Having described personal forays through Sicily (autumn 1994) and Scotland (spring 1996), seasoned traveler Russell Fraser now turns his discerning eye to the ancient country of France in his latest VQR essay, concentrating on Burgundy and its splendid cathedrals. 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. The author of 15 books, he is also a distinguished scholar who held the chair of Austin Warren Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan until his retirement two years ago. When last heard from, Mr. Fraser had recently returned from trips to Burma and Cambodia and was on his way to Antarctica.
Paul Barolsky is Commonwealth Professor of the History of Art at the University of Virginia. He is the author of various essays on the fables of art, including the recent piece “A Very Brief History of Art From Naricissus to Picasso” in The Classical Journal (1995). He is the author of a trilogy on Renaissance art and ideas, the titles being Michelangelo’s Nose (1990), Mona Lisa’s Smile (1991), and Gioto’s Fall (1992) all published by Penn State. Mr. Barolsky returned to his beloved Italy this past spring to do research on Michelangelo.
Susan Volchok is making her second appearance in VQR, her first, the story “Steam” having received the 1994 Balch Prize for best fiction. Her work has also appeared or is soon forthcoming in 13th Moon, New Novel Review, Confrontation, Paris Transcontinental (France), Asylum Annual, and The Kenyan Review. Ms. Volchok recently finished her first collection of short fiction currently on offer to publishers and is working to complete a novel. Though “Japanese Fan” is a work of pure imagination, its author has spent some 15 years as a student in a traditional Japanese Shotokan karate dojo in New York City. She is presently training toward sandan (3rd degree black belt).
For the first time in recent memory, a son and father are appearing as authors in the same issue of this journal, the son being Matthew Pinsker, a first-time contributor, and the father being Sanford Pinsker, a long-time contributor. Matthew Pinsker teaches Civil War history at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. A Rhodes scholar, he received his D. Phil, in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has also worked as a campaign manager and political consultant for Democratic candidates which may explain his interest in presidents Clinton and Lincoln. In the 1996 Congressional elections, his candidate lost by only 84 votes.
Sanford Pinsker is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College and a prolific contributor to various journals in addition to this one, recent pieces of his having appeared in The Georgia Review and Sewanee Review. His most recent book is Worrying About Race, 1985-1995: Reflections During a Troubled Time(Whitston 1996).
Celeste O’Dell earned an M. F. A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop when she was in her mid-50’s. “I published my first story after I was 60,” she notes, “and hope to publish a few more.” “The Bridegroom” is her first story in VQR;she also recently had stories published in The Belletrist Review, Iowa Woman, and Timber Creek Review. She lives in Portland, Oregon and is at work on a group of stories centered in Baker City, Oregon, where she grew up.
Although he is a native New Yorker, Abe Kriegel has spent most of his professional career as an historian in the South, where he is a professor of history at the University of Memphis and a former department chairman. His academic specialty is the political culture of 19th century Britain about which he has written in numerous journals, among them English Historical Review, The Journal of Modern History, and History Today. Mr. kriegel is the editor of The Holland House Diaries: 1831-1840 and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Recent essays have appeared in Southwest Review and Midstream.
Joyce Carol Oates is not only a distinguished novelist, short story writer, and essayist; she is a poet as well. Her poems have recently appeared in such magazines as Paris Review, Triquarterly, and The New Yorker. Her VQRpoems are from a new collection titled Tenderness.
Nance Van Winckel teaches in Eastern Washington University’s M. F. A. program in Cheney, Washington. Her second collection of poems, The Dirt, was published by Miami University Press in 1994 and her second collection of short stories, Quake, has just appeared from Missouri.
Stephen Perry lives in Los Angeles and has published poems in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker.
A distinguished critic of modern American poetry, Stephen Cushman is the author of William Carlos Williams and the Meanings of Measure (Yale 1985) and Fictions of Form in American Poetry (Princeton 1993). His first collection of poetry entitled Blue Pajamas will be published in 1998 by Louisiana State.
Janet Sylvester is the author of The Mark of Flesh, a book of poetry published this summer by Norton. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
A novelist as well as a poet, David Bottoms teaches at Georgia State University and has published poems recently in Poetry and The New Republic.
Doreen Gildroy received her M. F. A. degree from Warren Wilson College. She has had poems published recently in The Antioch Review, The Colorado Review, and Triquarterly.
In addition to being a poet, Nathan Whiting is a distance runner who has completed more than 25 races of 100 miles or longer. Hence The Runner magazine called him “the poet laureate of impossible distances.” More recently, Mr. Whiting switched to dance but whether running or dancing, he continues to produce poetry, having published 9 books of poems.
Hank Lazer, who received his Ph. D. in English from the University of Virginia, is an Assistant Vice President and Professor of English at the University of Alabama. In 1996, he published four books: two of poetry, Early Days
of the Lang Dynasty and 3 of10, and Opposing Poetries, two volumes of criticism from North-western University Press.
A long-time contributor to VQR, Kent Nelson received the Balch Prize for Short Fiction in 1975 for his story “The Humpbacked Bird.” He now resides in Ouray, Colorado, where he has started running in the mountains. “Last fall I did the race from Ouray to Telluride (18 miles and 5324 feet of elevation gain) in 3 hours and 30 minutes. I’m slow but persistent.”
Peter Bridges was born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, but his family came from Gloucester County, Virginia. A graduate of Dartmouth (B. A.) and Columbia (M. A.), Mr. Bridges is a former ambassador to Somalia and a world traveler. He is also a poet and is currently working on a book of sonnets.
Louise Farmer Smith, a PEN/New England Discovery author, won the 1996 Antietam Review Literary Prize for her story, “The Soloists.” She has received fellowships from The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Woodstock Guild, and The Ragdale Foundation. Her work, “Supper Alone,” appears in the anthology, I Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books, Spring ‘97).
Carol Ascher is the author of The Floodand Simone deBeauvoir: A Life of Freedom, and co-author of Hard Lessons: Public Schools and Privatization. She has received four Pen/NEA Syndicated Short Fiction awards, and two grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her personal essays and stories have appeared in such journals as The American Voice, Boulevard, Kenyan Review, and Witness.
A native of Wales, Richard Jones is the author of four novels including The Three Citiesand Supper with the Barges both published in the U. S. He was for many years employed by the Reuter’s News Agency and the B. B. C. He now resides in London, where he is a keen follower of British politics as well as trends in literature.
A frequent reviewer for VQR, Stephen J. Whitfield is professor of American Studies at Brandeis University and author of such books as A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Tilland A Critical American: The Politics of Dwight MacDonald.
Having written biographies of such literary figures as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edgar Allan Poe, Jeffrey Meyers has now turned his biographical eye to Hollywood. His biography of Humphrey Bogart was published this spring.
Andrew Burstein is the author of The Inner Jefferson: Portrait of a Grieving Optimist(1995) and the forthcoming Sentimental Democracy: The Evolution of America’s Romantic Selfimage. He served as a consultant and appeared in the Ken Burns’ P. B. S. documentary “Thomas Jefferson” which aired in February of this year.
Neil D. Isaacs is the author of Vintage NBA, The Great Molinas, Sports Illustrated Basketball(with Dick Motta) and All the Moves: A History of College Basketball.
Smith Simpson is the author of Anatomy of the State Department, The Crisis in American Diplomacy, and Education in Diplomacy as well as editor of Instruction in Diplomacy: The Liberal Arts Approach, and Resources and Needs of American Diplomacy. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University where he pioneered a course in diplomacy in 1973. He is a lawyer and retired Foreign Service officer.
Cover picture credit:
René Jacques © Archives Photographiques, Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites, Ministère des Affaires Culturelles, Paris (Bony, Jean. French Gothic Architecture of the 12th if 13th Centuries, Univ. of CA Press, 1983).
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