Episode 20: Writing intimacy, pain, and hope with memoirist Kate Walter, author of Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing

Cover of Looking for a Kiss by Kate WalterSerendipity.

Noun: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities

When I interviewed writer and teacher Kate Walter in the second week of June, I’d already delayed the recording at least a week or two. Then, after a great interview about her memoir, Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak, a story of her struggle to understand a mysterious breakup of a 26-year relationship and navigate the frustrating and often fruitless efforts to re-enter the dating world, I became overwhelmed with life and decided to change the production schedule and release her episode in two weeks.

Today, which at the time of writing this post, is Friday,  June 26.

Is it serendipity that today, the American landscape on marriage equality has changed forever? And that Kate’s memoir is about her decades-long relationship with a woman who ultimately walked off with more than just pieces of her heart? With the retirement savings they’d promised to share leaving Kate broke with a box of memories and a worthless piece of domestic partnership paper. There were no laws to protect Kate as she tried to right herself.  No split assets. No alimony. No you can’t build a home with me, then bounce and not have to answer to . . . someone.

And now, though it’s too late to have made Kate’s situation any more tolerable, the Supreme Court’s decision ruling that people can marry who the hell they want, is right on time.

Kind of like that old church saying about God . . . “He may not come when you want him, but he always right on . . .


Listen. Learn. Write.


  • Having trouble with first drafts? Maybe Kate Walter’s perspective on them at [5:31] might help.
  • Have an opinion about editors? Kate does, and what she says at [10:47] might surprise you.
  • Interested in reading Looking for a Kiss? Go to [18:51] to listen to the author read an excerpt from her memoir.
  • Coincidences are often built into fiction, but what about nonfiction? Listen to Kate discuss all of the coincidences that happened while writing her memoir by skipping to [45:06].


Author Kate Walter

Author and essayist Kate Walter


Kate Walter is a master teacher and award-winning writer with over thirty years of diverse writing and editing experience. She specializes in essays, memoir and creative nonfiction. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in The New York TimesNewsday, New York Daily News, AM-NY, the Advocate, and many other outlets. She teaches writing at CUNY and NYU. She is the author of Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing published by Heliotrope Books in June 2015.  She has an MA in Media Studies from The New School. She teaches writing at NYU and runs private workshops at Westbeth Artists Housing.


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