During Virginia’s short-lived era of “Massive Resistance” to school desegregation in the late 1950’s, no area of the Commonwealth resisted more massively-or longer-than Prince Edward County, where the schools were closed not for days or weeks but for years-from 1958 to 1964. An eyewitness to Prince Edward’s resistance was Norfolk newspaperman R.C. (Bob) Smith who recounted this sad episode of Virginia history in a book, They Closed Their Schools, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1965. The book, long out of print, was recently republished by the Martha E. Forester Council of Women of Prince Edward County with proceeds from the sale going to the drive to turn Moton High School into a civil rights museum. That drive reflects the sea change in Prince Edward County in the decades since Massive Resistance died out. Mr. Smith’s essay describes that change.
He wrote his book originally while working as an editorial writer for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. He later became associate editor of the Charlotte, N.C. News in 1964 and served four years before leaving the newspaper business to pursue other writing interests. Mr. Smith’s most recent book is A Case About Amy (Temple University Press), a story of a deaf child’s family’s efforts to get a sign language interpreter for her in classes with hearing children. Mr. Smith now lives in Jamestown, NC.
Rawdon Dalrymple is well qualified to write about recent developments in Australia, particularly in its foreign policy, since he spent along and distinguished career as an Australian diplomat. A native of New South Wales, Mr. Dalrymple graduated from the University of Sydney in 1952 and then went to University College, Oxford as an Australian Rhodes Scholar. He received a first-class degree in politics, philosophy, and economics in 1954. He joined the Australian foreign office in 1957 and served in embassies in Bonn, Manila, and Djakarta before becoming ambassador to Israel in 1972. He was later the Australian ambassador to Indonesia and to the United States. He ended his career as the Australian ambassador to Japan. He is now affiliated with his alma mater, the University of Sydney.
A native of Alabama, Michael Knight is making his VQR debut, but his fiction has already appeared or is forthcoming in Playboy, where his story won the 1996 Playboy College Fiction Contest, Paris Review, Shenandoah, The Crescent Review, Blue Penny Quarterly, and will be anthologized this Spring in Scribner’s Best of The Fiction Workshops and Crosscurrents: Best Of The Net.” Amelia Earhart’s Coat” will be included in his short story collection, tentatively titled Dogfight, which is due out next year from Dutton. Mr. Knight received an M.F.A. degree last year from the University of Virginia and is a former fiction reader for VQR. He is currently serving as the Reginald S. Tickner Writing Fellow at the Gilman School in Baltimore.
A regular contributor to VQR Sanford Pinsker is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. His most recent books include Oedipus Meets the Press (Mellon Poetry series, 1996) and Worrying About Race, 1985—1995: Reflections During a Troubled Time (Whitston 1996).
One of America’s most prolific and praised poets, Charles Wright’s most recent poetry collection, his 11th, was Chickamauga, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux last year. He teaches at the University of Virginia.
Larissa Szporluk is the author of Prowler’s Universe, her first collection published last year by Graywolf. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines.
Jane Shore’s poems in this issue are from her third collection, Music Minus One, which appears this year from Picador. She teaches at George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC and in Vermont.
Henry Hart is the author of The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney: Poet of Contrary Progressions, and Robert Lowell and the Sublime. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry, The Southern Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review.
Mekeel Mcbride teaches at the University of New Hampshire. Her fourth collection of poetry, Wind of the White Dresses, was published last year by Carnegie Mellon.
Larry Levis died recently at the age of 51. He was among the most celebrated and cherished of his generation of American poets. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and of Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, Richard Rubin is a native New Yorker who spent some years in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. His fiction and nonfiction have recently appeared in The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, The Oxford American, The Atlantic Monthly, The Southern Review, and Witness. He recently completed a novel.
W.D. Ehrhart takes a second look at the poets of the Vietnam War, his first look having been in a VQR essay “Soldier Poets of the Vietnam War” published in the spring of 1987. Mr. Ehrhart himself served as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam and subsequently became a poet and a writer. He is the author of The Distance We Travel, a poetry collection, and Busted, a prose narrative.
Bill Oliver teaches at Washington & Lee University, where he is working on a series of interviews with American writers which will be published by the University of Illinois Press in 1997. His stories have appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Florida Review, Indiana Review, and Kansas Quarterly among others.
A native of Trion, Georgia, Susie Mee has long resided in Manhattan, where she teaches creative writing at New York University. She is the author of a novel and a poetry collection, and she also edited an anthology of Southern women writers called Downhome. “Death, Dancing and Doughnut Holes” is part of a memoir in progress called The Undertaker’s Daughter.
Gerald Reilly is a graduate of Yale College and Brown University’s writing program, where he won a Trans-Atlantic Review Award for fiction from the Henfield Foundation. His stories have appeared in Prairie Schooner, High Plains Literary Review, and Image.
A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia, Morris Freedman is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland. His essays have appeared in such journals as Commentary and American Scholar as well as VQR.
Now retired and living in Durham, Leslie W. Dunbar had a long association with Atlanta, which bills itself as the “city too busy to hate.” Mr. Dunbar taught political science at Emory University from 1948 to 1951 and subsequently joined the Southern Regional Council, the South’s oldest bi-racial organization. He served as its executive director during the most crucial years of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960’s before moving to New York to become executive director of the Field Foundation.
Stephen J. Whitfield is professor of American studies at Brandeis University and author of such books as Voices of Jacob, Hands of Esau: Jews in American Life and Thought, and A Critical American: The Politics of Dwight McDonald. A second edition of his most recent book The Culture of the Cold War was publishedin 1996.
Frank E. Ghizzard, jr. has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia and is anassistant editor at the Papers of George Washington, also located at that institution. He has aninterest in Victorian literature, as his review indicates.
Allen Tullos is associate professor of American Studies at Emory University and editor of the quarterly journal Southern Changes. He is the author of Habits of Industry: White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont (North Carolina) which won the Charles S. Sydnor Award of the Southern Historical Association as the outstanding book in Southern history for 1989.
A resident of Philadelphia and visiting member of the faculty at St. Joseph’s University, Thomas Hallock attended Dickinson College and received a Ph.D. in English from New York University. He is working on a book tentatively titled From the Fallen Tree: Writing and Nature in the American Republic, 1754—1823. He is also preparing a biographical sketch of the Colonialbotanist, Jane Colden.
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