on Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles

Second Thoughts: On Rereading Robert Lowell (on Collected Poems by Robert Lowell, Frank Bidart, and David Gewanter)

Judith Kitchen passed away on 6 November 2014, just days after completing work on the essay-review in Spring 2015 Georgia Review. The contributor’s note she supplied read as follows: “Judith Kitchen has three new forthcoming essays—in the Harvard Review, Great River Review, and River Teeth. Her most recent book, The Circus Train, was the lead publication in a new venture—Ovenbird Books, at ovenbirdbooks.org.” To that we respectfully add this brief overview of her writing and teaching career: Kitchen began as a poet, publishing the volume Perennials as the winner of the 1985 Anhinga Press Poetry Prize. She then shifted to prose writing of several sorts, with emphases on essays and reviews. Her four essay volumes are Only the Dance: Essays on Time and Memory (University of South Carolina Press, 1994); Distance and Direction (Graywolf Press, 2002); Half in Shade: Family, Photographs, and Fate (Coffee House Press, 2012); and The Circus Train (Ovenbird Books, 2013)—which appeared first, almost in its entirety, in the Summer 2013 issue of The Georgia Review. In 1998 Kitchen published a critical study, Writing the World: Understanding William Stafford (University of Oregon Press), and in 2002 a novel, The House on Eccles Road (Graywolf Press). She also conceived and edited three important collections of brief nonfiction pieces, all published by W. W. Norton: In Short (1996), In Brief (1999), and Short Takes (2005)—the first two coedited by Mary Paumier Jones. Kitchen also founded State Street Press in the early 1980s, bringing out over the next twenty years seventy-six poetry chapbooks, two pamphlets, five full-length poetry volumes, two collections of translations, and a poetry anthology—the State Street Reader. After teaching for many years at SUNY-Brockport—not all that far from her birthplace of Painted Post, NY—Judith retired and moved with her husband Stan Sanvel Rubin to Port Townsend, WA, from which they founded and co-directed for a decade the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. The collection What Persists
Selected Essays on Poetry from The Georgia Review, 1988–2014 was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2015.

The Vigil of Astonishment (on The Mercy Seat: Collected and New Poems, 1967-2001 by Norman Dubie)

Kevin Clark’s several books of poems include the forthcoming The Consecrations (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2021). His first collection, In the Evening of No Warning (New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2002), earned a grant from the Academy of American Poets, and his second, Self-Portrait with Expletives (2010), won the Pleiades Press prize. His poetry appears in the Southern Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, and Crazyhorse. A regular critic for The Georgia Review, he’s also published essays in the Southern Review, Papers on Language and Literature, and Contemporary Literary Criticism. He teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop. 

Batter My Heart (on Lot of My Sister by Alison Stine; The Scottish Café by Susan H. Case; Three by Stephen Philbrick; Rendered into Paradise by Jean Feraca; Lost River by James Tate; A Tree Ogham by Marcia L. Hurlow; Earthbound and Singing to the Garden by Roger Pfingston; and Light Made from Nothing by Susan Elbe)

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.

Gypsy Fiddle; Horton’s Store; & Summertime

R. T. Smith is writer-in-residence at Washington and Lee University, where he edits Shenandoah. The latest of his many books are Outlaw Style: Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 2007) and a collection of stories, The Calaboose Epistles (Iris Press, 2009). His work has been reprinted in such notable anthologies as Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize.

Precious Blood

To the Occupant of Apartment 6X

Richard Bernstein’s “Wheeling and Dealing” and “Wheelman” mark his fourth appearance in The Georgia Review. A twelve-time recipient of the Bright Hill Press New York State Poetry Teacher of the Year Award, he is currently in his twenty-eighth year as a high school English, creative writing, and drama teacher in Norwich, New York. He also teaches courses in English and public speaking at Morrisville State College.

Benediction: On Being Boswell’s Boswell

David Gessner’s Ultimate Glory, his memoir of his years playing Ultimate Frisbee, is due out in June 2017 from Riverhead Books. He is the author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West (W. W. Norton, 2015), as well as eight other books—among them The Tarball Chronicles (2011), My Green Manifesto (2011), and Sick of Nature (2003). Founder of Ecotone, the literary journal of place, Gessner served as host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative.

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