An Interview with Rick Barot
On January 25, 2004, Craig Beaven of Blackbird met with poet Rick Barot, author of the collection The Darker Fall, at Barot's office at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. They discussed the making of poems and of poetry collections as well as the creative process in general.
A Glossary for Norman Dubie's The Spirit Tablets
at Goa Lake
As we complete the serial publication of Norman Dubie's epic poem, The
Spirit Tablets at Goa Lake, we include this glossary to
help readers better understand the vocabulary of the world of Tibetan
Buddhism that is the poem's milieu. The glossary was compiled by Susan
Settlemyre Williams, Blackbird associate literary editor, and
approved by Norman Dubie.
Interview with Samuel R. Delany
In September of 2003, critic and science fiction
writer Samuel R. Delany visited Virginia Commonwealth University and
neighboring Virginia Union University, reading from his fiction and
nonfiction and delivering a lecture titled "The History
of the Word 'Queer.'" He met with Marcel Cornis-Pope, chair of
the Department of English at VCU, and Nathan Long, assistant professor
of English at VUU, to talk about poetics, race,
gender, queer studies, and contemporary literary theory.
An Interview with T.
In October of 2003, Blackbird editor
Gregory Donovan met with poet T. R. Hummer in Donovan's office on the
campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. A talk about music and poetry
turned into a lengthy discussion of jazz, bluegrass, blues, and bebop,
and especially the culture that forms the background for Hummer's "For
Dancers Only: Suite for Jimmie Lunceford, 1902-1947" (published
in text and audio in this issue of Blackbird) and for The
Infinity Sessions, the work-in-progress of which "Dancers" is
by Colleen Curran and Patricia Wagner
In January of 2004, Colleen Curran and Patricia
Wagner came to the Virginia Commonwealth University campus
to read their stories from this issue of Blackbird.
Curran's fiction has appeared in JANE, Richmond Magazine, Meridian,
and the anthology The Dictionary of Failed Relationships: 26
Stories of Love Gone Wrong (Three Rivers, 2003). Her first novel,
We Are Young and Out for Glory, is forthcoming from Vintage. "My
Things" is Wagner's first published fiction.
Interview with Susan Aizenberg
In October of 2003, Blackbird editor
Gregory Donovan and poet David Wojahn, both of the Virginia Commonwealth
University Department of English, met with Susan Aizenberg, winner
of the Sixth Annual Levis Reading Prize, at VCU. They talked about Muse,
Aizenberg's prize-winning poetry collection, about influences, about
trends, and more.
Interview with Isabel Zuber
On October 3, 2003, Patty Smith of the Virginia
Commonwealth University Department of English met with writer Isabel
Zuber on the VCU campus. Zuber was in Richmond to receive the second
VCU First Novelist Award for her novel Salt, published by Picador
in 2002. Their conversation focused primarily on Salt, its origins,
its structure, its setting, and its characters.
Sixth Annual Levis Prize Reading
On October 15, 2003, the Department of English
and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University
celebrated the awarding of the Sixth Annual Levis Reading Prize. Marcel
Cornis-Pope, Department Chair, introduced the event. Gregory Donovan
then introduced Susan Aizenberg, who read from her winning book Muse (Southern
Illinois University Press, 2002).
Sisyphus and Other
A Review of Stephen Dunn's Local Visitations (W.W. Norton, 2003)
Poet and critic Ron Smith
(Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery) discusses Local Visitations,
poet Stephen Dunn: "When we think of all the blunt blundering, all the
inept evasiveness that constitutes thinking in our public and private
discourse in twenty-first century America, how wonderful it is to have
poems like Stephen Dunn's delicate, measured examinations and fittings-together,
the work of a jeweler or a watchmaker. Or a neurosurgeon."
In conjunction with the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth
University, Blackbird remembers the poet Larry Levis and features
poems by this year's Levis Reading Prize winner, Susan Aizenberg.
You will also find Levis's "Elegy with a Thimbleful of Water in
the Cage" and streaming audio and video of Levis reading it, a
previously unpublished Levis poem, "The Space," Dave
"Larry Levis: Johnny Dominguez, A Letter," drawings by artist
David Freed, andforthcomingan audio recording of the Sixth
Annual Levis Prize Reading and an interview with Susan Aizenberg.
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