September 2012

An Interview with Jean Valentine

Rebecca Morgan Frank
Jean Valentine is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Break the Glass (Copper Canyon, 2010); Little Boat (Wesleyan University Press, 2007); National Book Award-winner Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 (Wesleyan, 2004); and her first book, Dream Barker, which won the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1965, as well as the forthcoming Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books), translated with Ilya Kaminsky.

Borges As Self: Toward Teaching Creative Writers

Eric LeMay
Since Borges discovered the improbable world we now inhabit--where representation eclipses reality, knowledge founders and reforms, art tangles inescapably with its past, and time and space loop and layer--it's not surprising he found himself there, too. In a brief essay called "Borges and Myself" Borges explains his relationship to "the other man, to Borges." The essay describes an improbable, even impossible relationship, self-as-not-self, which is to say a relationship that's wholly Borgesian.

An Epistolary Plea

Heather Stanfill
I write to you in hopes of pleading the case of the epistolary form. Ignore the risks and the troubles of an epistolary conceit, and focus on the rewards! The benefits of this technique and the long history of the epistle's relationship with fiction has inspired me to explain to you why letter writing should be brought back into every writer's toolbox.

The Ampersand: Casual Vortex or Engraver's Shortcut

Patrick Moran
At the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, there is an ampersand approximately twenty-four inches high and eighteen inches wide in a sans serif condensed Gothic style. It is made of two magnificently routered, ink-stained pieces of maple glued together to form a single printing block. It has the patina of an old pair of black janitor shoes and was probably used on a fairly regular basis for law firms and dry goods stores now long gone. When you hold it in your hands, it calls to mind something like a combination between Andy Goldsworthy's monolithic sculptures and Louise Nevelson's dark, obsessive assemblages.

Essaying "The Thing"

Joey Franklin
In 1911, Ezra Pound stepped off the Metro in Paris and entered a crowd of people that would change his life forever.

On Duende: Reading Federico Garcia Lorca

Frederick Smock
In the year 1400, the Gypsies were driven out of the Orient by Tamerlane's hundred-thousand horsemen. Those Gypsies who eventually settled in the Andalusia region of Spain grafted their poetry onto the Andalusian chants of the time and perfected what Federico Garci­a Lorca termed "deep song":

The Battle Over Electronic Publishing

Ronald Goldfarb
In the May/Summer 2012 issue of the Writer's Chronicle, Ronald Goldfarb wrote about the changing world of electronic publishing generally. Here he discusses the current litigation brought by the Department of Justice against several major publishers and Apple over alleged price fixing for electronic books.

Writing Requires an Almost Physical Sense of Timing

Nancy Bunge
This 1980 interview with John Casey gives a sense of the integrity and self-awareness that underlie his successful career as both a writer and a teacher.