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Poems by francine j. harris

The full-length debut from francine j. harris, allegiance is about Detroit, sort of. Although many of the poems are inspired by and dwell in the spaces of the city, this collection does not revel in any of the cliché cultural tropes normally associated with Detroit. Instead, these poems artfully explore life in a city where order coexists with chaos and much is lost in social and physical breakdown. Narrative poems on the hazards, betrayals, and annoyances of city life mix with impressionistic poems that evoke the natural world, as harris grapples with issues of beauty and horror, loyalty and individuality, and memory and loss on Detroit’s complicated canvas. In twelve sections, harris introduces readers to loungers and bystanders, prisoners’ wives, poets pictured on book jackets, Caravaggio’s Jesus, and city priests. She leads readers past the lone house on the block that cannot be walked down, through layers of discarded objects in the high school yard, and into various classrooms, bars, and living rooms. Shorter poems highlight the persistence of nature—in water, weeds, orchids, begonias, insects, pigeons, and pheasants. Some poems convey a sense of the underbelly, desire, and disgust while others treat issues of religion, both in institutional settings and personal prayers. In her honest but unsentimental voice, harris layers personal history and rich details to explore how our surroundings shape our selves and what allegiance we owe them when they have turn almost everything to ashes. Throughout allegiance, harris presents herself as an extraordinarily perceptive poet with a compelling and original voice. Poetry lovers will appreciate this exciting debut collection.

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Allegiance and Betrayal


by Peter Makuck

Allegiance and Betrayal” is comprised of a dozen short stories, all dealing with family in one way or another. The stories are set in New England and the South, including specific locations such as Connecticut and coastal North Carolina. Makuck writes about an offshore fishing trip to settle old scores, a scuba diving experience that rescues a friendship, a family reunion that turns ugly on the subject of religion, a widower trying to survive, and a house painter discovering a need to deal with chronic anger, amongst others. Makuck examines the conflicts of human nature, and the universality and significance of familial relationships. His stories uncover cultural and psychological distances between people, distances that remain present despite society’s technologically-fused attempts at closing these gaps.

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Allegorical Poetics and the Epic

The Renaissance Tradition to Paradise Lost

Mindele Anne Treip

Literary allegory has deep roots in early reading and interpretation of Scripture and classical epic and myth. In this substantial study, Mindele Treip presents an overview of the history and theory of allegorical exegesis upon Scripture, poetry, and especially the epic from antiquity to the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, with close focus on the Renaissance and on the triangular literary relationship of Tasso, Spenser, and Milton.

Exploring the different ways in which the term allegory has been understood, Treip finds significant continuities-within-differences in a wide range of critical writings, including texts of postclassical, patristic and rabbinical writers, medieval writers, notably Dante, Renaissance theorists such as Coluccio Salutati, Bacon, Sidney, John Harrington and rhetoricians and mythographers, and the neoclassical critics of Italy, England and France, including Le Bossu.

In particular, she traces the evolving theories on allegory and the epic of Torquato Tasso through a wide spectrum of his major discourses, shorter tracts and letters, giving full translations. Treip argues that Milton wrote, as in part did Spenser, within the definitive framework of the mixed historical-allegorical epic erected by Tasso, and she shows Spenser's and Milton's epics as significantly shaped by Tasso's formulations, as well as by his allegorical structures and images in the Gerusalemme liberata.

In the last part of her study Treip addresses the complex problematics of reading Paradise Lost as both a consciously Reformation poem and one written within the older epic allegorical tradition, and she also illustrates Milton's innovative use of biblical "Accommodation" theory so as to create a variety of radical allegorical metaphors in his poem.

This study brings together a wide range of critical issues -- the Homeric-Virgilian tradition of allegorical reading of epic; early Renaissance theory of all poetry as "translation" or allegorical metaphor; midrashic linguistic techniques in the representation of the Word; Milton's God; neoclassical strictures on Milton's allegory and allegory in general -- all of these are brought together in new and comprehensive perspective.

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Alligators May Be Present

A Novel

Andrew Furman

While many Jews have picked Florida as the perfect place to retire, Matt Glassman has chosen it as the place to begin his adulthood. Perhaps that's because the pressures of life have always reminded him about his grandfather who mysteriously disappeared from the family twenty years ago. Now, while he tries to begin a family of his own, he also builds a relationship with the one person who might know the truth about his grandfather?s disappearance: his grandmother. She's remained stubbornly reticent on the topic all these years, but when a familiar old man shows up at Glassman's office he thinks he may finally get some answers.

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Alluvial Cities

Christopher M. Hannan

The poems in Alluvial Cities are drawn from this layered landscape's geology and history, its people and language, and the kindred ties between earth and water, flesh and blood.

The waters broke from the void before first light,
a divinity ripping through the trembling flesh
of marshes and the levees’ old clay thighs,
covering every mile of St. Bernard Parish.
Houses with their cement slabs have floated
light as the rinds of watermelons you ate as a boy
and chucked into Lake Catherine, swelled to overflowing
by the god that surged into the Rigolets estuary
and left an afterbirth of sweet crude leaked
from foundered tanks.  Cars hang like carrion
birds on the highest branches and torn roofs.  Leached
of mud and flood waters, the houses we pass cry out
broken window panes, duct-taped fridges, and a stillness
that leaves us on the dead grass of this
woman’s home, like so many thrown bones.

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Austin Smith

Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land.

This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems "clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father's table every Christmas Eve." By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry.

From Almanac:

Austin Smith

Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town
Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs
of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks
or the molds of busts donated by the Art
Institute of Chicago to this dying
town's little museum, there was a mummy,
a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit
room by himself. I used to go
to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh
who, expecting an afterlife
of beautiful virgins and infinite food
and all the riches and jewels
he'd enjoyed in earthly life,
must have wondered how the hell
he'd ended up in Freeport, Illinois.
And I used to go alone into that room
and stand beside his sarcophagus and say,
"My friend, I've asked myself the same thing."

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Almost Gone

Brian Sousa

Brian Sousa leaves sentiment and saudade behind in Almost Gone, a linked collection spanning four generations of a Portuguese immigrant family. In this hardscrabble world, the youth struggle with the secrets left behind by their elders, as their parents fought through the pain and joy of assimilation. Told through various perspectives, Almost Gone is a working-class tale of survival that finds no easy answers, but cuts straight to the bone.

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Alms for Oblivion

Edward DahlbergForeword by Sir Herbert Read

Alms for Oblivion was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This volume makes available in book form a collection of seventeen essays by Edward Dahlberg, who has been called one of the great unrecognized writers of our time. Some of the selections have never been published before; others have appeared previously only in magazines of limited circulation. There is a foreword by Sir Herbert Read.

The individual essays are on a wide range of subjects: literary, historical, philosophical, personal. The longest is a discussion of Herman Melville's work entitled "Moby-Dick - A Hamitic Dream." The fate of authors at the hands of reviewers is the subject of the essay called "For Sale." In "No Love and No Thanks" the author draws a characterization of our time. He presents a critique of the poet William Carlos Williams in "Word-Sick and Place- Crazy," and a discussion of F. Scott Fitzgerald in "Peopleless Fiction." In "My Friends Stieglitz, Anderson, and Dreiser" he discusses not only Alfred Stieglitz, Sherwood Anderson, and Theodore Dreiser but other personalities as well. He also writes of Sherwood Anderson in "Midwestern Fable." In "Cutpurse Philosopher" the subject is William James. "Florentine Codex" is about the conquistadores. Other essays in the collection are the following: "Randolph Bourne," "Our Vanishing Cooperative Colonies," "Chivers and Poe," "Domestic Manners of Americans," "Robert McAlmon: A Memoir," "The Expatriates: A Memoir," and an essay on Allen Tate.

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Along the Journey River

A Mystery

Carole laFavor

Several sacred artifacts have gone missing from the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation and the suspect list is continuously growing. While it could be the racists from the bordering town, or a young man struggling with problems at home, or the county coroner and his cronies, the need for answers and apprehending the culprit is amplified when Jed Morriseau, the Tribal Chairman, is murdered. Investigating these mysterious occurrences because of tribal traditions and the honor of her family, Renee LaRoche works to track down the people responsible. But can she maintain her intense investigation as well as her new relationship with Samantha Salisbury, the visiting women’s studies professor at the white college nearby? Renee is caught between the traditions of her tribe and efforts to help her chimook lover accept their cultural differences. 

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Along These Highways

Rene S. Perez II

Rene Perez has the ability to stop time. In fact, time stops as soon as you start reading one of his short stories. You find yourself transported into the minds and lives of people you thought you didn't know. Suddenly they are your best friends.
They live in Texas. Most of them are Hispanic. But their problems are universal.
Like Alfredo, driving home from Dallas to Greenton with the body of his friend "Frankie" Ochoa in the back of his hearse and his son Ramon ready to drive if Alfredo's eyesight fails again.
Or Joey, just back from basic training and ready to ship out with his Marine platoon. He's having beers with his best friend J.R. at Flojo's, a bar outside of Greenton run by Liz and Vicente, "the toughest couple in town."
Or Benny, who drops into Flojo's for the first time in years and finds his one-time friend Gumby drinking himself into oblivion. Turns out Gumby's luck is even worse than Benny's.
Or Virginia, the schoolteacher who's trying to become better educated in the hope that her son who went to Stanford will come back home to Corpus Christi. Or Eric, who spent all his money on two flashy wheels for his car and put them both on the passenger side so that they'll impress everyone on the sidewalk as he passes. Or Andy, who breaks into a home he's always wanted to see from the inside.
You'll want to know them all. And you will count yourself fortunate to have met them.

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