Scholar and traveler Russell Eraser is a direct descendant of Alexander Fraser, first commander of the U.S. Coast Guard and skipper of one of the last clipper ships before the age of steam. He sailed on the brig Lawrence around Cape Horn in the mid-19th century, as had Charles Darwin earlier in his famous Voyage of the Beagle. Alexander Fraser’s voyage was in 1848. His great-great grandson made the same journey in the 1990’s, but Russell Fraser did not merely sail around Cape Horn. Aboard a Russian ice-breaker, he sailed right to land’s end, namely to Antarctica. His adventures in getting to and from the continent of ice are recounted in his latest VQR travel essay. His earlier personal forays through Sicily (Autumn 1994), Scotland (Spring 1996), and France (Summer 1997) have shown him to be one of America’s most accomplished travel writers. In his journeys around the world, Mr. Fraser has ranged from China to Constantinople, one of the cities featured in his book The Three Romes, the others being the Italian capital, and Moscow. He is the author of 16 books and the emeritus Austin Warren Professor of English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. When last heard from, Mr. Fraser had just returned from a trip to the Orkney Islands.
An accomplished short story writer and novelist, William Hoffman published his latest novel, Tidewater Blood (Algonquin Books), last summer. It is a novel of suspense taking place in Tidewater Virginia and in the coal mining area of West Virginia. Mr. Hoffman now has a collection of stories in production at the University of Missouri Press. He lives in Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia, and has long been associated with the English faculty at Hampden-Sydney College.
Dr. C. C. H. Cullander’s interest in Thomas Mann began when he was treating a young schizophrenic woman at a small psychoanalytical hospital in Rockville, Maryland. Among her voluminous notes, he discovered references to Naphta and Settembrini, characters in Mann’s The Magic Mountain. “I became enthralled with the story and especially Thomas Mann’s psychological insight,” Dr. Cullander recently wrote. He is now writing a book dealing with Mann and his friend, Ernst Bertram. Dr. Cullander received both his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Currently he is a clinical professor of psychiatric medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School. He was a training and supervising psychoanalyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and is a former president of the Washington Psychoanalytic Society.
Jeffrey Meyers has recently completed a collection of essays, Beneath the Surface: Life and Art in Hemingway and Privileged Moments: Encounters with Writers. This year, a Korean translation of his biography of Joseph Conrad will appear as well as German and Polish translations of his life of Humphrey Bogart. He has also written the introductions to two volumes of screenplays by Billy Wilder. Among Mr. Meyers’ many literary biographies are Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, and Robert Frost.
Michael Griffith is the associate editor of The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Oxford Review, The Southern Review, Chelsea, Southern Literary Journal, and Salmagundi. His story “Hawg Heaven” is an excerpt from a novel, Spikes.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Peter Bridges served twice in the American Embassy in Rome and was ambassador to Somalia. His essay “Prince Albert and King Lothar” appeared in the Summer 1997 issue of VQR.
The multitalented James Spencer not only writes short stories and poems but is also at work on his second novel. He is also a playwright who has had plays produced by the Ohio University School of Theater, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and The Chelsea Theatre in New York City. His stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Greensboro Review, Ontario Review, and other publications.
Emily Auerbach is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and producer of “The Courage to Write,” an ongoing series of public radio documentaries about women writers that has won four national awards. She has published books and articles on 19th-century literature and music and now is at work on a book entitled Searching for Jane Austen.
Stephen Dobyns’ latest VQR poems are part of a book Penguin/Putnam will publish in the fall of this year entitled Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides. Mr. Dobyns is a novelist as well as a poet. His 20th novel, Boy In the Water, will be published by Henry Holt in late spring.
Susan Maurer lives in New York City and her poems have appeared in American Voice, Mississippi Mud, and The Columbia Review. Her collection, By the Blue Light of the Morning Glory, was published by Linear Arts last year.
Dennis Sampson was recently Bannister Poet in Residence at Sweetbriar College and is now a visiting professor of poetry in the English Department at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. His latest book, Forgiveness, was published by Milkweed and his next book, Constant Longing, will be published this spring by Carnegie-Mellon.
Jacquelyn Pope is a writer and translator who lives in Boston and has work forthcoming in Shenandoah, and Indiana Review.
A graduate of the M. F. A. program at the University of Virginia, April Lott lives in Minneapolis and works for a small health care research company as a data analyst. She has published poems in Oasis, Artemis, and Dreams and Nightmares.
D. Nurkse has forthcoming work in Poetry and The New Yorker.
Martha Collins currently teaches part of each year at Oberlin College. Her fourth collection, Some Things Words Can Do, was published this fall by Sheep Meadow Press along with her out-of-print book from Georgia, A History of Small Life on a Windy Planet.
Reginald Shepherd’s third book of poems, Wrong, will be published by Pittsburgh this year, as was his second collection, Angel, Interrupted in 1996, which was a finalist for a 1997 Lambda Literary Award. His first book, also published by Pittsburgh, Some Are Drowning, appeared in 1994 as winner of the 1993 Associated Writing Programs’ Award in Poetry.
A winner of the 1996 VQR Emily Clark Balch Prize in fiction for “Escaping,” Brad Barkley is the author of Circle View, a collection of stories published by SMU Press. He is past recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA, and one of Mr. Barkley’s short stories was short-listed in The Best American Short Stories 1997. He teaches at Frostburg State University in western Maryland.
Merrill D. Peterson was the Thomas Jefferson Professor of History at the University of Virginia from 1962 until his retirement in 1987. He also served as chairman of the department of history during 1966—72 and dean of Virginia’s faculty, 1981—85. His classic work, The Jefferson Image in the American Mind, is being brought back into print by the University Press of Virginia, with a new introduction by the author. Mr. Peterson was also the editor of The Writings of Thomas Jefferson published by the Library of America.
Vyacheskav P’yetsukh is a Russian writer whose short story has been translated from Russian by Dinara Georgeoliani and Mark Halperin. Ms Georgeoliani was educated in Moscow and Tbilisi in Georgia. She is now an assistant professor at Central Washington University where she teaches in the Department of Foreign Languages and collaborates with Mark Halperin on translations from Russian literature.
Mark Halperin is a widely published poet whose most recent collection, The Measure of Islands, was published by Wesleyan. He is in the English Department at Central Washington University.
W. D. Ehrhart has three books forthcoming in 1999: Ordinary Lines: Platoon 1005 and the Vietnam War (Temple), Retrieving Bones: Stories and Poems of the Korean War (with Philip K. Jason, Rutgers), and Beautiful Wreckage: New & Selected Poems (Adastra).
John Piller has published his poems in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry East, and the VQR. He has been awarded an “individual artists’ grant in poetry from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, two fellowships from the Virginia Senate for Creative Arts, and the Richard Hugo Prize. He is currently the grants manager for the AIDS/HIV services group in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Michael F. Graham is a member of the history faculty at the University of Akron and received his Ph.D. in British history from the University of Virginia.
Paul Barolsky is Commonwealth Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia and former director of graduate studies and former chair of the McIntire Department of Art. He is the author of Why Mona Lisa Smiles and Walter Pater’s Renaissance and a member of the VQR Advisory Board.
Lilian R. Furst is Marcel Bataillon Professor of comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Between Doctors and Patients: The Changing Balance of Power published by Virginia last year. She has written extensively on 19th and 20th-century literature.
Cover Photo Credit: Researched and Contributed by Heather Burns
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