June 21, 2024

It gives us great pleasure to present a Season 9, Episode 24 Interview – Mark Olmsted

Mark Olmsted joins us to share his memoir Ink From the Pen. We discuss how caring for and losing his brother to HIV/AIDS while he himself was HIV+ took him down a dark path that included drug use and dealing. Being incarcerated gave him a second chance to get clean, and while doing so he turned to creativity as a form of healing that helped him survive the absurdity of prison.

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Mark Olmsted has been a writer since graduating from the NYU School of the Arts in 1980. After over a decade in Manhattan, he moved to California to pursue screenwriting and take care of his brother, who died of AIDS in 1991. Gay and HIV+ himself, Mark self-medicated through the worst of the plague years with crystal meth, which led to a conviction for drug-dealing in 2004 and nine months in prison, and his book, “Ink from the Pen.” This story was detailed in an in-depth article that appeared on GQ.com

He emerged into a life of recovery and activism, writing hundreds of essays for the Huffington Post and his personal blog. In 2011, he entered the Graduate Humanities programs in Mount St. Mary’s University, obtaining a Master’s Degree with a specialization in Creative Writing in 2013.

At present, he edits subtitles for a post-production house. He also does translation for French and script doctoring. Mark’s latest venture is writing children’s books with Marianne Hegg!

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By Vance

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