October/November 2005 Cover Image

An Interview with Rita Dove

Article Image

Elizabeth Alexander
I grew up not being afraid of science. I actually liked math as well. But I also loved poetry and fiction and plays—I think I was brought up to believe there wasn't anything you shouldn't explore just because you thought it wasn't for you or you wouldn't like it.

Read more...


The Art of Restraint in Fiction

Article Image

Randi Triant
Lately, restraint as a quality is rarely praised in our society, or at least in literature. It seems as if fiction writers now strive to indulge in excess, especially when it comes to psychological unburdenings, or descriptions of sex. As readers, we are often told all the titillating details; the more the better supposedly.
Read more...


Remembering d.a. levy: An Interview with Ed Sanders

Article Image

Larry Smith
But they were using the headline "Beatnik Leader Wants Marijuana." Well, in 1965, levy was just about twenty-three, so he was relating to a very young crowd of poets-as a kind of mentor to teenage poets-and helping and urging them to write poetry.
Read more...


An Interview with Stuart Dybek

Article Image

Jeanie Chung
Right, it wasn't like, "Hey guys, I'm here to join up, let me in." I was simply relieved to have a book published.
Read more...


Book Clubs

Article Image

Ronald Goldfarb
One October night, almost twenty-five years ago, having just read Toni Morrison's powerful book, The Bluest Eye, and passionately wanting to discuss it, I invited six couples to dinner on the condition they read it too. They were friends and neighbors who I knew were book lovers-an editor at a national newspaper who'd written two books; a novelist and a co-author whose books I'd sold; a still scholarly former Rhodes scholar, a few other congenial readers.
Read more...


In Search of a Beautiful Lie

Article Image

Michelle Richmond
I once knew a woman who taught Eastern European Literature, drove a motorcycle, and had a tattoo on her posterior that said, Made in Brooklyn. One day she called me into her office, which was across the hall from mine at the southern university where I was a graduate teaching assistant at the time, and said, "I feel I know you well enough that I can show you this." And show she did.
Read more...


Return to Sender: Memory, Betrayal, and Memoir

Article Image

Mark Doty
It wasn't my idea to go to Memphis. It was okay with me, if Paul wanted to drive through, and see if we could find the house on Ramses Street where I lived in 1959, the year I started first grade. We were heading from Houston to Cape Cod, a northward migration we used to make together every year, after my annual teaching stint in Texas. Memphis wasn't exactly on the way, but it wasn't wildly off course either, and if Paul thought that would be an interesting outing, then I was game to give it a try.

Read more...


Frontloading Syntax

Article Image

Natasha Sajé
Syntax is unique to humans. Animals communicate using signals that refer to whole situations. For instance, animal calls can be continuous analogue signals or a series of random variations on a time, like bird song

Read more...