Poetry - Fall/Winter 2004John Amen 's debut poetry collection, Christening the Dancer, was released by Uccelli Press in February 2003. He has published poetry and fiction in various magazines and journals, including 2River View, The Melic Review, Samsara Quarterly, Poetrybay, and Three Candles. He was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has traveled extensively as a performing musician, both with a band and as a solo act, and has released three full-length recordings. His fourth recording will be released in 2003. He is also an artist, working primarily with acrylics on canvas. Further information is available on his website: www.johnamen.com. Amen founded and continues to edit the online literary bimonthly,The Pedestal Magazine. He has lived in New Orleans and New York, and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wayne Amtzis is a poet, photographer and long-time resident of Nepal. His work from Kathmandu can be seen on the website: www.photo-poems.com in the photo collection flatLine witness, in Studies in Nepali History and Society Vol. 6. 1, June 2001 and in the anthology, an other voice: English literature from Nepal. He is editor and co-translator of Two Sisters: the poetry of Benju Sharma and Manju Kanchuli, and of From The Lake, Love: the poetry of Banira Giri.
Douglas Barbour is the author of many books of poetry, including Visible Visions: The Selected Poems of Douglas Barbour (NeWest Press 1984), winner of the Stephan Stephannson Award for Poetry, Story for a Saskatchewan Night (rdc press 1990), Fragmenting Body etc. (NeWest Press / SALT Publishing 2000), Breath Takes (Wolsak & Wynn 2001), and the chapbook, A Flame on the Spanish Stairs (greenboathousebooks 2002). His critical works include monographs on Daphne Marlatt, John Newlove and bpNihcol, Michael Ondaatje (Twayne Publishers 1993), and Lyric / Anti-lyric: essays on contemporary poetry (NeWest Press 2001). He has edited many books, and most recently, with Stephen Scobie, his partner in the sound poetry duo, Re: Sounding, edited the CD, Carnivocal: A celebration of sound poetry (Red Deer Press & Omikron Publishing 1999). He is a professor in the Department of English, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
Martine Bellen is the author of five collections of poetry including The Vulnerability of Order, Copper Canyon Press (2001); Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems, Sun & Moon Press (1999) which won the National Poetry Series Award; and Places People Dare Not Enter, Potes & Poets Press (1991). A bilingual collection of poetry, Musée Magie, was just published in Germany by Verlag im Waldgut (translator, Hans Jürgen Balmes). She recently completed her sixth collection, Living with Animals. She has also written the libretto for Ovidiana, an opera based on Ovid's Metamorphoses (composer, Matthew Greenbaum) that has been performed in New York City and Philadelphia. Ms. Bellen's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies including This Art: Poems About Poetry, Copper Canyon Press (2003) and The Convergence of Birds: Writing Inspired by Joseph Cornell, DAP (2001). She has been a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the American Academy of Poets Award. She is a contributing editor and on the board of directors of Web del Sol (webdelsol.com).
Toby Leah Bochan received her MFA at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The Threepenny Review, Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol and The Beloit Poetry Journal and online at The Muse Apprentice Guild and The Red River Review, where she received a Pushcart nomination in 2002. She lives in New York City where she is working on a novel.
Steven Brodsky completed his MA at the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars; he received his MFA from Eastern Washington University. Steven Brodsky is a professor of English at Suffolk County Community College. His work has appeared in New Works Review, Between the Lines, the Nor'easter, Antipodes, Gumball Poetry, Wordgun, the Island Ear, the Bellingham Review and elsewhere.
Celia Dropkin (1888-1956) was born in the city of Bobroisk, White Russia, where she lived until she immigrated to New York in 1912. Although her first poems were in Russian, Dropkin began to write Yiddish poems in 1917 and, in 1920, to publish them in New York avant-garde literary journals. Her poems of sex, love, and death quickly earned her acclaim. She also wrote and published short stories. A single volume of Dropkin's poems appeared during her lifetime: In Heysn Vint (In the Hot Wind), in 1935. In 1943, she wrote a biography of her husband, which was never published. Three years after her death, Dropkin's children sponsored the publication of an expanded edition of her poetry, short stories, and paintings, also titled, In Heysn Vint (1959). This second book includes the poems of the 1935 edition, as well as previously uncollected and unpublished poems. (Biography courtesy of Kathryn Hellerstein)
Elke Erb was born in 1938 in Scherbad/Eifel, studied German and Slavic literatures at the University of Halle, and has been living in what used to be “East” Berlin. She has translated from the Russian (Gogol, Block, Tsvetaeva, Akhmatova) as well as a 13th century romance from the Georgian (Wis und Ramin), and edited a number of anthologies. She has published volumes: Gutachten (1979); Der Faden der Geduld (1978); ;Vexierbild (1983), Kastanienalle (1987); Winkelzüge (1991); Nachts, halb zwei, zu hause, selected works (1991); and Unschuld, du Licht meiner Augen (1994). She has received the Peter-Huchel and the Heinrich-Mann prize (1988; 1990). Other translations (by Janet King/Guntram Weber, Duncan Smith, and Roderick Iverson) can be found in Dimension: Special GDR Issue (1973), Minnesota Review NS15 (1980), and Sulfur 27 (1990). The poems appearing here are taken from Erb’s first three publications, selected and translated by Rosmarie Waldrop in Mountains in Berlin (Burning Deck Press, 1995).
Ross Gay, a Cave Canem fellow, is a basketball coach who is completing his Ph.D. in English at Temple University while renovating houses in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, North American Review, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Sulfur, Harvard Review, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, among others. He is currently seeking a publisher for his manuscript, Unclean.
Daniela Gioseffi, peace activist and educator, has been publishing poetry, fiction and reviews in mainstream magazines and presses since the 1960's. Her books of poetry include, Eggs in the Lake, 1979 (Boa Editions, Ltd, Rochester: NY) Word Wounds and Water Flowers, 1995, and Going On, 2000 (VIA Folios @Purdue University). Her compendium, Women on War won the 1990 American Book Award and has just been reprinted by The Feminist Press in New York, 2003, Active in the anti-nuclear and peace movement, Daniela has received three grants from The Ploughshares Fund, a Foundation in Fort Mason, California, that promotes peace and served as President of the oldest chapter of SANE/Freeze during the 1980's. Her book, On Prejudice: A Global Perspective won the 1993 World Peace Award from the Ploughshares Fund. Her ongoing internet magazine Wise Women's Web won a nomination for "Best of the Web," and a grant from The Thanks Be to Grandmother Winifred Foundation. In winter 2000, it was expanded into Poets USA.
Veronica Golos is the co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize for her book, A Bell Buried Deep, published by Story Line Press. She was an artist in residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation, in Taos, New Mexico from June through September 2003. From 1999-2003, Ms. Golos was the Artistic Director for Literary Programs at the Sol Goldman Y in New York City. She has been published in Rattapallax, Bridges, Natural Bridges, Poetry London, and other journals. She teaches creative writing, memoir, and poetry for Poets&Writers, the 92nd St Y, and Poets House, as well as conducting private workshops. She is presently leading a writing workshop at the Nassau Country Museum of the Holocaust with 8 survivors, and will be editing a book of their writings.
Lisa Grunberger holds a doctorate in Religious Studies and American Cultural History from the University of Chicago. She has lectured and taught at Molloy College, SUNY-Old Westbury, and Bronx Community College. She currently teaches in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Hofstra University. Her essay on health, morality and sexuality may be found in Sex, Religion and Media (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2002), edited by Dane Claussen. Dr. Grunberger has written and performed her one-woman show, The Prayer Collector, which premiered at Makor/92nd St. Y in June 2003. Her work has appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, The Baffler, and poetz.com, and is forthcoming in Mudfish. Poet, playwright, performer, yoga teacher, and professor, she lives, dreams and writes in New York.
Sam Hamill is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry including Dumb Luck (BOA Editions, 2002), Gratitude(1998), and Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995 (1995), which won a Pushcart Prize; three collections of essays; and two dozen volumes translated from ancient Greek, Latin, Estonian, Japanese, and Chinese, most recently, Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese (2000), Narrow Road to the Interior & Other Writings of Basho (1999), and The Essential Chuang Tzu(1998). He is editor of The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth (2002, with Bradford Morrow), The Gift of Tongues: Twenty-five Years of Poetry from Copper Canyon Press (1996), The Erotic Spirit (1995), and Selected Poems of Thomas McGrath (1988). Hamill taught in prisons for fourteen years, in artist-in-residency programs for twenty years, and has worked extensively with battered woman and children. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, and two Washington Governor's Arts Awards. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and director of the Port Townsend Writers' Conference. Hamill currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington
Joy Harjo, an enrolled member of the Muskogee Tribe, was born in Oklahoma. She moved to New Mexico to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts where she studied painting and theatre. She received her B.A. from the University of New Mexico followed by an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She has also taken part in a non-degree program in Filmmaking from the Anthropology Film Center. Her most recent book of poetry is How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems. She learned to play the saxophone because she wanted to learn how to combine poetry with a music there were no words yet to define, a music involving elements of tribal musics, jazz and rock. She eventually returned to New Mexico where she began the first stirrings of what was to be Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice when she began working with Susan Williams. has published in magazines such as Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, River Styx, Contact II, The Bloomsbury Review, Journal of Ethnic Studies, American Voice, Sonora Review, Kenyon Review, Beloit Poetry Review, Greenfield Review and Puerto del Sol. She has made recordings, done screenwriting, given readings all over the world and is now performing with her own music. She is currently teaching at the University of California at Los Angeles. For complete information, visit her website www.joyharjo.com.
Kathryn Hellerstein is the Ruth Meltzer Senior Lecturer in Yiddish and Jewish Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include her translation and study of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern's poems, In New York: A Selection, (Jewish Publication Society, 1982), Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky (Wayne State University Press, 1999), and Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, of which she is co-editor (W. W. Norton, 2000). Her current projects include Anthology of Women Yiddish Poets and a critical book, A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, supported in 1999-2000 by a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.
Barbara Hendryson grew up, lives, and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 literary journals and anthologies, including The Sun, Alaska Quarterly Review, Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Montserrat Review, Kalliope, Bellingham Review, Coracle, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Pedestal Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Speculon, and Into The Teeth of the Wind; and in anthologies from Queen of Swords Press, Beacon Press, Grayson Books, Mariposa Books, and many others. Her chapbook, Luminosity is just out from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry recntly won First Prize in the American Pen Women's 2002 national poetry competition. In 2002, she was awarded a Literary Artist's grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation. Other awards include First Prize in the Gloucester (N.J.) Poetry Center National Poetry Competition, as well as awards from the Chester H. Jones Foundation, Bellingham Review, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Kalliope, and others.
Karen Kevorkian is the author of White Stucco Black Wing, a book of poems to be published in 2004 by Red Hen Press, Los Angeles. Her poetry and fiction appear in or are forthcoming in the Antioch Review, Fiction International, Third Coast, Rio Grande Review, Borderlands, 88, Runes, Los Angeles Review, Hambone, 5 Fingers Review,River City Review (the Elvis issue), and Mississippi Review, where she twice won fiction awards. She has held artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Foundation, and the Ucross Foundation. Recently she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she teaches poetry and fiction writing at the University of Virginia. Before that she lived in San Francisco, where she edited and managed production and distribution of art books for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. In Charlottesville she is unlearning that experience in the letterpress studio at the Virginia Art of the Book Center.
Gabriela Mistral was born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga in Vicuña, Chile, in 1889. Her father has been described as a vagabond poet. She started to write poetry at the age of nine under the name of Gabriela Mistral. She made a living as a young woman by teaching elementary and secondary school; one of her pupils was the young Pablo Neruda. Her love poems, Sonetos de la Muerte, published in 1914, made her famous throughout Latin America. Her collection Desolación was published in 1922, and Ternura in 1924. Tala was published in 1938, and her complete poetry in 1958. In 1923, Mistral was awarded the title "Teacher of the Nation" by her own government. She played an active role in cultural committees of the League of Nations and also an influential role in the educational systems of Mexico and Chile. She hel honorary degress from the Universities of Florence and Guatemala, and, in later years, taught Spanish literature at Columbia, Vassar, Middlebury College, and the University of Puerto Rico. She was the first Latin American woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945. She died in the United States in 1957.
Kadya Molodowsky (1894-1975) was a major figure in the Yiddish literary scene both in Warsaw (from the 1920's through 1935) and in New York (where she lived from 1935 until her death). A teacher in the Yiddish schools in Warsaw as a young woman, she was best known for her children's poems. After she came to the United States, she wrote for the Yiddish press and founded and edited a literary journal, Sviva (Surroundings), which she published for three decades. In addition to six major books of poems, published between 1927 and 1965, as well as plays and essays, Molodowsky published two novels—Fun lublin biz nyu-york: togbukh fun rivke zilberg (From Lublin to New York: Diary of Rivke Zilberg) (1942), and Baym toyer: roman fun dem lebn in yisroel (At the Gate: A Novel of Life in Israel) (1967)—and a collection of short stories, A shtub mit zibn fentster (A House with Seven Windows) (1957), from which "The Fourth Mitzvah" is translated.
Geraldine Monk's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies in Britain and North America. She has recently had two major volumes of work published. Her widely acclaimed collection Noctivagations was published by West House Books in 2001 and her Selected Poems was brought out in 2003 by Salt Publications. She lives in Sheffield in the north of England with the poet and publisher Alan Halsey and is currently working on a series of poems based around the 14 year imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots in Sheffield Castle and Manor.
Sheila E. Murphy 's most recent book-length collections are Green Tea with Ginger (Potes & Poets Press, 2003) and The Stuttering of Wings(Stride Publications, 2002). Forthcoming are Incessant Seeds (Pavement Saw Press) and Letters to Unfinished J . (Green Integer Press). Her home is in Phoenix, Arizona. For twelve years she coordinated with Beverly Carver the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series, featuring performances of commissioned textual responses to visual art by poets both local and international
William Pitt Root served as Poet Laureate of Tucson, Arizona, and travels between Arizona where he still resides and New York City where he teaches. His numerous publications include Trace Elements from a Recurring Kingdom, named a 1995 Notable Book, by The Nation, and a finalist in the Pen West Poetry Award, and winner of the Pacific NW Booksellers Award. Other books of poetry are Fault Dancing (1986); Invisible Guests (1983); Reasons for Going It on Foot (1983, Pulitzer nominee); In the World's Common Grasses(1977, Pulitzer nominee); Coot and Other Characters (1977); Fireclock(1977); Striking the Dark Air for Music(1973, Pulitzer & National Book Award nominee); The Storm and Other Poems(1969, Lamont Prize nominee.) His work has been translated into many languages and broadcast on Radio Free Europe.
Todd Swift was born in Montreal in 1966. Since 1997 he has lived in Europe, first Budapest, then Paris, now London. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Poetry Nation, Budavox, 100 Poets Against The War, and his recent collection, Cafe Alibi. His poems have been translated into many languages, such as Arabic, French, German, Hungarian, and Korean. In 2002 he also released an avant-garde text/musique CD (Swifty Lazarus: The Envelope, Please) with composer Tom Walsh on the Wired on Words label. Todd is poetry editor of www.nthposition.com and contributing editor of Rattapallax and Matrix magazines, in New York and Montreal, respectively. He is also a screenwriter (HBO, Paramount, Fox) and essayist (The National Post, The Dubliner, Vallum). He has several books forthcoming in 2004/2005, including his new collection of poems, Rue du Regard. He was one of nine world poets invited to read at the Frankfurt Book Fair's International Centre this October, 2003. He is recently married to Sara Egan.
J.C.Todd 's translations of the poems of Ivón Gordon Vailakis have appeared previously in The Drunken Boat and in Crab Orchard Review and are forthcoming in The Bucks County Writer and Drexel On-Line Journal. Todd's poems have recently appeared in APR and the Four Way Press anthology Shade. The bilingual ms of Colibries en el exilio is seeking a publisher. J.C. Todd is a contributing editor for The Drunken Boat with a regular column riverviews.
Miriam Ulinover (1888-1944) was born in Lodz, Poland, and perished in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Her first poems and stories were in Polish, Russian, and German at age 15, but by 1915, she was writing and publishing poetry in Yiddish. She published one book of poetry, Der bobes oytser [My Grandmother's Treasure] (Warsaw, 1922). Although she prepared a second book manuscript, which was entitled Shabes, the publication of this book was prevented by the Nazi occupation of Poland and the manuscript did not survive the war. Bilingual, book-length editions of Ulinover’s poems have appeared translated into Hebrew (Haotser shel hasavta , translated by Yehoshua San Pay, Jerusalem, 1975) and into French (Un bonjour du pays natal, edited by Natalia Krynicka, translated by Batia Baum, Paris, 2003). (Biography courtesy of Kathryn Hellerstein)
Pamela Uschuk is the author of two book of poems, the award-winning Finding Peaches in the Desert and One Legged Dancer published by Wings Press. A new collection, Scattered Risks, is due out in 2005 from Wings. Uschuk has also published several chapbooks of poems, including the award-winning Without Birds, Without Flowers, Without Trees (Flume Press). In 2001, Wings Press released her CD, Finding Peaches in the Desert with musical accompaniment by the band Chameleon, Joy Harjo and Dan van Kilsdonk. Uschuk's literary prizes include the 2001 Tucson/Pima Writing Award and the 2000 Struga International Poetry Prize, as well as awards from the National League of American PEN Women, Chester H. Jones Foundation, Iris, Ascent, Wildwood Journal, Sandhills Review, Harbinger, and Amnesty International. She is the Director of the Center For Women Writers at Salem College and makes her home in North Carolina and in Durango, Colorado with the writer William Pitt Root (see conversation in this issue), and their two dogs, Happy and Lulu.
Ivón Gordon Vailakis is a native of Quito, Ecuador. Her latest poetry collection Manzanilla del insomnio(2002) was awarded in Ecuador the prestigious Jorge Carrera Andrade Award in Poety. Colibríes en el exilio ) (1997) was a finalist for Casa de las Américas Award, and the poems from her new manuscript-in-progress were finalist of Brazil's International Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Drunkenboat , Drexel Review, Frigate: Transverse Review of Books, , Crab Orchard Review, Blue Mesa Review and many others. She has published short stories, a memoir, translations of her own poetry and of Gabriela Mistral. She has published many articles on Jorge Carrera Andrade, Gabriela Mistral, Sandra Cisneros, Helena María Viramontes, Carmen Boullosa, and others in academic journals in Spain, Chile, Ecuador, and the U.S. She has two books in progress, one dealing with the critical work of Gabriela Mistral, and the other on the figure of La Llorona in Latina Writers(2002) She was a recipient of Senior/Scholar Fellowship from the Fulbright to research on the Converse Jews in Ecuador which led to Manzanilla del insomnio. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine on Latin American Literature, with emphasis on Contemporary Latin American Poetry and Literary Theory, and teaches at Redlands University.
Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany in 1935. She lives Providence, RI with Keith Waldrop (with whom she also co-edits Burning Deck Press). Her books of poetry include A Key Into the Language of America, Split Infinites, the trilogy, The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle, Reluctant Gravities, and a Selected Poems, Another Language. Two novels, The Hanky of Pippin’s Daughter and A Form/of Taking/It All have recently been reprinted in one paperback by Northwestern University Press. She has translated 14 volumes of Edmond Jabès's work and has also translated, from the French, Jacques Roubaud and Emmanuel Hocquard; and from the German, Friederike Mayröcker, Ernst Jandl, Oskar Pastior, and Elke Erb. Her poetry has been anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry (Norton, 1994), From the Other Side of the Century: New American Poetry 1960-90, (Sun & Moon, 1994). Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women (Talisman House, 1998) and Poems for the Millennium, vol. II (University of California Press, 1998) Translations of her work have been published in France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Serbia and Mexico. She has received awards or fellowships from the NEA, the Fund for Poetry, the Howard Foundation, the DAAD Berlin Artists’ Program, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award. The French government has made her a “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.”