c o n t r i b u t o r s
Alina Cârâc is an active translator of Romanian literature into English, including more than thirty volumes of drama, works of poetry, novels, collections of short stories and essays, and film scripts, as well as numerous books from English into Romanian. In 2002, she published her first novel, LETTERS FROM PARALLEL WORLDS, in Romanian, and has finished a second novel which is awaiting publication. She works as a senior editor with Press Group Romania, in charge of the publication, Romanian Panorama.
Robert Castle teaches history, sociology, and film criticism at a small academy outside Trenton, N.J. His previous article in Archipelago, “From Desperation to Salvation” presented theoretical problems for the history teacher, whereas “Stupid History” is a report from the trenches. His work has appeared recently in The Paumanok Review, elimae, Bright Lights Film Journal, Metaphilm, and Unlikely Stories (a regular feature called “A Sardine on Vacation”).
Ronan Coyle writes that his need to legitimise his artwork with rules of structures began in his teens when he became obsessed with Celtic patterns, or may have begun in Montessori School, where he was top of his class for drawing groups of parallel lines. Therefore, he went on to study architecture. Three years into his studies he realised he was more interested in presentations than in building structures, so he began a four-year course in visual communications. He freed up there for a while but then discovered 3D software and fell back into his old habits of seeing the safe beauty of geometry (along with all his other dodorkahedron buddies). He did advertising animation for three years before taking two years off to make a short animation – Phantom – for the Irish Film Board, and is at work on a new animation, Calcification. He lives in Dublin, where he is a research assistant for Media Lab Europe (a division of MIT).
John Michael Cummings’ non-fiction has appeared in ACM (Another Chicago Magazine) and Utne Reader. Excerpts of his first novel, THE BEST MARK OF A MAN, are forthcoming in Confrontation, Puckerbrush Review, Kennesaw Review, Rosebud, and North Dakota Quarterly. His short stories have appeared in North American Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. He is a native of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and lives in New York City.
Ioan Flora has published fourteen books of poetry. MEDEA AND HER WAR MACHINES, from which the poems in Archipelago derive, appeared in 2000. Flora has won prizes at the Struga Poetry Festival, from the Writers’ Union of the Republic of Moldova, and from both the Romanian Writers’ Union and the Association of Professional Writers in Romania (ASPRO), among other awards. He was born in 1950 in Yugoslavia in the Romanian-speaking region of Serbia across the Danube from southwestern Romania, and he graduated from the University of Bucharest, the city where he has lived since 1993. The author has told Adam J. Sorkin that poems of MEDEA form a kind of “a parable which speaks about all wars in history, determined by the poison of Medea and her myth,” and demanding “the sacrifice of everything we care about, from children and love” to ourselves as well, “in order to revenge betrayed love. . .”
Michael Graves was a student of James Wright at Hunter College. He is the author of a book of poems, OUTSIDE ST. JUDE’S, and is a recipient of a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation for 2004. He has read a selection of his poems to a meeting of the James Joyce Society at the Gotham Book Mart in New York City and in his spare time runs the Phoenix Reading Series, in downtown Manhattan. With Victor Schermer he is co-author of “The Abandoned Male Persona and the Mysterious Feminine in the Work of James Wright: A Study in the Transformation of the Self,” published in The Psychoanalytic Review (85, 6 December 1999, pp. 849-870). He is the organizer of the conference “Baptism of Fire: The Work of James Wright,” which took place at Poets House in New York City, in March of this year.
Lisa Kavchak grew up in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, an environment she describes as sensorially lush and surreal and which she feels has contributed immensely to the lyrical and image-driven nature of much of her work. She has lived and worked in Europe and the Middle East, and presently lives, with her husband and two children, in Pensacola, Florida, where she is at work on a new series of author and poet literary dialogues for Web Del Sol. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Janus Head, 3rd bed, the on-line edition of Quick Fiction and The Café Irreal, among others. REPUBLIC OF LOVE, the translated, selected love poetry of Syrian poet Nizar Kabbani, a book she transcreated and edited with Nayef al-Kalali, was published in 2002 by Kegan Paul International; a revised issue is forthcoming.
Jesse Lee Kercheval was born in France and raised in Florida. She is the author of six books, including the poetry collection DOG ANGEL and the novel THE MUSEUM OF HAPPINESS.
Theodore Odrach was born on February 13, 1912, near Pinsk, Belarus. At age nine he moved to Vilnius, Lithuania, where he later attended the Stefan Batorego University, earning a degree in ancient history and philosophy. Following the Soviet invasion of 1939, he returned to Pinsk and worked as a schoolteacher and editor of an underground newspaper. Denounced by the Soviets and forced into hiding, toward the end of WWII he managed to escape by way of the Carpathian Mountains into Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic). Odrach found his way to Germany, then England, and in 1953 settled in Toronto, Canada. Theodore Odrach died in 1964.
Between 1953 and 1964 Odrach produced several novels, short stories and plays, all of which were published in the Ukrainian language. Many of the themes he covered dealt with the tumultuous periods that he lived through. The grim reality of his life, however, never obscured his sense of humor or his ability to satirize. His works are currently being translated into English by his daughter, Erma Odrach. Many pieces have appeared in journals in both the U.S. and Canada. For her translation of WHISTLE STOP AND OTHER STORIES, Erma Odrach received an honorable mention from the Translation Center at Columbia University, New York. She is currently translating a novel, WAVE OF TERROR, also by her father.
Merrill D. Peterson, Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Virginia, is editor of the Library of America edition of the writings of Thomas Jefferson and author of numerous books, including LINCOLN IN AMERICAN MEMORY, JOHN BROWN: THE LEGEND REVISITED, and THE JEFFERSON IMAGE IN THE AMERICAN MIND. “STARVING ARMENIANS”: America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1930 and After has just been issued by the University of Virginia Press.
Adam J. Sorkin’s recent volumes of translation include THE BRIDGE, poems written over the last weeks of Marin Sorescu’s life (Bloodaxe Books, 2004), and three 2003 books, DIARY OF A CLONE by Saviana Stanescu (Spuyten Duyvil / Meeting Eyes Bindery), SINGULAR DESTINIES: CONTEMPORARY POETS OF BESSARABIA (Chisinau, Moldova), and 41 by Ioana Ieronim (Bucharest). Sorkin has won the International Quarterly Crossing Boundaries Award, Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize, and various other honors abroad, including the prize of the Writers’ Union of Moldova for SINGULAR DESTINIES. His co-translations of the poems of Mihai Ursachi, “Epistle on a Leaf,” appeared recently in Archipelago.
John Moncure Wetterau was born in Greenwich Village and raised, mostly, in Woodstock, N.Y. He studied at Hamilton College, the University of Hawaii, and in the Vermont College MFA program. He has served in the U.S. Air Force, married twice, and worked in Hawaii and Maine (software design and programming, cab driving, construction, waiting on tables, etc.). He is presently writing fiction and poetry full time. Publications include two novels (JOE BURKE’S LAST STAND; O+F) and two collections of poetry (TO KEEP YOU COMPANY; THE BOOK WITH THE YELLOW COVER).
News of Our Contributors
Christian McEwen is the author of “ ‘Music Hiding in the Air,’ A Memoir of Rory McEwen (1932-1982)” , and “Winter Alphabet” , a poem; both memoir and poem appeared in Archipelago. As well, she is the editor of JO’S GIRLS: TOMBOY TALES OF HIGH ADVENTURE (Beacon Press, 1997). Now, her video Tomboys! Feisty Girls & Spirited Women, has just been released. The film “weaves together Christian’s present-day interviews with personal photographs and archival footage to explore the tomboy’s journey through time. In the course of that journey, the audience has a chance to question how the tomboy’s energy and spirit translate into resistance to the current status quo.”
Christian McEwen reminds us that “The original tomboy was in fact a boy, and a ‘rude, boisterous and forward’ one at that,” but that the word “has come to mean something more positive in this post-feminist era, as increasing numbers of women become public leaders, enter sports professionally, and take charge of their own lives. But there still exists a ‘taming’ influence on young women, who learn (all too well) that they have to ‘behave themselves’ in order to succeed. . . . Tomboys! is intended to meet that need, to hone the dreams of every girl (and adult women too) who has the chance to see it.”
For information, contact: Julie Akeret, phone (413) 585-5968. OR: The Fund For Women Artists, P.O. Box 6067, Florence, MA 01062. Phone: (413) 585-5968.
Christian McEwen is available to present the film any time after June 6, 2004.
Peter Turnley, the photojournalist whose visual and audio reports on the recent Anglo-American wars in the Middle East appears elsewhere in this issue, writes that he has established a Web site http://www.peterturnley.com/showing “my career’s work in photography, with many different portfolios covering distinct themes such as; The Family of Man, In Times of War and Peace, World Leaders, Parisians, America in Black and White, Love and Sensuality, A Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, Corporate and Commercial Work, Portraits, The Other California, and A Personal Photo Album. The site also contains an in-depth ‘Peter’s Journal’ of writing on my life and experiences in the world of photography.”