We are pleased to announce that NER contributor Stephen Dixon’s story, “Talk,” will be featured in the new O. Henry Prize Stories. Dixon’s work appears in several issues of NER, most recently in 34.2.
Stephen Dixon is the author of thirty books of fiction, including His Wife Leaves Him (2013) and nominated National Book Award novels Frog (1991) and Interstate (1995). He has retired after teaching in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins for twenty-seven years and lives in Ruxton, Maryland.
NER congratulates Sara Eliza Johnson on her first collection of poetry, Bone Map (Milkweed Editions). Johnson’s work appeared in Volume 29.4 of NER.
Garrett Hongo: “Bone Map charts a dreamscape that mixes elements of folk tale into mysterious itineraries through the commingled fringes of the world of sacramental animals and a frail humankind. . . . The logic in her narratives is that of dreaming—primitive, chthonic, and subtly terrifying. Hers is a cunning and dangerous poetry, deceptive in its apparent innocence, not written against the dark backdrop of identifiable horrors, but drawn from a well of the beautiful and the macabre, a crystal cup of roses dipped in the tongueblood of wolves. In all, there is a mystic vision of wintry things first seen at the cusp of spring, not yet sorted into any commonplace order. For Johnson is a builder of miraculous worlds and not their devourer.”
Martha Collins: “The territory mapped in this gorgeous book—first a forest with animals, then water and winter ice—is wracked by violence, war, and loss, with the bones and viscera of the living and dead laying claim to our attention. But it is also a world of dream and vision: ‘All moments will shine if you cut them open,’ the poet says. And though the process is often brutal, as war edges toward apocalypse, then quiets to elegiac ache, a fierce beauty emerges, line by line, image by image, transforming darkness as well as light.”
Sara Eliza Johnson is the winner of the National Poetry Series and Rona Jaffe award, and has published poems in Boston Review in addition to NER and other publiscations. She is the Vice Presidential Fellow in creative writing at the University of Utah.
NER contributor Peter LaSalle has recently published his short story collection What I Found Out About Her: Stories of Dreaming Americans (University of Notre Dame 2014). The collection won the 2014 Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction and includes a story originally published in NER. LaSalle’s work has appeared in several NER issues, most recently in 32.4, and has work forthcoming in 35.3.
“I’ve always believed that as a short story writer Peter LaSalle has been in the same class as Donald Barthelme and Joyce Carol Oates in the avant-garde of American fiction writers, and now, reading his new collection . . . I am more than confirmed in that belief: indeed, his sophisticated and highly controlled formal experimentation, which is the sparkling core of his style, now flows with such masterly ease that he can be said to be in a class of his own, at the forefront of American creators of original prose.” —Zulfikar Ghose, author of The Triple Mirror of the Self
“Peter LaSalle’s stories, set in wonderfully various settings . . . are rich in their delineation of our private lives and loves, and in those moments in which, by ourselves or with others, we live most deeply. These haunting tales are shrewdly original, disarmingly complex, and—always, always, since LaSalle is one of our finest storytellers—as beautifully crafted as they are memorable.” —Jay Neugeboren, author of You Are My Heart and Other Stories
Martin McLaughlin‘s translation of Italo Calvino’s book, Collection of Sand: Essays has been published by HMH/Mariner. His translations of Calvino’s letters were featured under “Literary Lives” in NER 34.1.
From Publishers Weekly: “Museum exhibitions draw Calvino’s attention to the natural world, to the bizarre—and to the past. His subtle humor threads its way through staid descriptions of wax museums, automata, knots, and the ruins of a pig sty . . . Calvino’s travelogues, particularly those set in Japan, are the best example of his ability to capture the real world with the same vigor and verve as his imaginative fiction.”
Italo Calvino (1923–1985) was a distinguished Italian novelist and author of such books as Cosmicomics (1965), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). He was also an influential literary critic and editor.
Martin McLaughlin is the Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford. He is the translator of Italo Calvino’s Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings, Into the War, and Why Read the Classics?, which won the John Florio Prize for translation. He is also co-translator of Calvino’s The Complete Cosmicomics.
Cheers to NER contributor Christian Wiman on the release of his fourth collection of poetry, Once in the West (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014). His poems have previously appeared in issues 21.1, 24.1, and 30.2.
From Publishers Weekly: “The first half of this harsh and sometimes masterful fourth outing . . . might represent the best verse he has yet penned….His search for religious answers twines itself tautly with reflections on his own illness, homages to the poets of the past, and exemplary self-scrutiny.”
From the publisher: “Christian Wiman’s fourth collection of poetry is as intense and intimate as poetry gets—from the “suffering of primal silence” that it plumbs to the “rockshriek of joy” that it achieves and enables. Readers of Wiman’s earlier books will recognize the sharp characterization and humor…as well as his particular brand of reverent rage…. But there is something new here, too: moving love poems to Wiman’s wife, tender glimpses of the poet’s children, and amid the onslaughts of illness and fear and failures, “a trace / of peace.”
Christian Wiman is the author of seven previous books, including memoirs and collections of poetry. From 2003 to 2013 he was the editor of Poetry magazine. Currently, he teaches religion and literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.