Senior Contributors

Gerald Peary
Critic at Large


Gerald Peary is a retired film studies professor of Communications and Journalism at Suffolk University Boston, the curator-programmer of the Boston University Cinematheque, and the General Editor of the University Press of Mississippi “Conversations with Filmmakers” series. For 15 years, he was a film critic for the Boston Phoenix. He has authored nine books on the cinema. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Yugoslavia, an Acting Curator of the Harvard Archive. He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics, and FIPRESCI, the international critics association. He has been on film juries around the world, including Berlin, Hong Kong, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Bangkok. He is the writer-director of the 2008 feature documentary, For the Love of Movies: the Story of American Film Criticism, and he is an actor in the 2013 film, Computer Chess, which premiered at Sundance.

Harvey Blume (Short Fuse)
Books, Culture and Politics


Blume has published reviews, interviews and essays in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Wired, and Agni, among other venues. He coauthored Ota Benga: The Pygmy At The Zoo.

Jonathan Blumhofer
Classical Music, Literature

Jonathan Blumhofer is a composer and violist living in Worcester, Massachusetts. His music has been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Camerata Chicago, the Kiev Philharmonic, Xanthos Ensemble, and Juventas New Music Ensemble. Active in the academic community, he has presented papers at several conferences, contributed to the Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Edition, and periodically reviews books for Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association.

Blumhofer holds degrees from Wheaton College (IL), the Boston Conservatory, and Boston University. He currently lectures at Clark University and online for the University of Phoenix, and teaches music privately in central Massachusetts. Please visit his website for more information on his activities and research interests, and to view scores and hear his music.

Joann Green Breuer
Film, Theater


Founder and Artistic Director of the Cambridge Ensemble, Breuer was faculty advisor to the student Experimental Theatre at Harvard University. She is now an independent theater director and an Artistic Associate with the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha’s Vineyard. Recipient of an Eliot Norton award for Continued Excellence in Directing, She is the author of The Small Theatre Handbook.

Debra Cash

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Cash has reported, taught and lectured on dance, performing arts, design and cultural policy for print, broadcast and internet media. She regularly presents pre-concert talks, writes program notes and moderates panels and events sponsored by World Music/CRASHarts, Wesleyan Center for the Arts and venues throughout New England. A former Boston Globe and WBUR dance critic, she received a 2012 Creative Arts Award from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute for a new poetry project.

Peter-Adrian Cohen

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Playwright, entrepreneur, journalist Cohen holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard. It was at Harvard, at age thirty-one, that he had his break-through with the non-fiction novel The Gospel According to the Harvard Business School; the book became a bestseller with the New York Times filling an entire page with excerpts.

In May of 2009 a new play, To Pay the Price, got a full production Off Broadway; Bob Kalfin, a veteran of Broadway, directed. That same play was part of OnStageIsrael theater-festival at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater in 2008; before that it got a work-shop production at Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA.

Among Cohen’s recent works: Only a Complete Disaster Can Save Us Now – the latter about the economy; a subject familiar to Cohen from his days at the Harvard Business School.

Some of Cohen’s plays have been produced by prominent European theaters such as: Schauspielhaus Zurich (in cooperation with Swiss National Radio); Kulturfabrik Kampnagel, Hamburg; Hackesches Hof Theater, Berlin; Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zurich and Theater Freiburg, Freiburg i.B., Germany.

Cohen’s play with music, A Ship to Zion, was produced by a Kingston, Jamaica, company, with an all-star Jamaican cast. It won its lead actor the Jamaican Oscar for best male actor; the original production was subsequently invited to Zurich, Switzerland, and to the Caracas International Theater Festival.

Peter-Adrian Cohen passed away on March 7, 2016.

Franklin Einspruch
Visual Arts

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Einspruch is an artist and writer in Boston. His fifteenth solo exhibition, “The Talk That Walked,” took place at Main Library, Downtown Branch in Miami in November 2010. Over the last year his writings have appeared in The New Criterion, the Weekly Dig, Big Red & Shiny, and two gallery catalogs, and his comics have been featured in three issues of Inbound, the anthology of the Boston Comics Roundtable. He produces a weekly journal on his website and a webcomic, The Moon Fell On Me. He was recently been selected as a member of AICA USA.

Steve Elman

Elman’s thirty-three years in public radio included ten years as a jazz host, five years as a classical host, a short stint as senior producer of an arts magazine, and thirteen years as assistant general manager of WBUR. He was jazz and popular music editor of the Schwann Record and Tape Guides from 1973 to 1978 and wrote free-lance music and travel pieces for The Boston Globe and The Boston Phoenix from 1988 through 1991.

He is the co-author of Burning Up the Air (Commonwealth Editions, 2008), which chronicles the first fifty years of talk radio through the life of talk-show pioneer Jerry Williams. He is a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.


Paul Dervis
Theater, Film

Paul Dervis has been teaching drama in Canada at Algonquin College as well as the theatre conservatory Ottawa School of Speech & Drama for the past 15 years. Previously he ran theatre companies in Boston, New York, and Montreal. He has directed over 150 stage productions, receiving two dozen awards for hs work. Paul has also directed six films, the most recent being 2011’s The Righteous Tithe.

Helen Epstein (cultural reporter and reviewer)
Books, Classical Music, Theater, Visual Arts

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Helen Epstein is the author of ten books of literary non-fiction. They include the ground-breaking Children of the Holocaust; the biography Joe Papp: An American Life; and the memoir Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History. Her journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York, The New Yorker, ARTnews, and other magazines. Her memoir The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma will be published in 2018.

Mark Favermann
Visual Arts, Architecture


An urban designer, Mark Favermann has been deeply involved in branding, enhancing, and making more accessible parts of cities, sports venues, and key institutions. Also an award-winning public artist, he creates functional public art as civic design. Mark created the Looks of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1999 Ryder Cup Matches in Brookline, MA, and the 2000 NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis. The designer of the renovated Coolidge Corner Theatre, he has been a design consultant to the Red Sox since 2002.

Merli V. Guerra

Merli V.Guerra

Merli V.Guerra

Merli V. Guerra is a professional dancer and award-winning interdisciplinary artist with talents in choreography, filmmaking, art, and graphic design. She is co-founder and artistic director of Luminarium Dance Company and production manager of Art New England magazine in Boston. Guerra has performed lead roles on international tours to India (2007, 2012) and Japan (2009), with Brazil on the horizon, and was recently awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s prestigious Gold Star Award. Guerra frequently acts as a panelist, judge, guest choreographer, critic, speaker, and advocate for the Boston dance community. To learn more about her work, please visit.

Tim Jackson
Film, Theater

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Tim Jackson is an assistant professor at the New England Institute of Art in Digital Film and Video. He has played drums for some 20 groups, on recordings, national and international tours, and on several film soundtracks. He has worked helter-skelter as an actor since studying drama at Ithaca College in the early 70’s and has directed three documentaries: Chaos and Order: Making American Theater about the American Repertory Theater, Radical Jesters, profiling 11 interventionist artists and agit-prop performance groups, and When Things Go Wrong, about the life of Boston singer/songwriter Robin Lane with whom he has worked for 35 years. He is currently finishing American Gurner, a documentary short about his participation in the British ‘gurning’ competition. He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics. You can read more of his work on his blog.

Marcia Karp

Marcia Karp has poems and translations in Free Inquiry, Oxford Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement, The Warwick Review, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Agenda, Literary Imagination, Seneca Review, The Guardian, The Republic of Letters, and Partisan Review. Her work is included in these anthologies: Penguin Books’ Catullus in English and Petrarch in English; Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American, Oxford 2004-2009 (Waywiser); and The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation (Norton).

Kai Maristed

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After working as a journalist and playwright in Germany, Kai Maristed published the novels Out After Dark (a Pen/Hemingway finalist) Fall, and Broken Ground, and the story collection Belong to Me. She’s taught at Emerson, Warren Wilson MFA, and Harvard Extension School, and reviewed for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and other papers. Her stories and essays have appeared in, e.g., The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, The American Scholar, Zoetrope, and The Anchor Essay Annual, and most recently in Agni, Epiphany, Consequence and Southwest Review. Kai lives in Paris and Massachusetts.

Grace Dane Mazur
Visual Art, Books

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Grace Dane Mazur is a fiction writer whose most recent book is the non-fiction work, Hinges: Meditations on the Portals of the Imagination. After studying painting and ceramics at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, she went to Harvard for her BA and PhD in Biology. She was a postdoc at Harvard working on micro-architecture in the silk moth when she hinged into literature. She now teaches fiction in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson and is the fiction editor at Tupelo Press. She lives in Cambridge and Westport, Massachusetts, with her husband, the mathematician Barry Mazur. She can be found at

Susan Miron
Classical Music, Theater

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Miron, a harpist, has been a book reviewer for over twenty years for a large variety of literary publications and newspapers. Her fields of expertise were East and Central European, Irish and Israeli literature. Susan covers classical music for The Arts Fuse and The Boston Musical Intelligencer. She is part of the Celtic harp and storytelling duo A Bard’s Feast with renowned storyteller Norah Dooley and, until recently, played the Celtic harp for three years in Newton Wellesley Hospital’s Cancer Center.

Glenn Rifkin
Film, Theater, Music


Glenn Rifkin is a journalist and author based outside Boston. He is a long-time contributor to The New York Times, writing mostly about business, but he has written for many of the paper’s sections over the years, including the Arts section. Rifkin has authored or co-authored a dozen books and contributed to many publications during a career of more than three decades. His contributions to Arts Fuse reflect a lifelong love of the movies, theater and music.

Jason M. Rubin

Jason M. Rubin has been a professional writer for 29 years, the last 14 of which has been as senior writer at Libretto, a Boston-based strategic communications agency. An award-winning copywriter, he holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, maintains a blog called Dove Nested Towers, and for four years served as communications director and board member of AIGA Boston, the local chapter of the national association for graphic arts. His first novel, The Grave & The Gay, based on a 17th-century English folk ballad, was published in September 2012. He regularly contributes feature articles and CD reviews to Progression magazine and for several years wrote for The Jewish Advocate.

Gary Schwartz (Schwartzlist)
Visual Arts


Schwartz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. In 1965 he came to the Netherlands with a graduate fellowship in art history and stayed. He has been active as a translator, editor, and publisher; teacher, lecturer, and writer; and as the founder of CODART, an international network organization for curators of Dutch and Flemish art.

As an art historian, he is best known for his books on Rembrandt: Rembrandt: all the etchings in true size (1977), Rembrandt, his life, his paintings: a new biography (1984) and The Rembrandt Book (2006).

His Internet column, now called the Schwartzlist, appeared every other week from September 1996 to April 2007 and has been appearing since then irregularly. His most recent book on Rembrandt is one of the six titles nominated for the Banister Fletcher Award for the most deserving book on art or architecture of that year.

In November 2009 Schwartz was awarded the coveted tri-annual Prize for the Humanities by the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation of Amsterdam. Please address reactions to

Marcia B. Siegel


Internationally known writer, lecturer, and teacher Marcia B. Siegel covered dance for 16 years at The Boston Phoenix. She is a contributing editor for The Hudson Review. The fourth collection of Siegel’s reviews and essays, Mirrors and Scrims—The Life and Afterlife of Ballet, won the 2010 Selma Jeanne Cohen prize from the American Society for Aesthetics. Her other books include studies of Twyla Tharp, Doris Humphrey, and American choreography. From 1983 to 1996, Siegel was a member of the resident faculty of the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Roberta Silman

A recipient of both Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships for fiction, Roberta Silman has published Blood Relations, a collection of short stories, and three novels, Boundaries, The Dream Dredger and Beginning the World Again, as well as a children’s book, Somebody Else’s Child. Her awards include Honorable Mention for the PEN Hemingway Prize and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize (twice), the Child Study Association prize, and two Pen Syndicated Fiction prizes. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, McCall’s, The American Scholar, The Virginia Quarterly Review and many other magazines here and abroad. Two have been read on Selected Shorts and NPR.

As a critic, she has published reviews and essays in The New York Times, PRI’s World Books, The American Scholar and Virginia Quarterly review.She also writes regularly for The Boston Globe. A graduate of Cornell (BA) and Sarah Lawrence (MFA), Ms. Silman has three grown children and several grandchildren and lives with her husband, structural engineer Robert Silman, in Boston, MA. She can be reached at

Ian Thal

Ian Thal is a journalist, playwright, performer, and theater educator specializing in mime, commedia dell’arte, and puppetry, and has been known to act on Boston area stages from time to time, sometimes with Teatro delle Maschere. He has performed his one-man show, Arlecchino Am Ravenous, in numerous venues in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, while his short plays have been known to be performed without him in more distant locales. He is looking for a home for his latest play, The Conversos of Venice, a thematic deconstruction of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. In 2012, he was a guest of the Writers’ Union of Kosovo after some of his poems was translated into Albanian. He is also the former community editor and staff writer at the weekly newspaper, The Jewish Advocate. He blogs irregularly at the unimaginatively entitled From The Journals of Ian Thal, and writes the “Nothing But Trouble” column for The Clyde Fitch Report.

Caldwell Titcomb
Classical Music

Caldwell Titcomb played a key role in sustaining The Arts Fuse — as a writer, critic, friend, and guiding spirit. He passed away in June, 2011. Here is the Fuse’s remembrance of a remarkable man.

Anthony Wallace
Art, Music, and Literature

Anthony Wallace first came to Boston as a Teaching Fellow in Boston University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, where he studied fiction writing with Leslie Epstein and Allegra Goodman, and literary translation with Rosanna Warren. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at BU, where he has taught seminars on various topics in American literature for the past eleven years. Recently he and colleague Bill Marx have worked with the Dean’s office in developing The Theater Now, an experimental first-year writing seminar designed in cooperation with Boston area theaters. Theater Now is currently in the process of expanding to Arts Now, which will be part of a broad-based initiative to support the arts at BU.

Anthony has published poetry and short fiction in literary journals such as CutBank, The Atlanta Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Florida Review, and River Styx. He has twice been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award. Most recently he has published several non-fiction articles in The Arts Fuse. His short story “The Old Priest,” originally published in The Republic of Letters, has won a Pushcart Prize and will be published this fall in Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013 edition). He has been awarded the 2013 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his short story collection entitled The Old Priest.

Anthony Wallace passed away in May, 2018.