when the spirit moves you. Or if you are truly on vacation spend a week or ten days at a soul spa/retreat for your spirit with Valerie Harm’s slight but oh so helpful book. SBUX for the SOUL.

On a sadder note, I have been thinking of a wonderful but sad, crosswords of the soul story, I'll link to it below. This week a soulful story surfaced about  parents whose daughter had text ed in early September about grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte. By the next day their eighteen year old daughter had died of an epileptic seizure. The heartbroken parents went to a local Starbucks.

"We tried to think of something that we could do that would be a little bit positive," her father Jason O'Neill told us in a Skype chat. He and his wife, Alyssa's mother Sarah, went to their local Starbucks and bought Pumpkin Spice Latte for themselves, as well as the next 40 customers. All they asked of the baristas was that they write #AJO on the cups, and explain to the customers why their drink was free. 

To read the entire Yahoo Story go here.

Parents' Pumpkin Spice Latte Act of Kindness in Honor of Daughter Goes Viral

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Anais Nin Last Days: A Memoir by Barbara Kraft is Now in Paperback

A friend is a present you give yourself.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. (Anais Nin)

Anais would have loved this elegant presentation of her Last Days by Barbara Kraft.

Please be sure and order from this link on Amazon . Anais Nin: The Last Days is a perfect gift to give to a friend, stunning gift wrap is available through Amazon. Those who have followed our web site since we created the beautiful pre-Google spacious (non ad or banner) white page site, Thinking of Anais Nin, will recognize the lovely photo by Valerie Harms. Kudos to designer Liz Des Rochers for creating such a gorgeous evocative cover that captures the magic of this luminous book

To order this beautiful paperback version of Last Days please buy on Amazon

It'a important to purchase through this link if you wish to post a review
on Amazon. Your review will have more weight if you are writing
a review as an actual buyer of the book.





Los Angeles, CA.    “I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I  witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.” 

Thus begins Barbara Kraft’s memoir, ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS (Pegasus Books;August 2013; $14.95 U.S.).  With her sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose, Kraft has captured the humanity, mortality, and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures.

Anaïs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student.  Quickly, the two became intimate friends at the moment  when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult  divorce.  The circumstances created an environment of interdependency: Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and untiring part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of life.

As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs:The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin … This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”Of all the young women I've worked with you are the one most like me," Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.”

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer.

“I can’t tell the world about my illness, Barbara, but you can, and I want the world to know. I Because of the overwhelming reality of cancer, Anaïs Nin was stripped down to her bare essence, which Kraft captures expertly. She poignantly records not only Nin’s stubborn grip on life, but also the heroic efforts that Rupert Pole, Nin’s West Coast lover, made to shield her from the inevitable pain, agony, and humiliation associated with the disease. It is a monumental tribute to not only those fighting for their lives, but also the forgotten ones—the caregivers.

As Kraft writes a few days before she died, Anaïs whispered her final dream into my ear... “I dreamed that I had all my dresses and capes laid out on the floor and that we were going to have them copied exactly for you so that when I am well we can go out together as twins.... But someone told me that was foolish because I could not get up and go out and that we could not be The very personal events in this book will resonate with anyone who has gone through terminal disease or knows someone who has. So, like Nin herself, the raw reality of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days becomes symbolic, mythical, and universally inspirational.

Anais Nin: The Last Days is available in bookstores and on line at Amazon

Barbara Kraft is the author of  Anais Nin: The Last Days (2013) and The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini: The latter was  published in 1976 with a preface by Anaïs Nin, and laudatory comment by  the late Carlos Baker, definitive biographer of Ernest Hemingway and Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton.  Kraft has also written several radio plays including a play on the legendary muse of William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne. The play won an Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama as written and directed by KPFK’s Barbara Kraft.” Kraft has written several libretti including The Dream 
Tunnel: A Musical Journey through America, commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (with Kraft as narrator) for the 1976 Bicentennial.   The Los Angeles Times wrote of her libretto for The Innocents: The Witch Trial at Salem “….Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace.  Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria.”

A former reporter for Time, and contributor to Washington Post, People, USA Today, and Architectural Digest, Kraft’s work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review and Columbia Magazine, et al; and among the many radio programs she has hosted and produced is Transforming OC, a two-part documentary for KCRW (the award winning Santa Monica-based NPR station) on the 2006 opening of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Kraft is a Registered Reader at the Huntington Library in San Marino and lives and writes in Los Angeles, California. Visit her website:; contact:

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Inspiration and Memoir: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Valerie Harms, one of the founders of this site, whose photo of Nin graces our first page, has written a new book. Your Soul at a Crossroads.
She is the author of nine books & numerous articles, a creativity counselor, and an independent Jung scholar, she has  led writing and depth psychology workshops at centers around the country, plus Canada and Greece. A graduate of Smith College, for seven years she was science editor at the National Audubon Society in NYC. Currently she lives in Bozeman, Montana and edits Distinctly Montana Magazine. 

We are providing the link directly to Amazon in the event you wish to write a review. Then purchase your gift copies at your favorite local bookstore!

Your Soul at a Crossroads ~ with steps you can take not to lose it
Published by Magic Circle Press
This book enables readers to confidently choose the right path when up against many choices in their lives. It provides exercises on relationships, work, and health that uncover the spiritual wisdom rooted in the individual’s soul.  It offers both inspiration and memoir.

Everyone has difficulties — some inordinately hard — but all essential to their fate. We struggle in relationships, work, health, and with how to live meaningfully.  Sometimes we’re high, sometimes low, always in flux, but when we die to one way of life, we are reborn into another.  This book aims at helping you find renewal and transcendence after life delivers a blow.
Find the meaning of your life within you, not out there somewhere, by using the techniques that have aided me and others for decades. If you are confused about what your next steps are and you try these exercises, they will give you fresh courage and insights to bring into your life…and world.
Contents cover the essence of timing, dialogue guidelines, examples from the author’s life and others’, dreams, death, and evocative rebirth symbols and myths.


Friday, August 02, 2013

Thank you Marie Popova: For Letting Us Pick Your Brain

My friend Valerie Harms  just told me that Publisher's Weekly has chosen the Graphic Canon Volume 3 as the most beautiful book of the summer. She mentioned that there was a comic graphic about Anais Nin.This is the shortened URL for the Publisher's Weekly piece:

 Alas in the piece, the comic associated with Nin is in the wrong place.

In searching for a better  graphic to use (then just scroll down!)  I re-found this amazing blog, which we have have quoted from before.  So ever thanks to Marie Popova, whose astounding blog : all followers of this blog should instantly follow!and donate to. We just did.

Here is her words about the part of the book of most interest to fans of Nin. (The entire piece, entitled
Graphic Canon 3:From Virginia Woolf to James Joyce Visual Artists Take on The Classics. can be found here.)

"Given my undying love for Anaïs Nin’s diaries and letters, which have been the subject of several Brain Pickings Artist Series original collaborations, I was particularly delighted to find this contribution by Mardou:"

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Invincible Anais at Nineteen

A friend just sent me this photo of Anais this morning from Flavorwire. The fascinating photos of authors when they were teens,  included this photo of Anais Nin at 19. The photo shown came via People Tribe

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned there was in me  an invincible summer."  wrote Camus, so let's all bask in the invincible summer in the nineteen year old  face of Nin, who would be blessed in the winter of her days to be remembered with love by a brilliant writer and friend.(Anais Nin The Last Days: Barbara Kraft)
Just re-picture her book with this photo below! The translucent writing of Kraft's memoir deserves a more evocative cover!

“When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”  John GreenLooking for Alaska

Monday, April 01, 2013

Anais, Forever Au Currant and Interesting

In today's New York Times, we read about a young character Ash in a new novel by Meg Wolitzer The Interestings) who argues that Anais Nin is God.
She and her brother Goodman disagree vehemently. Gunther Grass is her brother's pick. Their witty pal Ethan, also one of the group of "interestings" wonders whether umlauts aren't what make Nin and Grass so special.  
Let's leave it to our German bloggers to put in their own umlauts, as this writer has never been able to figure out how to do an umlaut in Windows! But for those who don't write (easily put in by hand!)
and umlaut consists of two dots above a vowel in some languages.
So Anais is still as current in the minds of young readers as she was in the seventies.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Evelyn Hinz: :Women Reconstructing The World

Evelyn J.Hinz, the creative critic, appears in the following pages of Celebration, Chapter Seven.
She also has a beautiful preface, entitled Women Reconstructing  the World

She was the guest editor of Mosaic,XI/2 entitled
The World of Anais Nin: Critical and Cultural Perspectives.
Her assistant editor was Wayne Fraser.

Printed in 1978 by The University of Manitoba Press, our site recently purchased an additional copy.
With essays by Duane Schneider, Ian Hugo, Philip Jason, Benjamin Franklin V, and Anna Balakian among others, its a valuable addition to any collection/

Anna Balakian was also present at the Celebration Weekend, along with Evelyn.

Her words can be found in Chapter Eleven of Celebration.

Our site has always been most grateful to Valerie Harms editor of Celebration and one of the creatorsWeekend for giving us permission to provide the book online.

You can easily pick up a copy on This link might work for a day or two!

Although Hinz and Balakian, like Nin are no longer with us, their words and connection to
Anais live on, reconstructing the world.

And your behind the scenes editor of this blog and former "celebrant" at that Magic Circles  weekend so many years ago, continues with this site  as homage to Anais, who inspired it all.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

March 7, 2013 LA Chung King Road Gallery Row

In conjunction with Coagula Curatorial Gallery’s Lust Letters exhibition , the Gallery is presenting an evening of performance and readings March 7, 2013, 7:30 p.m. 
The exhibition features Tim Youd’s Delta of Venus – a 30-foot piece of art inspired by Anais Nin’s erotic writings.  Youd will perform his rendition of selections from Nin's Delta of Venus.
Curator Joan Aarestad will address Eroticism in Art: A Woman’s View and writer Barbara Kraft will read from her newly published EBook Anais Nin: The Last Days
Coagula Curatorial is part of the Chung King Road Gallery Row located in historic Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles at 977 Chung King Road. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anaïs Nin on Love by Debbie Millman

Made in celebration of Anais Nin's 110th birthday, this piece is available on Etsy
Order soon! The earlier edition (shown below) is now sold out.

The second in a series of illustrated insights on love culled from four decades of Anaïs Nin's diaries and letters, edited by Maria Popova and illustrated by creative polymath Debbie Millman. 

This particular piece, a full-color 9x12" print, was made in celebration of Nin's 110th birthday on February 21, 2013.

100% of the proceeds benefit A Room of Her Own, a foundation supporting women writers and artists.

Background and context



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friends At A Distance: Anais Nin's Birthday

"Nothing makes the world so spacious as friends at a distance. They make up the longitudes and the latitudes."

Today is Anais's birthday. She would have loved this  Thoreau quote as she perhaps more than most, counted time not with a clock but a compass. So today in honor of her birthday we are celebrating writers in Italy and Los Angeles. The photo of Anais above appears in  Anaïs Nin e lo Spirito di Bali by  which appeared in Dietro Le Quinte last August.

Recently Riverso has written a piece about Anais's cherished friend and author of the memoir Anais Nin: The Last Days, Barbara Kraft.

Besides her friendship with Anais, Kraft became close to Henry Miller and Eugene Ionesco. It is this magical extension of the longitudes and latitudes of friendship (think Tropic of Cancer!) that has Riverso now outlining these fascinating friendships in Eugène Ionesco e Barbara Kraft: A Conversation. If you aren't fluent in Italian hit Translate! in your browser...

There is a project in the works to make Kraft's brilliant and unprecedented  conversation into a chap book.

Till then, turn off your clocks, and pick up a compass, and today, call or write or see a friend at a distance.

I have a writer friend from LA who is now on a mini-sabbatical in New Orleans. And he is the first person I will write a note to today on my little pink mini-ipad, using of course that awesome app Penultimate! I think of him first as he envisioned, created, organized and then produced the sold out  Anais Nin@ 105 at the Hammer Gallery at UCLA in 2008. 

After that, compass and Americano in hand (not for nothing have I been dubbed the tall Americano) I will be wending my way from Chicago up north to interview my friend Judith Citrin. Citrin, like Kraft was a close friend of Nin.

So happy birthday to Anais. She would have been 110 today (Gasp!) But as Auden wrote so many years ago to a pal "So we're a little older, friendship never ages" Rochelle Holt, Valerie Harms, Sas Colby, Donna Ippolito Adele Aldridge and I have enjoyed lovely years of friendship because of our Nin connection. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lust Letters Opening This Weekend

An exhibition exploring the juncture where literature and fine art meet with the longings of the flesh with works by Tim Youd, Gajin Fujita, Ericka Rawlings and Bruce Richards

LOS ANGELES, CA - Coagula Curatorial presents LUST LETTERS, a four-artist group exhibition reveling at the juncture where literature and fine art meet with longings of the flesh. The exhibition opens Saturday, February 16, 2013, 7 p.m-11 p.m. Coagula Curatorial is part of the Chung King Road Gallery Row located in historic Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles at 977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 PM. The telephone is: (323) 480-
Co-curated by Joan Aarestad and Mat Gleason, the four artists featured in Lust Letters include:

Tim Youd works in various forms and much of his work has been inspired by writers such as Philip Roth, Celine, and Henry Miller. Recently he has turned to Anais Nin’s evocative Delta of Venus for inspiration. His 33-foot long diptych, based on Nin’s Delta of Venus, is derived from the stories found in the antique pages of Nin’s erotica and retyped by the artist himself; in subordinating the actual pages of Nin’s text to his own
creative process, Youd frees literature from the lofty perch of literary pretense and sets it free in the decadence of its own raw and physical context.

The exhibition includes work by Gajin Fujita, the ground breaking Los Angeles artist famous for merging the iconography of erotic Edo-era Japanese woodblock prints with contemporary graffiti subcultures in vibrant paintings. In his paintings, Fujita blends a rich diversity of cultural influences that range from traditional Japanese ukiyo-e to  contemporary manga; from American pop culture, to East L.A. Street-life iconography
and graffiti. Fujita also combines a variety of process techniques and media.

Underground artist Ericka Rawlings’ installation for the gallery is comprised of hundreds of handmade lace Valentine hearts sewn by the artist as a poetic evocation of the neuroses of a billion failed relationships.

The nationally celebrated, allegorical painter Bruce Richards, uses semiotics in his precise and masterful paintings to guide viewers on a clue-filled journey of passion and  intrigue.

About Coagula Curatorial:
To celebrate twenty years of publishing Coagula Art Journal, acclaimed editor, art critic and curator Mat Gleason opened Coagula Curatorial as a premiere exhibition space of contemporary art. Located in downtown Los Angeles’ historic Chung King Road of contemporary art galleries, Coagula Curatorial affirms downtown as a viable location for the creative industries that drive the Los Angeles economy.

Coagula Art Journal was first published in April, 1992, brainchild of Los Angeles writer Mat Gleason. The bimonthly print journal quickly gained notoriety as a no-holds critique of contemporary art and the art world. Championing Los Angeles and mocking New York when the notion of the Big Apple playing second fiddle to "LaLa Land" was considered delusional, the art world as it now exists was envisioned as self-evident on the pages of Coagula a generation ago. With over 100 published issues, it is the autonomous companion to the rise of the Los Angeles art scene. The publication continues now as a regular catalogue of Coagula Curatorial shows with Gleason helming publisher and curator duties.

Coagula Curatorial is part of the Chung King Road Gallery Row located in downtown Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon – 5 PM. Coagula Curatorial 977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012; (323) 480-7852;