Joel Agee is the author of
TWELVE YEARS: AN AMERICAN BOYHOOD IN EAST GERMANY (University of
Chicago Press, p.b., 2000), a memoir of his life
behind the Iron Curtain from ages eight to twenty. His essays and
stories have appeared in publications such as Harper’s, The
New Yorker, and The Best American Essays. He is also known as
a translator of German literary works, among them Rilke’s
LETTERS ON CÉZANNE (Fromm International Publishing Corporation,
1985) and Elias Canetti’s THE
SECRET HEART OF THE CLOCK (Farrar, Straus & Giroux,
1989).† He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship
and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In
1999 he won the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his
translation of Heinrich von Kleist’s PENTHESILEA
(HarperCollins, 2000). (See “Passion,”
Archipelago, Vol. 3, No. 1.) Joel Agee has
just completed a memoir-novel, IN THE HOUSE OF MY FEAR,
from which the two stories in this issue are taken. “Killing a Turtle”
appeared in DoubleTake, Issue 6, Summer
1996; “German Lessons,” in Harper’s,
February 2001. His story “The Storm” appeared in
Vol. 4, No. 4.
Miriam Ben-Yaacov, a native of South Africa, is a graduate of
UNO Writer’s Workshop. During her late teens and
early twenties she lived in Israel. There she met her husband. They have
two sons and have lived in Omaha for the last twenty-three years. Miriam
Ben-Yaacov has published fiction and poetry and participated in local
and regional readings. Her writing reflects life in the Midwest and her
South African and Eastern European Jewish heritage. She is a winner of
the Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council’s Individual Artists
Fellowships Program (1997). Miriam Ben-Yaacov also
was a Hatha Yoga instructor.
Rosamond Casey is an artist and calligrapher.
Her mixed media paintings, books and calligraphy have been exhibited or
published abroad as well as in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia,
Maryland, and Washington D.C. Most recently, her
work was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and at the National
Museum of Women in the Arts. She is the sole proprietor of Treehouse
Book Arts, a school for adults and children in the arts of handmade
papermaking, calligraphy and book making, and the current President of
the McGuffey Art Center a cooperative arts organization in
Charlottesville, Virginia, comprised of 40 artists
studios and several public exhibition spaces. Rosamond Casey holds a
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts
and Tufts University. She lives with her husband, novelist John Casey,
in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Cara Chamberlain is an instructor at
Florida Southern College. Her work has appeared widely and is
forthcoming in The Spoon River Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry
Review, Rosebud, The MacGuffin, and Albatross, among others.
She was recently nominated for the third time for a Pushcart Prize.
Gu Cheng (1956-1993) was a figurehead of
Obscure or “Misty” Chinese poetry, which flourished in the
1980’s. He burst onto the Beijing literary scene
in 1979 with poems that were affectingly simply
and melancholy, willfully naïve, even sentimental, but lurid and
strange, like Blake’s. He met and befriended Bei Dao, Shu Ting, Yang
Lian and others at the underground Today magazine. Gu Cheng’s
later poetry is starkly disillusioned and powerful. In
1998 a film based on his life entitled The Poet was
released in Hong Kong.
Aaron Crippen is in the University of
Houston’s Creative Writing Program. For his translations of Gu Cheng he won the
2001 American Translators Association Student Award. In
2001 he also received the PEN
Texas Literary Award for Poetry.
Fred Johnston was born Belfast, Northern
Ireland, in 1951. He founded Galway city’s annual
literature festival and its writers’ centre. His poetry, prose and
criticism have appeared in the U.S. and
U.K. in, among others, The Sewanee Review,
Southern Review, Literary Review (N.Y.), The
Sunday Times, The Times Literary Supplement (TLS).
He is also involved in playing traditional music. He lives in Galway.
Kate Shapira’s work has appeared in a
number of print and online publications. Her story “Atwater I/i” was
recently nominated for a 2003 Pushcart prize, and
she is currently in the throes of a novel. She teaches
U.S. Women’s History at Camp Beacon Women’s Correctional
Facility, thanks to a grant from the American Association of University
Women, and lives in the Hudson Valley.
Raymond D. Strother, except for a brief stint with the Associated
Press, has “been involved in political hackdom all my adult life.” He
began at a firm in Baton Rouge in the 1960s; in
1980, he opened Raymond D. Strother, Ltd., in
Washington, D.C. Today he is president of Strother,
Duffy, Strother, and lives in Washington and Montana. He is a former
president of the American Association of Political Consultants, a former
fellow of the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard
University, a member of the Louisiana State University Journalism Hall
of Fame, the recipient of a Pollie Award (2000)
for Best Political Television, and the author of the political novel
COTTONWOOD. His political memoir,
FALLING UP: HOW A REDNECK HELPED INVENT POLITICAL CONSULTING has just been published by
Holly Woodward was a doctoral fellow for a year
at Moscow State University and studied a semester in Saint Petersburg.
She serves as an Artist in Education for New Jersey’s schools. One of
her stories, “The Captive,” was nominated for a best of the year
anthology; it can be read at Three Candles.
Her “Eros and Psyche” appeared in Archipelago, Vol.
4, No. 4.
She is working on a novel.
News of Our Contributors; Notices
Jane Barnes, novelist, scriptwriter, and a director of
Archipelago, is among the writers in The Paris Review’s
roundtable (Winter 2003) on crime-writing. In “The
Man in the Back Row has a Question,”
she joins Boris Akunin, Ann Arensberg, David Grand, Chloe Hooper, Jonathan
Lethem, Tim Parks, Budd Schulberg, and Paul West, who talk about murder
and mayhem in literature.
Christopher Metress is the editor of THE LYNCHING
OF EMMETT TILL, A Documentary Narrative (University
of Virginia Press, 2002). The
book was used as a source in the documentary film “The Murder of Emmett
Till,” by Stanley Nelson, shown on PBS in January.
Information about the murder of Emmett Till and the part his death
played in the civil rights movement is on PBS’s “American
Experience” Web site,
which also links to “‘They Stand Accused’: James L. Hicks’s
Investigations in Sumner, Mississippi, September 1955,”
published in Archipelago, Vol. 6, No.
Martin Goodman is the editor of a new
website, The Biggest Ideas. James
Thornton (author of A FIELD GUIDE TO THE SOUL
and the executive director of the Heffter
is among the contributors “coming up with one such big idea every two
weeks this year. These 25 big ideas are designed
to link up into a big picture. Times are threatening in many ways....”
Goodman and Thornton hope their series of articles “will set current
problems in context, and give us all some sense of how we can address
the various responsibilities and privileges of being alive in the
Re-Imagining Ireland, an
international conference and gathering of artists, writers, musicians,
actors, filmmakers, journalists, scholars, and talkers will take place
in Charlottesville, Virginia, May 7-10, 2003. A
huge cast of guests from Ireland and the States will explore Irish
identity in a global context. Mary MacAleese, President of Ireland, will
give the keynote speech. All information, schedules, and registration
forms, are contained on the Web site.
For the third year, Davoren Hanna Poetry Competition seeks
poets, whose work will be judged this year by Charles Simic and Matthew
Sweeny. The Dubliner magazine, a sponsor, will publish the
winners of the competition in its September issue. Named after Davoren
Hanna, the gifted young Dublin poet who died in 1994,
the competition is open to both published and unpublished poets over the
age of 18. The competition is one of the most
valuable in Ireland and the U.K., with a first
prize of EUR6,500 and second and third prizes of
EUR2,500 and EUR1,250
The closing date is 31 May 2003,
and entry forms, along with rules and guidelines, are available on
Eason Bookshop’s Web site or by sending a stamped
addressed envelope to The Davoren Hanna Poetry Competition, The Muse
Café, Eason Bookshop, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.
Forms will also be available from Eason Bookshops nationwide and in the
March, April and May issues of The Dubliner.
Last year’s competition was won by Kim Addonizio, with
James McGonigle taking second prize and Jeff Walt third. For further
information contact: Cian
Cafferky, Competition Director, Ph (01) 2693322.
More news from Ireland: Chris Agee, editor of the fine journal
Irish Pages, announces the publication of
UNFINISHED IRELAND: Essays on Hubert Butler. In October
2000, the Hubert Butler Centenary
Celebration became the first conference devoted to the life and work of
this extraordinary Irish countryman, European and citizen of the world.
Out of that remarkable gathering now comes this volume, which
brings together, in original or revised form, all nineteen of the talks
given at the conference, as well as a selection of historic photographs
and two comprehensive bibliographies. The publisher is Irish Pages,
who believe it is a book that will become the foundation stone for the
future study of the life and writing of Hubert Butler.
Contributors are Chris Agee, Neal
Ascherson, John Banville, Terence Brown, John Casey, Antony Farrell,
Christopher Fitz-Simon, Roy Foster, Joseph Hone, Edna Longley, Tim
Robinson and eight others. Price: £10 Sterling/15
Euro/$15US. The volume is in paper and can be
ordered from Irish Pages,The Linen Hall Library,
17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT 1 5GB;
phone 0044 28 90 641644. In Ireland (North and
South), booksellers may also order through Eason’s (Tel:
028 90381200 in Belfast, 01 8622111 in
Dublin); in Great Britain, through Central Books (0845
Hubert Butler’s essays “The
Artukovitch File” and “The
Subprefect Should Have Held His Tongue” have appeared in
Archipelago, as have two of Chris Agee’s essays on Butler, “The
Balkan Butler,” and “The