May/June 2023
updated May 08th 2023
A bi-monthly internet magazine of the arts. Each issue is written largely but not exclusively by Willard Manus and Mavis Manus. Such outside contributors as Richmond Shepard, Joseph Kierland, Norman Levine, Dalia Miller and Kip Miller are featured regularly, but submissions to the magazine are BY INVITATION ONLY.

The magazine seeks to present a generous but selective overview of the contemporary cultural scene in the USA and abroad.

The focus of the magazine is on contemporary Movies, Theatre, Music (Classical and Blues & Jazz), Travel, Books (reviews), Fiction (short stories & novels), Opera, Dance, and Human Interest. For further details, see below.

Publisher WILLARD MANUS is a Los Angeles-based novelist, playwright and journalist. He published two books recently: THIS WAY TO PARADISE--DANCING ON THE TABLES, a memoir of time spent in the Greek islands; and THE PIGSKIN RABBI, a comic novel about pro football. His other novels are THE FIXERS, THE FIGHTING MEN, CONNUBIAL BLISS and MOTT THE HOOPLE, the book from which the 70s British rock band took its name.

Manus has had numerous plays produced in Los Angeles, regionally and abroad.

He is also a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and has written on film for SIGHT & SOUND, FILMS IN REVIEW, and DAILY VARIETY. His freelance articles have appeared in such journals as NEW YORK TIMES, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, WASHINGTON POST, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, BOSTON GLOBE, HOLIDAY MAGAZINE, THE OBSERVER (U.K.), SUNDAY TIMES (U.K.), FINANCIAL POST (Canada), DIVE MAGAZINE, SCUBA WORLD, JAZZ RAG (U.K.) and many others. His short stories have been published in NEW LETTERS, CONFRONTATION, MEN ONLY and ARGOSY, among others. He served for four years as the southern California correspondent for PLAYBILL.COM

Assistant publisher Mavis Manus co-wrote the successful cookbook, THE ART OF RUSSIAN CUISINE (Macmillan Co.) She writes a monthly human interest column for the HELLENIC JOURNAL. She specializes in reviewing theater, dance and classical music.


MOVIES: News & reviews; book reviews; occasional features & interviews.

THEATRE: Reviews and news from Los Angeles, New York and other cities; book reviews; occasional features and interviews.

MUSIC: Classical news & reviews; Blues & Jazz news and reviews. Occasional features and interviews.

TRAVEL: Articles on travel spots around the world. Special interests: Greece & the Mediterranean; Europe; Caribbean & South America; Freediving & Spearfishing; Jewish travel destinations.

BOOKS: News and reviews of new titles; occasional interviews and features.

FICTION: Original contemporary short stories.

OPERA: News and reviews; occasional interviews and features.

DANCE: News and reviews.

HUMAN INTEREST: Features, interviews and profiles.

MARKETPLACE: Books, videos and audio tapes by Willard Manus.

CONTRIBUTORS to recent issues of Lively Arts:

Joan Marie Kessler (J. M. Kessler)
Her first two plays, Have A Nice Day and The Tin Heart, were the result of the Los Angeles Playwrights Group Playwrights Workshop. She wrote the radio play, A Rose By Any Other Name, for New Frequency: A Theater of the Mind radio theater company, and is the author of the children’s book The Squirrelly Nut Gig. She has a B. A. in Theatre Arts and a longing to visit Greece.

Joseph Scott Kierland is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Yale Drama School, and has been playwright-in-residence at New York's Lincoln Center, Brandeis University, and Los Angeles Actor's Theatre. His plays have been produced around the country and in Europe, and he has been published in Short Story International, Sgrafitto, and Arizona Literary Review. Mr. Kierland was the founder of the successful Los Angeles Playwright's Group and editor of their books, BEST ONE ACT PLAYS and SEX IN THE AFTERNOON. He continues working in film and television and has received awards from Cornell University, Chicago University, University of Iowa and Yale University.

Norm Levine is a retired pharmacist where he wrote poetry in between labels. He has authored three books of poetry and more recently turned to prose. His third book of short essays, Now and Then Some, was published in 2015. His blogs can be found at

Lisa Manus: "I grew up in Greece, lived in Rome, Los Angeles and now Scotland. Worked in everything from car sales to currently property development, got a degree in my thirties in Italian and Industrial Relations, was a speechwriter and political researcher for a trade union. Spent the last 20 years as a carer, now finally enjoying my freedom.

I started writing stories on Twitter about 3 years ago with a writing community called #vss365. It stands for very short story 365 days in the year. There are a couple of thousand writers from all over the world who join in using the daily prompt word which is posted by a volunteer every morning. The rules are that you can write any type of story or poem but it has to fit in one tweet of a maximum of 280 characters. It’s a very supportive group and unusually positive for Twitter which is known more for arguing and nastiness."

Dalia Miller is the former editor of Laografia: A Journal of the International Greek Folklore Society. She has made nearly 30 trips to Greece since her first visit in 1969.

Kip Miller is a retired engineer living in southern California. He has enjoyed taking travel photos for sixty years.

Martin Tucker is editor-in-chief of the prize-winning literary journal CONFRONTATION. He has published two collections of poetry, ATTENTION SPANS and HOMES OF LOCKS AND MYSTERIES as well as several literary critical studies, among them the highly praised LITERARY EXILE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. He is the editor of more than 20 volumes of literary encyclopedia and has published reviews and essays in THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, THE NATION, THE COMMONWEAL, THE NEW REPUBLIC, THE SATURDAY REVIEW, CHICAGO REVIEW, EPOCH and elsewhere. He is also a playwright; four of his one-act plays were recently produced in London.