Reviews | Short Takes
Because We Are Men. By CHARLES ATKINSON '66. Donalds, S.C.: Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Chapbook Series No. 14, 2006. 25 pp. $7 paperback.
The title poem in this 14-poem chapbook garnered Atkinson the 2001 Emily Dickinson Award from Universities West Press. The author teaches writing at the University of California at Santa Cruz. (See also Fossil Honey, below.)
Betsy and I Killed the Bear. Solo art exhibition by MICHAEL HUEY '87. Vienna, Austria: Charim Galerie,
Drawing from the archives of his family’s old photographs, Huey manipulates slides until the mid-20th-century portraits and scenes look almost like paintings. The artist “uses photographic images the way other artists once used paint—as the most malleable medium,” writes J.S. Marcus in the catalog that accompanied the exhibition.
The Breakup Bible. By MELISSA KANTOR ’91. New York: Hyperion, 2007. 265 pp. $15.99 paperback.
High-schooler Jennifer is devastated after her breakup with Max. Should she follow the advice of a self-help book? Kantor is the author of two other young-adult novels, including If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?, which the American Library Association named one of the top 10 books for teens in 2006.
Citing Shakespeare: The Reinterpretation of Race in Contemporary Literature and Art. By PETER ERICKSON ’67. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 214 pp. $22.95 paperback.
Many contemporary artists and writers use lines from the plays of William Shakespeare as starting points for
re-examining themes of race. Erickson, author and editor of numerous books and articles on the Bard, analyzes “quotation as a means of revision” in the poetry of Rita Dove, the autobiographies of J.M. Coetzee, the acting of Paul Robeson and other works.
Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History. By CAIT MURPHY ’83. New York: Smithsonian Books, 2007. 368 pp. $24.95 hardcover.
Murphy describes professional baseball’s bizarre and pivotal 1908 season, focusing on the Chicago Cubs. It was a year of crooked management, random disasters and gun-toting fans—but also “the year that baseball grew up,” she writes. Murphy, who played softball at Amherst, is assistant managing editor at Fortune magazine.
Fossil Honey. By CHARLES ATKINSON ’66. Santa Cruz, Calif: Hummingbird Press, 2006. 96 pp. $12 paperback.
In this poetry collection, Atkinson (author of Because We Are Men, above) grapples with losing one’s parents, separating from a spouse and raising sons.
Gleanings. By SETH E. FRANK ’55. Athens, Greece: New Eden Press, 2006. 106 pp. $25 paperback. E-mail email@example.com to order.
Frank’s third volume features 40 poems that address his earlier themes of “Late Sprouting Seeds” and “Stones in the Bloody Stream” as well as new subjects. Frank is a lawyer in New York City.
Portrait: A Life of Thomas Eakins. By WILLIAM S. MCFEELY ’52. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007. 237 pp. $26.95 hardcover.
McFeely won a 1982 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Ulysses S. Grant. In Portrait, he examines the life and work of 19th-century realist painter Thomas Eakins, including the artist’s struggles with depression and sexual identity.
The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems. Edited by Professor of Russian CATHERINE CIEPIELA ’83 and Honor Moore; translated by Paul Schmidt. New York: New York Review Books, 2007. 140 pp. $14.95 paperback.
Before authorities shut it down in the days leading up to the Russian Revolution, the Stray Dog Cabaret flourished in St. Petersburg as a place for poets, musicians and artists to interact and perform. This book, a finalist for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, presents English translations of poetry recited at the cabaret. Ciepiela is scheduled to introduce a reading from the book on Oct. 22, 2007, at 8 p.m. at the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education.
The Target. By Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jasper Johns; translated and with an essay by BEN STOLTZFUS ’49. Cranbury, N.J.: Farleigh Dickinson University, 2006. 115 pp. $52.50 hardcover.
In this study of contemporary artist Jasper Johns and novelist and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet, Stoltzfus writes an essay about the two artists and translates the introduction that Robbe-Grillet wrote for the catalog accompanying a 1978 Johns exhibition in Paris. Stoltzfus is a retired professor of comparative literature and creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.
Whispering Wires: The Tragic Tale of an American Bootlegger. By PHILIP METCALFE ’68. Portland, Ore.: Inkwater Press, 2007. $26.95 paperback.
In 1920s Seattle, Roy Olmstead turned from cop to bootlegging kingpin and became involved in the first federal court case to address the legality of wiretapping. Metcalfe won a New American Writing Award for his first book, 1933. He died in 2002, shortly after finishing Whispering Wires.
—Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05