Leon Bell was born in Texas in 1918 and moved with his family to Moscow in 1931. He was trained as a nuclear physicist and later became a internationally-respected plant physiologist and biophysicist with expertise in photosynthesis. With his wife, Ira, Prof. Bell lived until 1992 in Russia; they now live in New York. The author’s brother, David (Davie), still in Russia, survived World War II, became an English teacher, and taught for many years in the city of Dubna, 70 miles north of Moscow and the home of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. Prof. Bell is the author of “Energetics of the Photosynthesizing Plant Cell” (Soviet Scientific Reviews Supplement Services, Physiochemical Biology, Vol. 5, 1985), and THERMODYNAMICS OF LIGHT ENERGY CONVERGENCE, with N.D. Gudkov (The Hague: SPB Academic Publishing, 1993). His “An American Boy’s Life in the Soviet Union” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 8, No. 4.
Norman Birnbaum was born in 1926 in New York City and educated at its public schools, Williams College and Harvard University. He has taught at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, the University of Strasbourg and Amherst College and is University Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University Law Center. He was a founding editor of New Left Review, was on the Editorial Board of Partisan Review (1971-83) and is on the Editorial Board of The Nation. His most recent book is AFTER PROGRESS: AMERICAN SOCIAL REFORM AND EUROPEAN SOCIALISM IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Oxford University Press, 2001). He is working on a memoir (FROM THE BRONX TO OXFORD – AND NOT QUITE BACK). He calls attention to his article, “The Coming End of Anti-Communism,” Partisan Review, Volume 29, Summer, 1962. (“Plus ca change …”)
Leonce Gaiter was brought up in New Orleans, Washington D.C., Germany, Missouri, Maryland and elsewhere. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and in national syndication. His short fiction “Live at Storyville” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 3, No. 4. His New Orleans noir, BOURBON STREET, was published by Carroll & Graf in 2005.
Born of an Irish mother and Welsh father, Alex Keegan left school at fifteen with no qualifications, joined the Royal Air Force to escape, became hopelessly “lost” there resulting in a court martial and imprisonment for refusing an order and then refusing the punishment. After leaving the RAF he did an assortment of low-paid jobs while studying and eventually earning two university degrees and then a masters in creative writing. In December, 1988 he survived a 36-death train-wreck in Clapham, London, and decided to use this second chance and write full time. In 1992-97, he sold five mystery novels but then switched to writing literary short fiction. He has been published worldwide in hard-copy and on the web. His story “Ernie the Egg” was the inaugural story for Atlantic Monthly Unbound, and he can also be seen at Blue Moon Review, Mississippi Review, and Eclectica. Alex Keegan runs a teaching school on-line, “Boot Camp Keegan,” and is editor of Seventh Quark magazine.
Karen Kevorkian was born in San Antonio, Texas. Her book of poems, White Stucco Black Wing was published by Red Hen Press (Los Angeles, 2004). Her poems and stories appear in many journals as well as The Drunken Boat and in a recent anthology of work by artists and writers, the land of wandering. She is a member of the poetry board of Virginia Quarterly Review and teaches at the University of Virginia.
As a reporter for the Des Moines Register and the Washington Post, and as a freelance writer, Nick Kotz has won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Washington correspondence, the Raymond Clapper Memorial Award, and the first Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award. His study of American military leadership won the National Magazine Award for public service. His book WILD BLUE YONDER: MONEY, POLITICS, AND THE B-1 BOMBER won the Olive Branch Award. JUDGMENT DAYS: LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., AND THE LAWS THAT CHANGED AMERICA is his fifth book examining American history and public policy. He has also written A PASSION FOR EQUALITY: GEORGE WILEY AND THE MOVEMENT (with Mary Lynn Kotz); LET THEM EAT PROMISES: THE POLITICS OF HUNGER; and THE UNIONS (with Haynes Johnson). He is Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the American University School of Communications, and was Senior Journalist in Residence at Duke University. A magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Nick Kotz did graduate study in international relations at the London School of Economics, and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is married to Mary Lynn Kotz, a journalist and author; their son, Jack Mitchell Kotz, is a photographer. An interactive forum with Nick Kotz about JUDGMENT DAYS will take place during the month of March, here; and on March 24, he will appear at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Archipelago will podcast his panel in our next issue.
Georgia Lee Mind was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, and was raised in Missoula and in Great Falls, Montana. She studied art history at the University of Colorado. After completing an advanced degree at Colorado, she taught in colleges in the U. S. and Australia. A personal catastrophe caused her to leave academic life. Subsequently, she studied for, and received, an M. F. A. degree. She now lives near Helena, Montana with her husband, Wilm. She is an independent scholar and writer.
An anthropologist by training, Mary Ann O’Donnell has lived in Shenzhen, China’s oldest and largest Special Economic Zone, since 1995, where she posts her “Shenzen Fieldnotes”. With the poet Steven Schroeder, she has organized the site “A Walk in Shenzhen.” Off-line, Mary Ann O’Donnell has published academic papers and literary translations. Readers interested in furthering the conversation are welcome to contact her by e-mail.
John Palcewski has been a publishing house copywriter, wire service photojournalist, magazine editor, music/drama critic, literary novelist, and fine arts photographer. His work appears in the literary and academic press and a number of publications on-line. Author of a literary novel in manuscript entitled DROWNING, Palcewski lives in a vineyard’s villa near the village of Forio, on Ischia, a small volcanic island off the coast of southern Italy. He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Moravian College, and studied photography and videotape production at New York University. He maintains this website. Two of his photographs appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 6, No. 1.
Avril Pyman is professor of Russian literature in Durham University, U. K. She is the author of several books about noteworthy Russian writers and poets of the 20th century. Her last book, ANGEL AND STONE, was devoted to Alexander Blok; it has appeared in Russian in her own translation (Nauka [Science], 2005 ). Her volume A HISTORY OF RUSSIAN SYMBOLISM is due out from Cambridge University Press in March 2006.
Vladimir Skrebitsky was born in1934, in Moscow. He graduated from Moscow University (Department of Biology) in1957 and has since then been working in the Brain Research Institute, where he is Head of Department. He is also professor of psychophysiology, Department of Biology, Moscow University. He is a member of Russian Academy of Medical Science. Vladimir Skrebitsky has been writing short stories featuring psychological portraits of people belonging to his scientific milieu. They have been published in many Russian literary journals and collected in two collection of stories: ON THE TROLLEY BUS RING (Prometey, 1971) and CHOIR OF HUNTERS (Ikarus, 2003 ). Russian readers can find information about him on the web site of the journal Our street. His story “On the trolley bus ring” appeared in the eponymous collection; its short version, a translation of which appears in this issue, was published in the literary journal New Russia.
Nicholas Benson’s translation of Attilio Bertolucci’s VIAGGIO D’INVERNO has just been published as WINTER JOURNEY by Free Verse Editions of Parlor Press. Four of Bertolucci’s poems, with Benson’s translations, appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 8, No. 3.
Joel Agee (IN THE HOUSE OF MY FEAR) and Katherine McNamara (NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH, A JOURNEY INTO THE INTERIOR OF ALASKA) will appear at the Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlotteville, Virginia, on Friday, March 24, 2006. Joel Agee’s “Foreword to ‘The End’” appeared in the last issue of Archipelago. Katherine McNamara is the editor and publisher of this journal.
Nick Kotz, a chapter of whose book JUDGMENT DAYS appears in this issue, will appear at the Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, on Friday, March 24. A podcast of that event will be in our next issue.
Kathryn Rantala has published a new work, THE PLANT WATERER, AND OTHER THINGS IN COMMON (Ravenna Books). A lovely sequence of her poems, ‘from The Finnish Orchestra,” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 6, No. 3.