In Praise of Surrealism & In Praise of the Ordinary (poems)

Neil Carpathios’ poetry volumes are Beyond the Bones (FutureCycle Press, 2009), At the Axis of Imponderables (winner of the Quercus Review Press Book Award, 2007), and Playground of Flesh (Main Street Rag Press, 2006). He is coordinator of creative writing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

The More Mysterious: An Interview with Robert Morgan

Jesse Graves is co-editor of “Contemporary Appalachia,” volume 3 of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2010). His first poetry collection was Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine (2011), published by the same press, and his poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner and Connecticut Review, among other journals. An assistant professor of English at East Tennessee State University, Graves grew up in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, in a community his German ancestors settled in the 1780s.

Left Behind; Decoration Day; & Living Tree (poems)

Robert Morgan’s most recent book of poems is Terroir (Penguin, 2011). He is the author of the best-selling novel Gap Creek (1999) and the nonfiction books Boone: A Biography (2007) and Lions of the West (2011)—all three from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. A sequel to Gap Creek, The Road from Gap Creek, will be published in 2013. His honors include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the Thomas Wolfe Prize; and the Hanes Award for Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A native of western North Carolina, he has taught at Cornell University since 1971.

Eudora Welty: All Serious Daring Starts from Within (essay)

Fenton Johnson is the author of two novels, Crossing the River (1989) and Scissors, Paper, Rock (1993), as well as Geography of the Heart: A Memoir (1996), Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks (2003), and essays and stories for Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, and many literary quarterlies. His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Lambda Literary Awards, and the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award for best gay/lesbian nonfiction. Johnson teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Arizona.

Making Friends, and the Book of Friendship, with Eudora Welty (essay)

Ronald Sharp is the author or editor of five books in addition to the Norton Book of Friendship (1991)—among them Friendship and Literature: Spirit and Form (1986) and Keats, Skepticism and the Religion of Beauty (1979). In a long career at Kenyon College, he variously served as acting president, provost, John Crowe Ransom Professor of English, and editor of the Kenyon Review. He is now a professor of English at Vassar College.

Forby and the Mayan Maidens (fiction)

Mary Clearman Blew’s most recent books are This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press) and a novel, Jackalope Dreams (Flyover Fiction), both published in 2011. Two fiction collections, Lambing Out and Other Stories (2001) and Runaway (1990), won Pacific Northwest Booksellers awards, as did her memoir All But the Waltz: Essays on a Montana Family (1991). The winner of a Western Heritage Award and the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award, Blew is a professor of English at the University of Idaho.

Leaving Duck Creek (essay)

Mary Clearman Blew’s most recent books are This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press) and a novel, Jackalope Dreams (Flyover Fiction), both published in 2011. Two fiction collections, Lambing Out and Other Stories (2001) and Runaway (1990), won Pacific Northwest Booksellers awards, as did her memoir All But the Waltz: Essays on a Montana Family (1991). The winner of a Western Heritage Award and the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award, Blew is a professor of English at the University of Idaho.

on Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts by William Gass

Benjamin Hedin is the editor of an anthology, Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader (Norton, 2004). His fiction, interviews, and essays have appeared in the Nation, Salmagundi, Gettysburg Review, and other publications, and he has taught at New York University and the New School. He currently resides in Baltimore, where he is completing a novel.

Angles and Angels of American Poetry (on Norman Finkelstein’s On Mount Vision: Forms of the Sacred in Contemporary American Poetry; Marjorie Perloff’s Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century; Brett C. Millier’s Flawed Light: American Women Poets and Alcohol; and Samuel Hazo’s The Stroke of a Pen: Essays on Poetry and Other Provocations)

Edward Butscher’s poetry and criticism have appeared in numerous literary journals and publications, including the Saturday Review of Literature, Newsday, and the American Book Review. In 1976 he published the first biography of Sylvia Plath, and in 1988 his biography Conrad Aiken: Poet of White Horse Vale won the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Cane Award.