Big Brother Is You, Watching

on Literature Lost: Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities by John M. Ellis

on Robert Penn Warren: A Biography by Joseph Blotner

Hugh Ruppersburg has just retired as Senior Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and University Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He writes about American literature and film, especially of the American South. 

The Power of Witness (on Fruits of Sorrow: Framing Our Attention to Suffering by Elizabeth V. Spelman; Vigil by Alan Shapiro; Heaven’s Coast by Mark Doty; and This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death by Harold Brodkey)

Herman Melville’s Literary Lives (on Melville and His Circle: The Last Years by William B. Dillingham; Melville: A Biography by Laurie Robertson-Lorant; and Herman Melville: A Biography, Volume 1, 1819-1851 by Hershel Parker)

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.

Ambiguity Isn’t What It Used to Be—Or Is It? (on Another Language: Selected Poems by Rosmarie Waldrop; Viridian by Paul Hoover; Crown of Weeds by Amy Gerstler; Through One Tear by Edward Nobles; and True North by Stephanie Strickland)

Literary Culture and Its Watchdogs (on The Fateful Question of Culture by Geoffrey H. Hartman; A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Class Desire by Janice A. Radway; and Life Sentences: Literary Essays by Joseph Epstein)

Fin de siècle

Sydney Lea’s thirteenth collection of poems, Here, is forthcoming from Four Way Books next year. Also due in 2018, from Vermont’s Green Writers Press, are Lea’s collected newspaper columns from his years as Vermont poet laureate, News That Stay News: Lyric and Everyday Life, his, and a re-issue of his collaborative book of essays with former Delaware poet laureate Fleda Brown, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives.

Howdy Duncan

Paul Zimmer lives on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin. In the fifteen years since his retirement from a long career in university publishing, he has published two books each of poetry and essay-memoir. His first novel, The Mysteries of Soldiers Grove, is forthcoming from Permanent Press in early 2015, when he will be eighty years old—which surely makes him, he believes, one of the oldest first novelists ever.