October/November 2008

Remembering Paul Engle

Mike Chasar
Engle, who could publish in Poetry magazine and hire Lowell to teach at the Writers' Workshop while drumming up ideas for Hallmark at the same time, understood, I think, the importance and potential of a range of poetries engaging with United States culture...

An Interview with Nancy Kress

Martin Naparsteck
Nancy Kress has been one of America's leading writers of science fiction for nearly three decades. She has published twenty-five books with one more scheduled to be issued within the next year. Most of her books are science fiction set in the near future, and she has also published stories set on other planets, three fantasy novels, and three books of writing advice. She has won four of the major awards in science fiction: the Nebula, the Hugo, the John W. Campbell, and the Sturgeon Awards. Her short stories regularly appear in The Year's Best Science Fiction and other prize anthologies. A science fiction magazine in China publishes her monthly writing column. Born in Buffalo, New York in 1948, she received a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She practice-taught at the American Embassy school in Tunis. Later, she earned an MS in Elementary Education and an MA in English, both from SUNY Brockport. She has taught at Brockport, Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, and the University of Rochester. She now writes full time and lives in Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester.

A Recognizable Life: An Interview with Dick Allen

Leslie McGrath
Dick Allen has been writing poetry and publishing widely for forty-five years. His six books of poetry, most recently The Day Before: New Poems and Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected (Sarabande Books, 2003, 1997) have established him as one of the leading poets of the "Transitional Generation" of American poets, whose work mediates pre-World War II concerns with those of the Viet Nam war era and beyond. Allen's eclectic, meticulously crafted, and often mystical and Zen Buddhist-influenced poetry has been anthologized in five of The Best American Poetry volumes. He hasreceived NEA and Ingram Merrill Poetry Writing grants, the Pushcart Prize, and he was a finalist for the NBCC Award, The Pen/Winship Poetry Award, and the Connecticut Book Award. Although currently reclusive, Allen has been an editor, a college professor of creative writing, a political activist, and a poetry reviewer for Poetry, the American Book Review, and the Hudson Review. Present Vanishing: Poems is his latest book, published by Sarabande in October of this year.

Machines Made out of Words: Translating Function & the Translator's Function

Tony Barnstone
Yet if we are to believe Freud, we can glimpse the unconscious through the cracks in consciousness, through jokes, dreams, fantasies, "Freudian slips," and even through art, which Freud sees as a form of daydreaming.

Snuffing the Flame: The Moral Implications of Stereotypes

Lisa de Rubilar
NOTES If we're careless, half-hearted gods, our characters will be little more than single-cell blobs that slither from here to there across the page. If we're control-freak gods, we'll create automatons whose software guides them neatly through cow pastures or meteor-blasted civilizations to inevitable triumph or destruction.

Digging One Writer

Carol Smallwood
You've seen documentaries of archeologists bending in the hot sun to uncover bones and artifacts, and you've seen underwater divers searching for sunken treasure-work that has increased our knowledge of who we are. The only author I have pursued with the dedication of an archeologist is John Galsworthy, an author who has never been mentioned in my English literature or creative writing classes, and if I mention him to others, I receive blank looks.

Elegy for Desire: Luis Omar Salinas 1937-2008

Christopher Buckley
On May 25th, contemporary poetry lost one of its true and original poets, and his family, friends, and all the poets associated with the "Fresno School" lost a brilliant and wonderful compadre-a good and great soul.


Pulp Faction: Teaching "Genre Fiction" in the Academy

Nick Mamatas
In 2006, Sarah Langan published her first novel, a supernatural thriller called The Keeper. It has all the hallmarks of a classic horror novel: a New England setting, bizarre family secrets, a town full of nightmares, and a mass market paperback release. You can find The Keeper in most any supermarket or drug store, as well as in every major bookstore. If there's a difference between Langan's book and any other horror novel published last year, it's that the prose is elevated, a bit more "literary" than one might expect. Maybe that shouldn't be a surprise; after all, Langan received an MFA from Columbia University and even workshopped the novel there. Or maybe we should be surprised that Langan wrote a horror novel at all.