The Umbrella of Fact and Fiction (Fall 2014)
This stellar issue on the prismatic form of the essay will yield, we hope, many "A-ha!" moments for our readers. Reading the essays under this “umbrella of fact and fiction” by Maurice L. Goldsmith, Paul J. Lindholdt, Gerald L. Smith, and Christopher Thornton, it’s hard not to hear whispers of an accidental conversation on race and violence across generations, borders, and cultures. Ann E. Berthoff looks at the faltering art of conversation. Fred Russell examines the history of ballooning and the history of sports in America. Robert Lacy gives us a survey of fashion or lack thereof since the thirties.
Then came the sheep’s-milk yogurt so thick it could be cut with a knife. . . . She bathed it in Greek honey. From her pocket she gave us almonds and dried figs. The sun bathed us. She sat and began to sing. She was happy.
—Kathryn Starbuck, from “Singing for Patrick Leigh Fermor”
This issue includes two bloody good stories (you’ll see what we mean) by Susan Engberg, and Michael Humfrey. It also contains thirty-five pages of incredible verse—including eighteen new poems by Wendell Berry from his Sabbaths 2013. Since 1979 Mr. Berry has been writing poems in consonance with solitary Sunday walks on his farm in Kentucky, and even though a large volume of his collected and new Sabbath poems came out just last fall, these even newer Sabbath poems show there’s no slowing down for Wendell Berry. It is with equal honor and delight that we also present the poems of Robert Buffington, Ron De Maris, Peter Filkins, William Logan, Peter Makuck, Wesley McNair, and Thomas Zemsky.
Like the idea of God, or just the soul,
the beatitude of things lives on unseen.
Where did she go, the girl in the see-through dress?
—William Logan, “Sonnet”
This fall’s State of Letters section could be retitled the State of Lettered Lives. Contributors write about their interests in—and intersections with the trajectories of the lives of—a historian (Bertram Wyatt-Brown), a travel writer (Patrick Leigh Fermor), a memoirist (Margaret Terry Chanler), and an essayist (Joseph Addison). Reviewers present recent work by or about some of the best nonfiction writers of our time—Joseph Epstein, Penelope Fitzgerald, and Floyd Skloot. Reviewers also engage the nonfiction apparatus around two powerhouses of American fiction, Robert Penn Warren and Ernest Hemingway, in examination of their letters and their daily rituals.
Hemingway obviously felt that he enjoyed a fraternal epistolary relationship with Pound and that anything could be communicated, no matter how scandalous, bigoted or racist it might have been.
—George Poe, “The Hadley Years in Paris”
The final release of our 122nd year has become a greatest hits of sorts, exemplifying the manifold strengths in every genre of this quarterly.
Take a look at the books reviewed in the Fall issue.
Poetry and the Criticism of Poetry (Winter 2015)
This issue on poetry and the criticism of poetry includes poetry by Brendan Galvin, Dana Gioia, Warren Leamon, George Monteiro, Thomas Reiter, Timothy Riordan; essays by Robert Buffington (on Tate), Denis Corish (on Yeats), David Mason (on Gioia), John Ridland, Frederick Turner (on the Trivium); reviews by Marc Hudson (on Wendell Berry), Robert W. Miles (on Bach), and various hands.