SEMYON AKIMOVICH AN-SKY [Shloyme-Zanvl Rappoport] (1863–1920) was a Russian-Jewish scholar, dramatist, ethnographer, and social activist. A prolific author, he wrote in two languages, Russian and Yiddish, in a wide range of genres: popular articles, scholarly books, stories, plays, revolutionary songs, and novels. He was a much sought-after public speaker, lecturing to enthusiastic audiences. An-sky was born in the ancient city of Vitebsk, on the border between Russia and Latvia in the Pale of Settlement, during the last stages of the Haskalah or Jewish Enlightenment and at the beginning of a wave of anti-Semitic pogroms. He is best known in literary circles for his play The Dybbuk (1914), which immortalizes the legendary figure of a dead soul that takes possession of a living body to right an injustice suffered during its lifetime.
AARON BAKER is the author of Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), which won the Bakeless Prize in Poetry and the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he currently teaches creative writing at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
DAVID BAKER ’s latest book of poems is Never-Ending Birds (W. W. Norton, 2009), which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award. Talk Poetry, his collection of interviews with contemporary poets, will appear in 2012 from the University of Arkansas Press. Other new poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Northwest Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere.
LESLIE BAZZETT lives with her husband in Minneapolis. This is her first published story.
JOEL FISHBANE is an author of fiction and works for the theater. His writing has been or will be published in issues of Saranac Review, Carousel, Fifth Wednesday Journal, On Spec, Geist, Versal, and several other journals and magazines. He has a diabetic cat and sometimes plays the clarinet. For more information please visit www.joelfishbane.com.
HENRIETTA GOODMAN is a Ph.D. student in English at Texas Tech University. Her first book of poetry, Take What You Want, was published in 2007 by Alice James Books, and more of her poems have recently appeared in Massachusetts Review, Guernica, FIELD, and other journals.
NATALIE GRAHAM is a Cave Canem Fellow and she completed an M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Florida. She currently studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow in the American Studies doctoral program. Her research interests include popular music and culture, Southern U.S. history, and identity performance.
AMY GLYNN GREACEN ’s work has appeared in the New Criterion, Poetry Northwest, Sewanee Theological Review, Best American Poetry 2010, and elsewhere. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
JAMES ALLEN HALL is the author of Now You’re the Enemy (University of Arkansas Press, 2008), which received awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center, he teaches creative writing and literature at the State University of New York–Potsdam. New work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Bloom, and Ninth Letter.
MICHAEL R. KATZ is C.V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and Eastern European Studies. A graduate of Williams College, he received his M.A. and D. Phil. from Oxford University in Russian. He taught at Williams College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Middlebury College, where he also served as a Dean of the Language Schools and the Schools Abroad. He is the author of two books—one on the Russian literary ballad and the other on dreams in nineteenth-century Russian fiction—and has translated twelve Russian novels into English, including works by Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. At the present time, he is at work on “counter-stories” by Tolstoy’s wife and son written in response to Leo Tolstoy’s controversial tale “The Kreutzer Sonata.”
JOHN KINSELLA is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose. His new book of poems, Jam Tree Gully, is due out from W. W. Norton in November 2011. Other recent titles include Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a Regional Geography (W. W. Norton, 2008) and Peripheral Light: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2005). He is the editor of the international journal Salt and international editor of the Kenyon Review. He is a professorial research fellow at the University of Western Australia and has been appointed the Judith E. Wilson Fellow of Poetry for 2011-12 at Cambridge University, where he is also a fellow of Churchill College.
KATHRYN KRAMER is the author of several novels, most recently Sweet Water (Knopf, 1998). She teaches at Middlebury College. “Still Life with Caged Lion” is a chapter from a forthcoming memoir, Missing History: The Covert Education of a Child of the Great Books.
SCOTT LANDERS is the author of Coswell’s Guide to Tambralinga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004). His short fiction has appeared in West Branch, Other Voices, Cimarron Review, and the Beloit Fiction Journal. A graduate of the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, he currently lives in Sonoma County, California, where he’s working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
SYDNEY LEA recently published his ninth collection of poems, Young of the Year (Four Way Books, 2011). The essay in this issue of NER will appear in A Hundred Himalayas, a selection of his literary criticism over four decades to be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2012.
[CHARLES-MARIE RENE] LECONTE DE LISLE (1818–1894) was a French writer best known for the poetry collections Poèmes antiques (1852), Poèmes barbares (1862), and Poèmes tragiques (1884). A fierce opponent of the expression of personal emotion in literature, he countered Romanticism by founding what came to be known as Parnassianism, a movement that idealized a classical golden age and favored precise description. Apart from poetry, he published newspaper articles, translations, and booklets, and worked as a librarian before succeeding Victor Hugo as a member of the Académie Française.
WILLIAM LOGAN ’s Deception Island: Selected Earlier Poems was published in the U.K. this past spring by Salt Publishing. A book of new poems, Madame X, is forthcoming next summer from Penguin, and his edition of John Townsend Trowbridge’s poem “Guy Vernon” will be published by the University of Minnesota Press next spring.
HARRIET MARTINEAU (1802–1876) was a prominent Victorian author who wrote numerous books on economics, history, and her extensive travels abroad, as well as several novels. Over the course of her career she produced some fifty works, including Society in America (1837), Retrospect of Western Travel (1838), Eastern Life: Present and Past (1848), and A History of the Thirty Years’ Peace (1849–50).
CLEOPATRA MATHIS’s seventh collection of poems will be published by Sarabande Books in late 2012. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.
ROSE MCLARNEY’s collection of poems, The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2012. She grew up and continues to live in rural western North Carolina, and she works at Warren Wilson College and Mars Hill College.
TOMAS Q. MORIN is the winner of Boulevard magazine’s Emerging Poets Contest. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Slate, Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, Narrative, and Poetry International.
KATE PETERSEN’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Iowa Review, Los Angeles Review, Collagist, Brevity, and elsewhere. Her interview with James Salter recently appeared on the Paris Review blog.
CHARLES LAMAR PHILLIPS has served as author or co-author of more than a dozen works of history, biography, and trade reference. He has been an editor and writer at Congressional Quarterly and Washington Star and editor of the American Council on Education’s Higher Education and National Affairs and the American Association for State and Local History’s History News. He ran publications at the Iowa Historical Society; he wrote a column for the magazine American History; and he is now managing editor of American Journal of Play. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Phillips has stories appearing in Massachusetts Review, Raritan, Cincinnati Review, Fifth Wednesday, and Chaffin Journal (where his work was awarded the 2010 Chaffin Award for Fiction). He is currently working on a novel.
PATRICK PHILLIPS is currently a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His first book, Chattahoochee (University of Arkansas Press, 2004), received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. His second book, Boy, was published in the VQR Poetry Series in 2008. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.
GREG PIERCE’s stories have appeared in Avery, Berkeley Fiction Review, Confrontation, Web Conjunctions, and others. His stage adaptation of Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle premiered at the Ohio Theatre in New York City and will next appear at the Edinburgh International Festival. He and composer John Kander recently completed The Landing, which will be produced by the Vineyard Theatre in spring 2012. He is an M.F.A. candidate at Warren Wilson College. He grew up in Shelburne, Vermont, and now lives in New York City; his website is www.piercegreg.com.
CATHERINE RICCIO is completing her Ph.D. in the Comparative Literature Department at Indiana University. She has previously published her original poetry in the Yale-affiliated literary journal Musings Against a Train Station. At present she is continuing to translate the short stories of German writer Joachim Ringelnatz.
JOACHIM RINGELNATZ is the pen name for the early twentieth-century German author and visual artist Hans Bötticher. The variety of jobs that Bötticher held throughout his youth include cabin boy, businessman, librarian, tourist guide, and window dresser. He joined the German Navy during World War I and later worked as a highly popular comic cabaret entertainer. In 1933 the National Socialist Party banned all of Bötticher’s works, including public performances, labeling him an immoral artist. Most of his artwork was destroyed, and his books were confiscated. Nearly penniless, he died of tuberculosis a year later, an early casualty of the Nazi regime.
HOYT ROGERS lives in the Dominican Republic, though he travels elsewhere for much of the year. His poems, stories, and essays, as well as his translations from the French, German, and Spanish, have appeared in a wide variety of periodicals. He has published more than a dozen books, which include original works, editions, and translations. His most recent translation, Second Simplicity—a collection of verse and prose by Yves Bonnefoy from the past two decades—will be published by Yale University Press in the fall.
CHRISTINA SAJ has spent almost twenty years painting contemporary interpretations of icons. Her work can be found in museums and private collections and continues to be exhibited nationally and internationally. She received an M.F.A. from Bard College and a B.A. in Fine Art from Sarah Lawrence College. Early in her career she studied the canons of Byzantine icon painting with a renowned Ukrainian iconographer, Petro Cholodny the Younger. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, their two children, and their dog. More of her work can be seen on her website, www.christinasaj.com.
AUSTIN SEGREST, originally from Alabama, is a Ph.D. Fellow in poetry at University of Missouri–Columbia. His work has appeared in the Yale Review, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, Five Points, and elsewhere. This coming fall he will be poetry editor of the Missouri Review.
HILDA WERSCHKUL received her doctoral degree from Columbia University and teaches art history in the New York City metropolitan area. She is currently writing a book called Conversations on Art with her former online students at Parsons School of Design and is the author of an essay on the late drawings of Eva Hesse, which appears in Encountering Eva Hesse (Prestel, 2006).
GREG WRENN ’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Yale Review, Pleiades, Boston Review, FIELD, and other publications. His chapbook, Off the Fire Road, published in 2009 by Green Tower Press, features a long poem about a man who travels to Brazil to be surgically transformed into a centaur. He is currently a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.
NANCY ZAFRIS is the series editor of the Flannery O’Connor Award for short fiction.