Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
Home care nurse Emily Klein usually loves her work. But her new assignment—prenatal visits to a young woman under house arrest for the death of her toddler daughter during a Solstice ceremony—makes her uneasy. Maybe it’s Pippa Glenning’s odd household and the house arrest monitor. Or the court involvement that reminds Emily of her parents—political activism and her father’s imprisonment. But when she can’t get out of the assignment, Emily is determined to do right by her high-profile and unconventional patient. Pippa’s racially mixed Family of Isis is in turmoil. Without Tian—the cult leader and Pippa’s lover who is in jail awaiting trial for the deaths of two toddlers—the group struggles to keep the household and their Tea Room business functioning. If Pippa follows the rules of her house arrest, she may be allowed to keep her baby, but as the pregnant woman in the family it’s her duty to dance for Isis at the upcoming winter Solstice ceremony. To escape the house arrest without being caught, she needs Emily’s help. Set in Springfield, Massachusetts and on an island in Penobscot Bay, the story is told from the alternating points of view of Emily, Pippa, Sam, and Gina. House Arrest explores the meaning of family loyalty when beliefs conflict, and questions the necessity of sometimes breaking rules to serve justice.
The Hundred Fathom Curve chronicles the search for an American identity from the Vietnam War to 9/11. The poems, drawn from five previous collections and published over 40 years, include Barr’s eye witness accounts as a Navy veteran of Vietnam, and as a New Yorker who was present at 9/11. They explore the boundary of what is human with all that is not, and find things never to be as they seem. They follow the journey from nature into art, and the efforts of the artist to discover what it means to be human.
Conducting author interviews was not part of her plan, but one day when she was perusing a writing publication she came across an announcement about an upcoming workshop in which author interviews would be the focus. Motivated by her long-term love of fiction, her ever-expanding love of writing, and her quest for authorial knowledge, she decided to take the workshop. Initially she interviewed Paul Lisicky and Jill McCorkle, writers with whom she had already studied. After these interviews were accepted by a prestigious art magazine and literary journal, she interviewed other writers with whom she had studied: Ron Carlson and Margot Livesey. Ellis then started reaching out to authors she had never met before: Edward P. Jones, Julia Glass, Steve Almond, Amy Bloom, Chris Abani, to name a few. And the amazing thing was that the majority of authors she approached agreed to be interviewed. After she realized she had nearly enough interviews for an anthology the concept of Illuminating Fiction was born. The interviews contained in Illuminating Fiction include unique questions drawn from the text of the authors' work, questions about narrative voice, character, place, point of view, plot, revision, questions about the arc of the story/novel, questions about writing process, questions about the trajectory of the writer's career, and questions about the role and importance of writing courses and mentoring. Interviewed authors also provided their opinions of quotes about writing and creativity by other authors and artists, and they respond to questions about the challenges they face in developing their craft. The reader is thereby able to gain an intimate and specific understanding of the writer's words and craft, and what was going on in the author's mind as they created their novels, short stories, and poems.
The Autobiography of Blasé Bonpane
This is the personal story of the life of Blase Bonpane, a vanguard practitioner of liberation theology and a former Maryknoll priest. In the wake of the Second Vatican Council 1962-1965 many religious people, especially those serving in Latin America, began to understand a spirituality that transcended sectarianism. Having come from an upwardly mobile Italian American family marked by Southern Italian anti-clericalism, Blase was accustomed to hearing his parents express real differences with their institutional church. He went into the seminary despite the avid protests of his parents. Blase's odyssey takes us from his high school and college years, through his service in Guatemala during a violent revolution, to his expulsion from that country for "subversion." After receiving gag order from the Church, which he could not in good conscience accept, Blase met with the editorial board of the Washington Post and released all of the material he had regarding the U.S. military presence in Guatemala. This action led to his separation from the Maryknoll Fathers. Blase accepted a teaching post at UCLA. While serving in academia, he met the former Maryknoll Sister Theresa Killeen, who had served in Southern Chile. They married in 1970. Their adventures include working directly with Cesar Chavez at his headquarters in La Paz, California, building solidarity with the Central American Revolution, forming the Office of the Americas, working in the forefront of the international movement for justice and peace, and raising two children. Blase worked on the ground for international peace in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Japan and Iraq. He led the U.S. contingent of the International March for Peace in Central America from Panama to Mexico in 1985-1986.
In Confidence is Jim Tilley’s first book of poems, ranging from lyric to narrative in form. About half of the 60 poems are open-form sonnets, most of which fit a broad theme of personal and societal “dislocation.” The collection covers a variety of subjects, from relationships to issues of politics, the economy, and the environment. Several of the poems are presented in pairs with the same underlying setting or situation but with markedly different development, exhibiting a kind of ‘quantum’ picture with both states existing at the same time, not surprising since the poet was formerly a physicist. The subtly crafted verses of In Confidence resonate with universal human qualities.
Genevieve Kaplan's In the ice house offers an innovative meditation on domestic life and the physical world that surrounds it, chronicling "at least the beginnings of some disaster" taking place in a landscape that "had no symmetry." Her poems reveal an atmospheric and wondrous world filled with odd and compelling images. Readers confront the menace of the ordinary, "the whale-faced spout of the drainpipe, the cluck / of the chicken-bird" and how “the light attacks / the window and the stress of the shining / does not ease.” The poet's insistent evocation of elemental images—the birds, the ice, the water—becomes almost incantatory, as the speaker seeks escape from "the frantic outside" she's trapped within. Kaplan's sky "has the depth / of an ocean," and this book deeply articulates how "silence is the only word that can replace loss." Moving artfully between internal desires and incisive observations of the external, these stunning poems radiate with both heat and ice.
Traditionally, the ghazal, an ancient Persian form, has a lot of requirements (couplets, rhyme, refrain), but one specific subject—love. Especially illicit and unattainable love. So what are readers to make of Ron Koertge’s ghazals which are about, among other things, the Seven Dwarfs, Technicolor, and Mothra? Well, you probably can’t beat him, so you may as well join him as—with a white hot imagination and irrepressible and unpredictable lyricism—he bends a few rules and breaks the rest. And yet his subject is still love. But not illicit or unattainable, since what he really loves is language. And language loves him back. There it is on every page, lying at his feet, panting.
Jessy Randall’s poems are wholly modern: smart, funny, weird, and friendly. The first poem in this collection, a jokey discourse on metaphor, ends “This poem is like a pillow. I hit you with it.” And indeed, all of Randall’s poems pack a comfy punch, the kind of nudge you might get from a friend who’s a little exasperated with you at the moment but always adores you. Randall writes about robots, love, friendship, video games, Muppets, motherhood, Pippi Longstocking, and the peculiar seductiveness of old Fisher-Price wooden people on Ebay (“Rare Blue Mad Boy”). There’s danger and sadness alongside sweetness and fun, with an awe at the power of language underpinning everything. Randall is partial to the “found poem” and finds her texts in places as unlikely as an airport employee’s patter (“I Am Boarding You at This Time”) or a children’s ballet class (“Ballerinas Do Not Fall on the Floor”), pointing out the poetry of our everyday lives. Even those who think they don’t like poetry may enjoy Randall’s short, deceptively easy poems, bite-size mouthfuls of surprising lyricism, like her description of a game of “Mother, May I”: “I’m moving toward you in slow motion all the time.” In “Tape,” for example, the “little teeth of the dispenser / nibble” the speaker’s fingers “like a lover.” In “The Caveman and the Spacewoman” a dinnertime conversation shows the inevitable gulf between a husband and wife. Sometimes sexy and often funny (in “Phone Sex with You” the speaker vamps in a poncho with a Velcro closure), strange and yet familiar, the poems in Injecting Dreams into Cows will leave you “gasping with delight and deliciousness” like the cantaloupe of “Your Brain.”