Say It Isn’t So / a new poem by Tom Evans

Days of summer gone. If I had written a line like that, Joe Bolton, I would have died A happy man. Why did you do it, Were you half in love with Easeful death? How did you do it? Did you bite your tongue? I would understand If that was the case. You see, IContinue reading “Say It Isn’t So / a new poem by Tom Evans”

Book Review: “Judas” / by Amos Oz

I knew that Amos Oz was an Israeli writer, but that was about it, and I’d never read anything by him. On a recommendation (my therapist’s actually) I thought I’d give it a try, as I’d always had an interest in Judas, and am so glad I did. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an unequivocal masterpiece.Continue reading “Book Review: “Judas” / by Amos Oz”

“Spoon River Anthology”

Perhaps Edgar Lee Masters was a one-hit wonder, but what a hit it was, SRA being one of the most idiosyncratic (one might say even accidental) masterpieces in any country’s literature. I believe I first came across it on a summer reading list sent to me by my high school and  it immediately became one of my go toContinue reading ““Spoon River Anthology””

The Dream Songs / John Berryman

A scholar and professor as well as a poet, John Berryman graduated from Columbia in 1936, then went to study at Cambridge University for two years on a scholarship. Early on he wrote a critical biography of the American writer Stephen Crane, and first achieved national attention for Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (1956), a dense, brilliant book-length dialogue withContinue reading “The Dream Songs / John Berryman”

“The Meadow” / James Galvin

First published in 1992, James Galvin’s The Meadow depicts the century-long history of a hay meadow in the mountains of the Colorado/Wyoming border, told through the  eyes of Lyle, Ray, Clara, and App, of their unsentimental struggle to survive on an independent family ranch, along the way debunking much of the traditional romantic myth of the American West asContinue reading ““The Meadow” / James Galvin”

Wolf Solent / John Cowper Powys

Ah, the Powys family, from Shirley, Derbyshire, where to begin?  They were that rare commodity, a literary family (families who had more than two published members) who overshadowed the other two literary families, the Brontes and the Sitwells, in quantity if not in fame. The father, the Rev.Charles Francis Powys, and his wife, Mary Cowper Johnson, claimed direct descent from both John DonneContinue reading “Wolf Solent / John Cowper Powys”

Myra Breckinridge

“I believe in justice, I want redress for all wrongs done, I want the good life – if such a thing exists – accessible to all. Yet, emotionally, I would be only too happy to become world dictator, if only to fulfill my mission: the destruction of the last vestigial traces of traditional manhood inContinue reading “Myra Breckinridge”

James Salter

Mr. Salter, whom I should have included in my original list of writer’s  writers, died on June 19 of this year. I can think of only one other contemporary writer, Gina Berriault (“Women in Their Beds”), who has written as fine a collection of short stories as Salter’s “Last Night,” published in 2005. His finalContinue reading “James Salter”

Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken was another of the writers I became familiar with through my penchant for perusing the Adult Fiction section of my local public library. Not knowing where to begin I literally started from the beginning at A, and while Agee, Aleichem, Amis, Asch, and Austen (among others) interested me it was Aiken who fascinated me.Continue reading “Conrad Aiken”