Joyce Carol Oates is the author of some one hundred books in multiple genres, including the novel Little Bird of Heaven (2009), the story collection Sourland (2010), and the memoir A Widow’s Story (2011), all from Ecco. The 2010 recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement of the National Book Critics Circle, Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978. Oates’s “Ballerina” appeared in our fortieth-anniversary retrospective (Spring 1986).
Maurya Simon’s tenth volume of poetry, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980–2016, was recently published by Red Hen Press (2018). Other recent publications include The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula (Elixir Press, 2010), and Questions My Daughter Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Her (Blackbird Press, 2014). Simon has received an NEA Fellowship in poetry and two awards from the Poetry Society of America, and this fall she will serve her third visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome. Simon is currently a Professor of the Graduate Division and a Professor Emerita at the University of California–Riverside, where she taught literature and creative writing for nearly thirty years.
Eavan Boland (1944–2020) authored many books over her distinguished career, including, most recently, A Poet’s Dublin (2016) and A Woman Without a Country (2014). Other poetry volumes include Domestic Violence (2007); Against Love Poetry (2001); The Lost Land (1998); and In a Time of Violence (1994). Boland also published two books of prose: A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet (2011) and Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (1995); she also co-edited with Mark Strand and Edward Hirsch the Norton anthologies The Making of a Sonnet (2007) and The Making of a Poem (2000). Her numerous honors include a Lannan Foundation Award in poetry and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Royal Irish Academy. Boland directed the creative-writing program at Stanford University.
Kathryn Stripling Byer received the 2013 North Carolina Book Award and the 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers Award for Poetry for her most recent collection, Descent (Louisiana State University Press, 2012). A native of south Georgia, she recently completed five years as North Carolina’s first woman poet laureate. Frequently anthologized, her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications ranging from the Atlantic to Appalachian Heritage.
Elizabeth Dodd’s essay in this issue will appear in her new book, Horizon’s Lens: My Time on the Turning World, forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in fall 2012. She teaches at Kansas State University.