October 10, 2007

A Conversation With Karla Gottlieb

Karla GottliebKarla Gottlieb is the Director for Community Partnerships at the Human Services Coalition. Previously, she worked with community colleges on related issues to civic responsibility for seven years. As the Campus Director for the Center for Community Involvement at Miami Dade College, she coordinated service learning projects for more than 35 faculty members a semester. In 2000, she began lecturing nationally on civic engagement and its relationship to service learning. She has published two books, The Mother of Us All: A History of Queen Nanny, Leader of the Windward Jamaican Maroons (Africa World Press 2000) and A Practical Guide for Integrating Civic Responsibility into the Curriculum (co-editor with Gail Robinson, AACC Press 2002). She lives in Miami, Florida.

Where were you born? Describe your current family life.

The middle bed, the Maternity Ward at Jackson Hospital, Miami Fla. The bed had a heart scratched onto it, or so my mother relates.

I live with my husband of 7 years and my soon to be 5-year-old son who is the joy of my world and the heart of my life. I see my mother twice a week and talk to my father twice a day.

What do you do for a living? Why did you choose this vocation?

I am the Director of Community Partnerships at a local nonprofit, the Human Services Coalition. Our goal is to eliminate poverty. I am also a writer. I don’t think I chose these professions – I think they chose me.

Who are your three favorite writers? Why?

Annie Proulx. Howard Zinn. A.S. Byatt. Barbara Kingsolver. Chinua Achebe. Lee Smith. Is that three?

I love them because they are geniuses. They draw you in to their worlds and you can’t put the books down, then you learn something amazing with every new chapter.

What was the first book you fell in love with and how have your reading habits changed over the years?

I would have to say Judy Blume when I was a child. Now the books I read aren’t as sexy. I also listen to more books on tape, which I tend to do at the same time that I am reading. With very few exceptions, I prefer novels and historical novels over everything else. I usually have a hard time reading nonfiction, which is odd because I have written two non fiction books.

What are you reading now?

Angle of Repose; Antigua Penny Puce; The Stone Diaries; Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled

What makes you laugh?

When someone else laughs, especially my son or husband.

What are your other passions?

Eating, (therefore) yoga, swimming, reading, animals, talking with animals, growing things in my garden (arugula, mangos, avocados) the environment, trees, National Geographic, the ocean, Jamaica, Tahiti, Africa, the Everglades, camping, going to little traveled places, jewels, shells, other precious things, love, children especially mine, magic, dreams, dream journals, writing, sleeping, the sun, sunny places, snow, indigenous cultures, Arab culture, respect.


On Friday, "A Conversation with Fragano Ledgister."


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