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The Green Room, Summer 1977

ISSUE:  Summer 1977

Of all the wonders of this technological age, few have arrived more swiftly or wrought more changes than those of communications. Where it once took weeks or months to send a message around the globe, it is now but a matter of seconds. Where television was a rare commodity in American homes only a quarter of a century ago, the ubiquitous tube can now be found in 97 per cent of our households. Thus the production, storage, and distribution of information is certain to be a major source of concern and controversy in the waning years of the 1970’s. The “new communications” have long been a concern of Glen O. Robinson. A native of Salt Lake City and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, Mr. Robinson received his law degree from Stanford, where he ranked second in his class. After practicing law in Washington and serving as a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, he served as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission from 1974 to 1976. He is now special advisor in communications for the Aspen Institute, a member of the committee on telecommunications for the National Research Council, and a professor of law at the University of Virginia.

The judges of the 1977 Emily Clark Balch short story contest decided to cite three stories of equal merit from the 1,442 submitted this year.

Margaret Edwards is a member of the English Department at the University of Vermont and is working on her first novel. She was introduced to the legend of Skadar “by my friend Ms. Zora Devrnja Zimmerman, who teaches at the University of Iowa. I have taken liberties, but not many, with the story. My ending to the story is put in jeopardy to some degree by what Ms, Zimmerman has recently written me in a letter. She says, “The fortress of Skadar still stands and is the landmark of present-day Scutari, Albania. The “milk” (a chalky liquid) still flows from its walls. I received an eyewitness report about this phenomenon in the winter of ‘74—75.”“

Mary Heath is living in London at the present time, but she makes her permanent home in Massachusetts, where her husband teaches English at Amherst and she is affiliated with The Massachusetts Review. Her story, “Breaking Hearts,” ran in VQR’s Winter 1972 issue. She has finished a novel and a collection of short stories, of which “Grace Abounding,” her Balch winner, is one. This year she has been in London as a part-time student at the Tavistock Institute.

Richard Lyons is director of the creative writing program at the University of Oregon. A native of Brooklyn, he received his B. A. degree from Brooklyn College and later took an M. F. A. degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been a visiting writer at several schools in the United States and Mexico, and his stories have been published in numerous journals.

Graeme Wilson is a noted translator of Far Eastern poetry. The sijo, he notes, is “the characteristic form of Korean poetry, Though now primarily a literary form, the sijo was originally a song accompanied by a drum and wind instruments. No one knows when the singing started, but it must have been some time after the earliest Korean script died out in the 7th century and before the present Korean alphabet was invented by King Sejong in 1446. Though the sijo began as the poetry of nobles and scholars, it rapidly became the vehicle for the expression of Korean thought and feeling at all levels of society.”

George Core is editor of The Sewanee Review and has written widely on the Fugitives. The genesis of his essay, he writes, “is Thomas Daniel Young’s superb biography of [John Crowe] Ransom, which authoritatively establishes the facts of his visible progress through the world.” Mr. Core is now working with Mr. Young on an edition of Ransom’s letters, to be published by LSU Press. He says his essay grew in part out of his reading of Ransom’s correspondence. “By considering the strong role that sentiment plays in Ransom’s life, poetry, and his criticism,” Mr. Core adds, “I hope I have uncovered a dimension of all three that has been neglected.”

David M. Wyatt is working on a book about generation and descent in American literature, in which his essay on Robert Penn Warren will be the last chapter. Mr. Wyatt, an assistant professor of English at the University of Virginia, has completed a book entitled Spelling Time: The Reader in 20th Century American Literature. He is a graduate of Yale University and received his Ph. D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Pat Watters lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is now a free-lance writer. He is the former editor of Southern Voices, a former columnist for the Atlanta Journal, and author of several books, including The South and the Nation and the recently published The Angry Middle-Aged Man: The Crisis of America’s Last Minority.

Ben Belitt’s “The Double-Goer” is, in his words, “a key poem in my forthcoming (my fifth) collection of verse entitled The Double Witness.” The collection won Princeton University’s competition in their “Contemporary Poetry” series last year and is due out shortly from the Princeton University Press. A translator as well as a poet, Mr. Belitt has published book-length translations of Lorca, Albert!, and Machado, as well as five anthologies of Neruda.

Angela Peckenpaugh’s poems about her Civil War ancestor began when her writing instructor at the University of Massachusetts asked her about her “roots.” Ham Chamberlayne, she reports, “was my mother’s father’s father. When Ham got out of the war, he was only 27. He died at 47.” At the time of his death he was editor of The State, an evening newspaper in Richmond. A native of Richmond herself, Mrs. Peckenpaugh now teaches English at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is married to C. W. Peckenpaugh, a Milwaukee artist, and has four cats and a garden.

Elizabeth Bartlett has taught and lectured at many campuses in the U. S. and Canada. Her poem in this issue is from her fortcoming book, The House of Sleep. Her previous books include Poems of Yes and No, Behold This Dreamer, and Selected Poems.

C. Stephen Finley is a young Virginia poet, who is publishing in VQR for the first time. Although he was born in the Old Dominion, Mr. Finley spent most of his youth in small towns throughout the South. He received a B. A. degree from Baylor University in 1974, a master’s degree in 1976 from the University of Virginia, where he is now completing a doctoral dissertation in 19th-century English literature. “I draw sustenance from the landscape,” he says, “because my first love . . . is the natural world that shares creaturehood with us.”

Robert Mason is a veteran journalist who witnessed many executions when he first began his career as a reporter in North Carolina in the 1930’s. He interrupted his newspaper career to serve as a naval officer in World War II. For the past fifteen years he has been editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.

Robert J. Bruggeh spent three years in the Marine Corps and was a company commander with the First Marines in Vietnam in the spring of 1968. Later that year he voiced his objection to the war in a letter to the Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Bruggeh received his Ph. D. in history from John Hopkins University in 1974 and is now an assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia.

F. Allen Josephs is an associate professor of foreign languages at the University of West Florida, where he teaches Spanish literature and civilization. He is currently working on a book about southern Spain and researching another on Hemingway. He has published articles in the U. S. and in Spain on Lorca, Hemingway, and bull-fighting. His critical edition of Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba was published last year in Madrid.

Peter Heath is an Oxford-educated philosopher who taught for some years at Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities in Scotland before joining the University of Virginia faculty in 1962. A confirmed Carroll addict and collector, he is currently president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

John Seelye is professor of American literature at the University of North Carolina and author of Prophetic Waters: The River in Early American Life and Literature, published last spring by Oxford University Press.

A former poetry editor of the Chicago Review, David Lee Rubin received his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois in 1967. He is now an associate professor of French at the University of Virginia, giving courses in poetic and 17th century literature.

Alf J. Mapp, Jr. has an abiding interest in local histories. He also has an abiding interest in Alfred the Great and for good reason: he is a direct descendant of the British monarch and author of The Golden Dragon: Alfred the Great and His Times.

Thomas F. Armstrong is an assistant professor of history at Georgia College, where he teaches a course in urban history. He is particularly interested in the urban development of the South.

Irvin Malin is the author of William Faulkner: An Interpretation and co-edited a critical collection, The Achievement of William Styron, He teaches at the City College of New York.

Stephen Whitfield teaches a seminar in American culture at the turn of the century at Brandeis University, where he is a member of the American Studies Department. He is the author of Scott Hearing: Apostle of American Radicalism.

A specialist in 19th century British literature, Janice Carlisle has a particular attraction to the tragic lives and triumphant works of the Brontes, A member of the University of Virginia’s English department, she has completed a book on Victorian fiction and is currently completing a project on Charlotte Bronte’s Villette.


Advisory Editors William S. Weedon J. C. Levenson Robert Jennings Harris W. W. Abbot Roger Shattuck Ian Stevenson J. Harvie Wilkinson, III Elisabeth R. Aaron, Business Manager

A National Journal of Literature and Discussion published since 1925 in January, April, July, and October. Subscription rates: one year, $7.00; two years, $12.00; three years, $15.00. Canadian postage, 50 cents a year; foreign postage, $1 a year. Single copies, $2.00. Title page and annual index available in November.

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