Contributors to NER’s “Focus on Germany” issue gather in Berlin for a drink and conversation, and to pick up a few extra copies of the new issue. Photos by Joseph Pearson and Ellen Hinsey (not pictured). At Hackbarth’s in Mitte, October 26, 2016.
This past week we lost two beloved poets, Brigit Pegeen Kelly (b. 1951) and Lucia Perillo (b. 1958). Over the decades both these writers have come to mean a lot to us at NER. Brigit Kelly’s poetry appeared in our pages frequently, as early as 1986 and as recently as 2014. Lucia Perillo’s most recent contribution was the title poem from her new collection, Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones, just last year. We also published her fiction and poetry beginning in 1997.
We’d like to acknowledge their enormous influence and inspiration with these poems.
“The Dragon” (35.3) by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, was first published in NER in 2002 and then reprinted in C. Dale Young’s last issue as poetry editor.
“Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones,” by Lucia Perillo, from NER 36.3.
[The] language . . . feels almost ancient solely by the skill with which Baker uses it.—Los Angeles Review of Books
From W. W. Norton: In this masterful new work by “the most moving and expansive poet to come out of the American Midwest since James Wright” (Marilyn Hacker), David Baker constructs a layered natural history of his beloved Midwest and traces the complex story of human habitation from family and village life to the evolving nature of work and the mysterious habitats of the heart.
David Baker’s last collection, Never-Ending Birds, was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His many honors include fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Baker, from Granville, Ohio, is the poetry editor of the Kenyon Review, and the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Poetry and Professor of English at Denison University. His work appeared in NER most recently in 37.1. Scavenger Loop can be purchased through W. W. Norton and from independent booksellers.
Doty is able to weave philosophical inquiry, personal anecdote, and awe at people and nature into a voice that is simultaneously warm and tinged with a useful measure of doubt. — Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR
From W. W. Norton: Deep Lane is a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker aboveground: gardens and animals, the pleasure of seeing, the world tuned by the word. Ranging from agony to rapture, from great depths to hard-won heights, these are poems of grace and nobility.
Mark Doty is the author of eight previous books of poetry and four books of prose. His many honors include the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a Whiting Writers’ Award, among others. He is a professor at Rutgers University and lives in New York City. His work appeared in NER most recently in 32.1. Deep Lane can be purchased through W. W. Norton and from independent booksellers.
A beautiful, profound novel about the families we are born into and the ones we create.—Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters
From the publisher: All her life Vera has felt like a stranger in the old and drafty half-timbered farmhouse she arrived at as a five-year-old refugee from East Prussia in 1945, and yet she can’t seem to let it go. Sixty years later, her niece Anne suddenly shows up at her door with her small son. As the two strong-willed and very different women share the great old house, they find what they have never thought to search for: a family. Translated from the German by Anne Stokes, Dörte Hansen’s debut novel has become an international bestseller.
Anne Stokes’s most recent book-length translation of poetry by Sarah Kirsch, Ice Roses: Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2014), features over one hundred poems from Kirsch’s ten collections, and was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld and the Popescu European Translation Prizes in 2015. Stokes teaches German and Translation Studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Her translation of Sarah Kirsch’s Winter appears in NER 37.3. This House is Mine can be purchased through Macmillan and from independent booksellers.
Intimate and hypnotic . . . whether turning her gaze inward or outward, these poems question the moral, aesthetic, and metaphysical needs that poetry exists to fill. —Ploughshares
In her newest poetry collection, Dana Levin uses humor, jump-cut imagery, and popular culture references in preparation for the approaching apocalypse. Against a backdrop of Facebook, cat memes, and students searching their smartphones for a definition of the soul, Levin draws upon a culture of limited attention spans as it searches for greater spiritual meaning.
Dana Levin has published three books of poetry, Wedding Day, Sky Burial, and In the Surgical Theatre, which won the APR/Honickman Award in 1999. A teacher of poetry for over twenty years, Levin divides her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Maryville University in St. Louis, where she serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence. Her work appeared in NER 34.2. Banana Palace can be purchased through Powell’s Books and independent booksellers.
The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2016 Fall Conference runs November 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley in Raleigh, NC. More information: www.ncwriters.org.
Here is is reading his poem “Junk Drawer” at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He was the 2015 Louis Untermeyer Scholar in Poetry. His work has also been featured in NER’s Vol. 34.2.
Ross White is the author of How We Came Upon the Colony and The Polite Society, both from Unicorn Press. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2012, New England Review, Poetry Daily, and Southern Review, among others. He is the executive director of Bull City Press and teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
All Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference readings are available for online. Want to hear more? Visit the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Website.
The book is out! In this season of Best Americans, we’re happy to say that two poems published in our pages during 2015 appear in Best American Poetry 2016, guest edited by Edward Hirsch with series editor David Lehman.
We’re also pleased to note that our poetry editor Rick Barot also has a poem in that anthology: “Whitman, 1841,” originally published in Waxwing.
As Edward Hirsch says in his introduction, “In our era, poetry has been radically wrenched and questioned, reframed, reformed, hybridized, ecologized, politicized, erased—its difficulties are notorious—and yet it continues to speak from the margins, to move and tell stories, to disturb and console us. It engages our interior lives, social experiences, planetary woes.”
Congratulations to Jill Sisson Quinn, whose essay “Big Night” (NER 36.1) was selected by Jonathan Franzen and Robert Atwan for Best American Essays 2016!
We’re also thrilled to see “Permutations of X” (35.4) by Kelly Grey Carlisle and “I’m Searching for a Home for Unwed Girls” (36.3) by Ursula Hegi listed among the “Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2015.”
As Franzen says in his introduction, “Writing or reading an essay isn’t the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and what your life might mean, but it is one good way.” Read on.
NER 37.3 is here with its array of German translations and original works of poetry, essays, stories, and plays. Whether you marvel at what is not lost in translation or lose yourself in the language of a poem, this issue brings the world home with a focus on Germany then and now, and a delicious slice of American baseball (just in time for the post-season).
FOCUS on GERMANY
♦ Twelve German poets in translation, from Andreas Altmann to Uljana Wolf
♦ Playwright Marius von Mayenburg releases the hive mind, in one act
♦ Marie Luise Knott takes a close look at the empty spaces in Hannah Arendt’s notebooks
♦ Durs Grünbein recalls a childhood at play among the Russian soldiers in Dresden
♦ Impressions of three German cities once in ruins, by Joseph Pearson
Walter Bagehot • Peter Chilson • Lia Purpura
Ron Carlson • Tamas Dobozy • Leah McCormack • Chelika Yapa
Linda Bierds • James Allen Hall • Henry Kearney, IV • Jane Mead • David Mura
Ricardo Pau-Llosa • Stanley Plumly • Julie Marie Wade
POETRY IN TRANSLATION
Andreas Altmann trans. Birgit Bunzel Linder • Daniela Danz trans. Harry Roddy
Durs Grünbein trans. Karen Leeder • Esther Kinsky trans. Iain Galbraith
Sarah Kirsch trans. Anne Stokes • Günter Kunert trans. Gerald Chapple
Christine Lavant trans. David Chorlton • Ulrike Almut Sandig trans. Karen Leeder
Lutz Seiler trans. Alexander Booth • Jan Wagner trans. Iain Galbraith
Peter Waterhouse trans. Iain Galbraith • Uljana Wolf trans. Sophie Seita
Congratulations to Sharon Solwitz, whose story “Gifted” (NER 36.2) was selected by Junot Díaz and Heidi Pitlor for Best American Short Stories 2016!
We’re also thrilled to see a handful of others recognized as “Other Distinguished Stories.”
Rav Grewal-Kök, “The Bolivian Navy” (36.4)
Mateal Lovaas Ishihara, “Crossing Harvard Yard” (36.4)
Carla Panciera, “The Kind of People Who Look at Art” (36.2)
Michael X. Wang, “Further News of the Defeat” (36.2)
As Díaz says in his introduction, a passionate fan letter to the short story itself, “I am as much in awe of the form’s surpassing beauty as I am bowled over by its extraordinary mutability and generativity… the short story’s colossal power extends from its brevity and restraint.” Indeed.
New England Review’s Vermont Reading Series is pleased to present a stunning array of accomplished writers: Jensen Beach and Eugene Mirabelli in fiction, poet Elizabeth Powell, and student translator Bernardo Andrade, representing Middlebury’s Translingual magazine. They will all read from their recent work at 51 Main at the Bridge in Middlebury, VT, on Monday, October 24, 7 pm.
This reading is co-sponsored by the Vermont Book Shop and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Light refreshments will be served, and books, cocktails, and other beverages will be available to purchase. The event is free and open to the public.
Bernardo Andrade will read from his translation of a conversation with Brazilian essayist Olavo de Carvalho, which he published in the Middlebury College student magazine of literary translation, Translingual. A Philosophy major from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Andrade speaks English, Russian, and Latin, as well as his native Portuguese.
Jensen Beach is the author of two collections of short fiction, most recently Swallowed by the Cold, published this year by Graywolf Press. His stories have appeared in A Public Space, Paris Review, and The New Yorker. He teaches at Johnson State College, where he is fiction editor at Green Mountains Review. He lives in Jericho with his family.
Eugene Mirabelli, now eighty-five, is the author of nine novels. His first was published in the middle of the last century and his most recent, Renato After Alba, comes out this fall from McPherson & Company. Mirabelli’s short stories have been translated into Czech, French, Hebrew, Russian, Sicilian, and Turkish, and for years he wrote on politics, society, and culture for an alternative newsweekly. He was a co-founder of Alternative Literary Programs, a nonprofit group that brought poets, storytellers, and fiction writers into secondary school classrooms. He is a professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany.
Elizabeth A. I. Powell is the author of The Republic of Self, a New Issue First Book Prize winner. Her second book, Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances, won the Robert Dana Prize in poetry and was published this year by Anhinga Press. She has received Pushcart Prize, a Vermont Council on the Arts grants, and a Yaddo fellowship, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Ecotone, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. She is Editor of Green Mountains Review, and Associate Professor of Writing and Literature at Johnson State College. Born in New York City, she has lived in Vermont since 1989 with her four children.
From W. W. Norton: Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale that spans the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth County, Georgia’s racial cleansing. With bold storytelling and lyrical prose, Phillips breaks a century-long silence and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century.
Patrick Phillips, longtime NER poet and translator, appeared most recently in NER 33.2. He is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor, and a Guggenheim and NEA Fellow. His most recent book, Elegy for a Broken Machine, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Blood at the Root can be purchased through W.W. Norton and independent booksellers.
“Anne Raeff’s exquisite stories are remarkable for their combination of intimacy and reverence for the mysteries and private griefs her characters fold their lives around . . . The Jungle around Us is a haunting and breathtakingly beautiful book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
From the publisher: While struggling with fear, danger, and displacement, the characters of The Jungle around Us form strange and powerful bonds in distant and unlikely places. A family that has escaped Vienna ends up on the edge of the Amazon, where the parents fight yellow fever and the daughter falls in love with a village boy. Two sisters learn lessons about race and war during the Columbia University riots of 1968. A young girl confronts death when her former babysitter is mysteriously murdered. Raeff’s stories are about embracing the world though the world contains everything we fear.
Anne Raeff is a high school teacher at East Palo Alto Academy, where she teaches English and history. Her stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA and Guernica, among others. Her first novel is Clara Mondschein’s Melancholia. Her collection The Jungle Around Us is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in NER, most recently in 37.2. The Jungle Around Us can be purchased from University of Georgia Press and independent booksellers.