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The Green Room, Winter 2002

ISSUE:  Winter 2002

“Here’s a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal.”

Wars unfortunately have been part and parcel of American history, and two that loom large in our recent past are Vietnam, the only war Americans have ever lost, and World War Two, perhaps our greatest triumph. They are respectively the subjects of our lead essays of the new year.

Poet and writer, W. D. Ehrhart served in the Vietnam War as an enlisted Marine, and he recounts some of his experiences in his VQR essay. He is currently a research fellow in American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea, U.K., but lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and daughter. His 18th book, a collection of essays entitled The Madness of It All: Essays on War, Literature, and American Life, is forthcoming from McFarland & Company, Inc. Several of Mr. Ehrhart’s poems appeared in VQR’s summer issue of last year.

To veteran journalist, Paul Duke, too much glorification has been made of World War Two and the price of that glory was high indeed as he notes in his essay. Some 60 million people around the world were killed in the course of the greatest conflict the world has ever seen. Mr. Duke began his career as a journalist in 1943 when, as a high school student in Richmond, VA, he took a job as an announcer at a local radio station for the princely sum of $30 a week for 50 hours of work. And the work never really let up for the next five decades. Mr. Duke went on to become a successful reporter for the Associated Press, then to the A.P.’s Washington bureau, next to The Wall Street Journal, then to NBC news where he covered Capitol Hill for a decade, and finally, to the public broadcasting system where he served as moderator for Washington Week in Review for two decades. Mr. Duke is now retired but still an active freelance writer.

Thomas H. McNeely is making his debut as a VQR fiction writer. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, New Stories From The South, and The Best American Mystery Stories. He is currently a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University.

A retired Foreign Service officer, Peter Bridges served twice in the American embassy at Rome and was ambassador to Somalia. His article “A Polymath from Vermont” on George Perkins Marsh, the diplomat and conservationist, appeared in the winter 1999 VQR. His biography of John Moncure Daniel, from which his current VQR article is taken, will be published by the Kent State University Press, which also published his memoir, Safirka: An American Envoy. Mr. Bridges divides his time between the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Northern Virginia.

Alan Feldman’s new book, State College 101: The Story of A Freshman Writing Class (, describes a semester he spent observing his colleague Elaine Beilin’s class at Framingham State in Massachusetts. His poems have recently appeared in Poetry and The Best American Poetry 2001.

Phyllis Stowell recently won a Barbara Denning Award and the International Quarterly Crossing Boundaries Poetry Prize. She is a professor emerita from Saint Mary’s College where she initiated and taught in the M.F.A. Program. She co-edited an anthology of women’s poetry called Appetite, and has published Assent to Solitude and Who Is Alice?

Dorothy Barresi is the author of All of the Above and The Post-Rapture Diner, which won an American Book Award. She directs the creative writing program at California State University at Northridge. Her poetry has appeared in The Harvard Review and The Kenyon Review, and her essay reviews in The Gettysburg Review.

Nance Van Winckel’s most recent collection of poems, After A Spell, was released by Miami University Press of Ohio. She is the author of two previously published books of poetry and three collections of short stories. She currently teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College.

Christie Hume’s first book, Musca Domestica, won the Barnard Prize and was recently published by Beacon Press. She holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Denver, and she currently teaches at Eastern Michigan University. Mrs. Hume has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and is completing a Ph. creative writing/literature at the University of Denver.

Dara Wier’s eighth collection of poems, Voyages in English, was published in 2001 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Verse Press will bring out Had on a Pond soon. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Joan Aleshire lives in Vermont and teaches in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Her most recent book was The Yellow Transparent which was published by Four Way Books.

Angus MacLean Thuermer’s account of his recent visit to China is another chapter in a career that began in the late 1930’s when Mr. Thuermer worked as a journalist in Germany, briefly then for The Chicago Tribune and later for The Associated Press. He covered the outbreak of World War Two on the Polish border and later served in Naval intelligence during that conflict. He worked as a civilian in the federal government from 1952 to 1978, including duty as assistant to the directors of the C.I.A. (press spokesman for Richard Helms, James Schlesinger, William Colby, and George H.W. Bush). He is presently a freelance writer living in Middleburg, VA.

Mark Budman was born and raised in the former Soviet Union. His fiction and poetry have appeared or are scheduled to appear in Mississippi Review, Exquisite Corpse, Web Del Sol and Parting Gifts among others. Mr. Budman is also the publisher of a flash (short-shorts) fiction magazine, Vestal Review. (

Daniel J. Meador is James Monroe Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Virginia. A native of Alabama, he attended the Citadel and received a B.S. degree from Auburn University, a J.D. from the University of Alabama, and an L.L.M. from Harvard University. During the Korean War, he served as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corp of the Army. In 1954—55, he was law clerk to Justice Hugo L. Black on the U. S. Supreme Court. After practicing law in Birmingham, AL. in 1957 he joined the law faculty at the University of Virginia where he has spent most of his career. At Virginia, he received the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Raven Award, and the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. He has been a Fulbright lecturer in England and IREX fellow in the German Democratic Republic. In addition to many articles in legal periodicals, Mr. Meador is author or coauthor of nine books on law related subjects. He has also published two novels, His Father’s House and Unforgotten.

Patricia Gosling is a resident of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and works as a freelance writer and translator. Her non-fiction book, Ethnic Amsterdam: A Cultural Guide, was published last June.

Russell, Fraser could well qualify as VQR’s travel writer. His essays on various locales have included Sicily (autumn 1994), France (summer 1997), Antarctica (winter 1999), and China (spring 2001). He has also previously written about Scotland where he is the descendant of Scotch ancestors, and Scotland is the subject of his latest travel essay. The travel loving scholar is now completing a book to be called In This Best of Possible Worlds, reporting on his trips to various parts of the world. He is the author of 16 previously published books and is the emeritus Austin Warren Professor of English Language and I Literature at the University of Michigan.

Jeanne Schinto is the author of Huddle Fever; Living in the Immigrant City (Knopf, 1995) among other books. New essays of hers are forthcoming in DoubleTake and Gastronomica. A resident of Andover, MA, Ms. Schinto divides her time between writing and selling antique photographica. She is appearing in VQR for the fourth time.

J. C. Levenson was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of English at the University of Virginia and chairman of the VQR Advisory Board until his retirement in 1999. He has long been interested in the transition from pre-modem to modem in American culture, the subject of Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club reviewed here. He served as editor of the six-volume Letters of Henry Adams, which is a kind of American Remembrance of Things Past, a treasury of American social, intellectual, political, and moral history from 1858 to 1918. He has written on Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Thorstein Veblen, Stephen Crane, and Theodore Dreiser.

Stephen Cushman, an English professor at the University of Virginia, will publish his second collection of poems, Cussing Lesson, this year (Louisiana State). Mr. Cushman is the author of Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle, the battle being the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. He is a member of VQR’s Advisory Board.

A professor of history at the University of Oregon, Matthew Dennis is the author of Cultivating a Landscape of Peace: Iroquois-European Encounters in Seventeenth Century America (Cornell, 1993) and most recently of Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar to be published by Cornell this year.

Sanford Pinsker is one of VQR’s most loyal essayists and reviewers. He is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in PA.

Deborah Parker is a professor of Italian at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Bronzino: Renaissance Painter as Poet, published by Cambridge last year.

George Core has an abiding interest in Southern literature. He is the long-time editor of The Sewanee Review published by the University of the South in middle Tennessee.

Cover Credits

Poster from Newsmap, War Department, June 21, 1943, The Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia Library

THE VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEWStaige D.BlackfordEditorGregoryOrrPoetry Consultant


Advisory EditorsEdward L. AyersG. Edward WhiteLorna MartensPaul Barolsky, ChairmanKenneth W. ThompsonPatricia Meyer SpacksStephen B. CushmanRobert H. KretsingerJanna Olson Gies, Managing EditorCandace Pugh, Circulation Director


A National Journal of Literature and Discussion published since 1925 in January, April, July, and October. Individual subscriptions $18.00 one year, $25.00 two years, $33.00 three years; Institutions $22.00 one year, $30.00 two years, $50.00 three years. Outside U.S. (individual and institution) add $6.00 per year. Single copies $5.00 each. Title page and annual index available in November. The journal is distributed by B. DeBoer Inc. and Ubiquity Distributors.

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