person_pin Essay Archives

An Evening with William Burroughs

Issue No. 131 ~ April, 2008

We all got up to leave, and immediately someone was reaching for Burroughs' coat, while someone else went for his hat. After one person had helped him put on his coat and another had given him his hat, he turned to me and said with a wry smile, "Around here, I'm known as 'The Don'."

Death in Life, Life After Death, and the Novelist

Issue No. 125 ~ October, 2007

"...To be an ambitious writer--I am one--is to be involved in all sorts of troubles particular to the category, including the ones I've mentioned. I will not be advising you how to cope with them. I don't know how to cope with them. What I do is suffer them, like everybody else."

innovative fiction as liquid architecture

Issue No. 122 ~ July, 2007

"Perhaps an equally important question is how might we bring such amphibious notions out of the realm of abstraction and into the praxis of the creative-writing workshop, thereby inviting students to explore such possibility spaces themselves."

The Runner’s Anxiety

Issue No. 109 ~ June, 2006

Like the fellow who makes a living selling women's lingerie, an English professor must make a conscious effort to ensure that the pleasures that inspired him to choose his career do not decline into mere duties. Woe to the teacher who discovers that the novels and poems that once aroused his passions now wait for him like so much laundry to be folded. For the chief feature of recreation is that it is not required -- a mandatory vacation from work is a lay-off by that or any other name.

Sitting Danny Rolling

Issue No. 56 ~ January, 2002

I hung in the folds, too new to the area to chance grazing the fields alone. This was home of the Grand Poobah of the nation’s largest chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. This was gator country.


Issue No. 54 ~ November, 2001

The art is in the execution. Three or four players are optimal, but in a pinch, two are sufficient to perpetrate the game. The key here, as in so many things, is to play swiftly and assuredly, for expertise is its own enchantment and disguise. …

The Art of Windows

Issue No. 50 ~ July, 2001

My mother, a painter, once sketched me an eight-pane window looking out on a garden. Just above her signature, she inscribed a dedication along with a tag-line: “We get to do the windows.” The sketch, which hung on my bedroom wall beside my actual window …

But Is It Art?

Issue No. 27 ~ August, 1999

Art is a funny thing. One man's trash is another man's treasure, one man's Philip Glass is another man's clanging cymbal, and one man's bold new post-structuralist statement is another man's chicken scratch on a canvas.