March/April 2003

Fiction Writers And Other Well-Intentioned Frauds

Eileen Pollack
In college in the 1970s, I became entranced by my university’s mainframe computer and wrote a Fortran program that allowed my professors to predict the scattering patterns of the subatomic particles they would smash against each other when given time on the accelerator.

The Essential Ed Ochester: An Interview with Ed Ochester

Lori Jakiela

Ed Ochester served two terms as the President of the The Association of Writers & Writing Programs. He is the author of 13 books, including most recently The Land of Cockaigne (Story Line Press) and Snow White Horses: Selected Poems (Autumn House Press). He is a member of the Bennington Writing Seminars faculty, and he is the 2001 recipient of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's $15,000 Creative Achievement Award. He directed the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh for 20 years, and, since 1978, has been the editor of the Pitt Poetry Series. This spring he will be the "distinguished visiting poet" at Wichita State University.


Node and Network: The Electronic Literature Organization's State of the Arts Symposium

Ravi Shankar
The high-tech trappings of electronic literature-laptops, e-book readers, CD-ROMS-belie the fact that the field is framed in traditional forms of discourse, such as critical prose that can be read in a book or expounded upon from a lectern.

Telescope, Well Bucket, Furnace: Poetry Beyond the Classroom

Jane Hirshfield
There is only one real reason to read a poem, and that is to find your way to a larger life than would otherwise be yours to live. This is also the only reason to write a poem. All the other reasons a poem might come to exist-as courtship gesture, say, or the desire to communicate or to effect some change; because it has been requested of you or because it might offer some chance for expression of circumstances or of self-have their place, but they are bits of bait laid in the mousetrap. Or the lion trap, if you will-because what a good poem, a real poem, catches is not mouse-sized, it is the size of your own life and death.


A Foreword to Irish Fairy And Folk Tales

Paul Muldoon
Growing up in the 1950s in Northern Ireland, I had any number of opportunities to experience the fairy faith. My uncle, Dinny McCool, had a cure for ringworm, and would happily have come under Yeats's category of "fairy doctors." Our neighbour, Maura McParland, delighted in the story of a man who was passing the graveyard in Collegelands when he was accosted, then pursued, by a ruddy poltergeist on a bicycle. After that the poor fellow would run by the graveyard shouting the following prayer: "May God Almighty and His Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints protect us from bad men and bogey men and wee red things on bicycles." Maura's husband, Jimmy McParland, would never have dreamed of cutting down a fairy thorn in his ploughing, for fear of upsetting the powers that be.

An Interview With Alicia Ostriker

Cynthia Houge