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 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; and don’t miss the glittering gems studded throughout this issue on the history of ballooning and the history of sports in America as seen through the long career of veteran sportswriter Fred Russell. Robert Lacy gives us a survey of fashion or lack thereof since the thirties.
This issue includes two stories by Susan Engberg, and Michael Humfrey. It also contains thirty-five pages of verse—including eighteen new poems by Wendell Berry from his Sabbaths 2013. 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.
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 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.
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.
The State of Letters (Spring 2015)
We are putting together a third state of letters issue to follow Bound by the Cause of Words released in the fall of 2012 with contributions from librarians, journalists, editors, historians, novelists, and poets.
The time is ripe for another issue devoted to reading and the book, and we hope this expansive theme instigates writing on such related subjects as the purpose of criticism today, the decline of reviewing, new technologies of or for reading, poetry and the e-reader, generational differences in readers (did you know more millennials than people over thirty read a book last year?), self-publishing, the evolution (or devolution) of newspapers and periodicals owing to changing readerships, the redefinition of what libraries constitute, dictionaries and reference books, the end of the Encyclopedia Britannica, marginalia, exploring used bookstores, the history of minor literary forms such as detective stories, experimental literature online and off, current literary trends (the dystopian novel, the doorstop), literary agency, profiles of distinguished editors, editing the dead, book thieves and forgers—in short, we are looking for a spirited examination of the past, present, and future of the life of the book.
Please send submissions (SASE enclosed) for this issue no later than December 15, 2014.