Alfred Corn: I was born in Georgia in 1943, received a B.A. in French literature at Emory in 1965 and by 1968 had completed all requirements except the dissertation for a doctorate in French at Columbia. After teaching French at Columbia College for two years I decided I wasnít meant to be a French professor, so I abandoned the degree. But I donít regret the time I put into it. On the contrary, the year I spent in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship (with my former wife the Comparative Literature scholar Ann Jones) was one of the high points of my youth. Iím guessing that the intimate familiarity I have with French tradition (and Italian, to which I was led as part of degree preparation) helps account for some of the unusual features critics have noted when discussing my work. On the other hand, I feel myself to be intensely American, partly because the "Unites States" can only be described as cosmopolitan, an amalgam of many cultures. Poets like Whitman and Dickinson had an almost scriptural status for me when, as a secondary school student, I first began attempting to write poetry. In the South of that time an official policy of segregation was belied by daily contact between whites and African-Americans, which for me was a thoroughly pleasant interchange. Besides feeling a strong affinity for the culture of African-Americans, Iíve always supported their struggle for social justice. Eventually, I saw it as analogous to feminist movement and gay liberation, and these have informed my work as well. To these influences I would add the effect of living in for three decades in New York City, a global cultural center whose museums and performing arts provide an unofficial program in arts education.

My equivalent to an MFA was the volunteer service provided by writer friends I met in New York early onóthe novelist Edmund White, the poet Richard Howard, and the poetry critic David Kalstone, all of whom looked at my early work and offered suggestions. It is no doubt relevant that, after leaving Columbia, I put most of my effort into writing fiction; a few years ago I published a first novel and have just completed a second. Almost all my poems have a narrative component, especially the book-length Notes from a Child of Paradise, an autobiographical poem built around my first trip to Europe, graduate studies, my marriage and the antiwar effort during the years 1964-1969.

After my first book All Roads at Once was published in 1976, I taught a poetry writing workshop in the college seminar program at Yale. Since then I have taught part-time at Yale for several terms, as well as Connecticut College, CCNY, the Graduate Writing Program at Columbiaís School of the Arts, the University of Cincinnati, UCLA, OSU, and the University of Tulsa. My collections of poems include A Call in the Midst of the Crowd, The Various Light, The West Door, Autobiographies, Present, Stake: Selected Poems, 1972-1992, and Contradictions. I have published a novel, Part of His Story, and a collection of critical essays titled The Metamorphoses of Metaphor. Prizes and fellowships awarded to me include Poetryís Levinson Prize, an NEA, a Guggenheim, an Award in Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. I'm currently working on a new collection of poems with the provisional title The Center of Gravity.

Jeffrey Alfier is a retired US Air Force officer, and currently a technical writer living in Bechhofen, Germany. He holds an MA in Humanities, and formerly served as an adjunct faculty member with City Colleges of Chicago's European Division. He is a member of the United Poets Coalition. Publication credits include A Time of Trial (Hidden Brook Press, 2002), The Adirondack Review, Border Senses, Columbia Review, Melic Review, Poetry Greece, Poets Against the War, The Richmond Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review (forthcoming).

Walter Bargen has published eight books of poems: Fields of Thenar (Singing Wind Press, 1980), Mysteries in the Public Domain (BkMk Press, UMKC, 1990), Yet Other Waters (Timberline Press, 1990), and The Vertical River (Timberline Press, 1995), Rising Water: Reflections on the Year of the Great Flood (Pekitanoui Publications, 1994), the chapbook At The Dead Center Of Day (BkMk Press, UMKC, 1997), Water Breathing Air (Timberline Press, 1999), and Harmonic Balance (Timberline Press 2001). He has two forthcoming books: The Body of Water (Timberline Press, 2003), from The Feast (BkMk Press-UMKC, 2003). His poems and fictions have appeared in over one hundred magazines, including American Literary Review, American Letters & Commentary, Beloit Poetry Journal, Boulevard, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, International Quarterly, Missouri Review, New Letters, New Novel Review, Notre Dam Review, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, River Styx, Seneca Review, Sycamore Review, and Witness. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship (1991); winner of the Quarter After Eight Prose Prize (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), and the Chester H. Jones Foundation poetry prize (1997). http://www.walterbargen.com
Was nominated for a Pushcart for a poem in Runes. Third year in a row.

Laurie Byroís short stories and poetry have appeared in a dozen or so small presses. Additionally, her work has been published in The Literary Review, The Rift, Critical Mass, Single Parent, Silk City Review, Aim, Chaminade Review, Grasslimb, Re:al Journal, A Summerís Reading, The New Jersey Journal of Poets, Millerís Pond, Red Rock Review and others. Her poem Jersey Girls appears in an anthology of shore poems called The Casino Anthology. Her childrenís poem A Captainís Cat has appeared in Cricket Magazine and a textbook Measuring up to the Illinois Learning Standards. She has been published in several on-line magazines which include The Writerís Hood and Millerís Pond, On-line. A travel agent for over 20 years, she now works in a public library where she facilitates Circle of Voices, her poetry circle.

JirŪ CÍch: In 1968, at the age of 15, he fled Soviet occupation along with thousand of other Czechoslovakians, and survived as a refugee in Switzerland by exchanging sex for food, beer and paper on which to write poetry. He arrived in the United States in 1971 where he is now a successful businessman. Refugee is from his yet unpublished poetry collection, Whither: Poems of Exile.

 

The poet Yvonne writes short fiction under the name Yvonne Chism-Peace. Most recently her online stories have appeared at Pindeldyboz, the3rdegree, Moxie, Inkburns, Word Riot, and Moondance. Her books of poetry are IWILLA SOIL, IWILLA SCOURGE, and IWILLA RISE (Chameleon Productions Inc. 1985, 1986, 1999) for which she won NEA fellowships. She was the poetry editor at MS. magazine (1974-1987). iwilla@earthlink.net

Jonathan Curelop is a graduate of the City College of New York Creative Writing Program. His stories and articles have been published in Aura and The American Book Review. "To the Warehouse" is an excerpt from a novella titled Beyond a Brooklyn Stoop.

R. C. Diebold grew up in and around Dublin, Ireland and now resides in Northern California with his longtime writing companion Tess (the comfort cat) . He has been writing prose and poetry for almost 30 years, most recently published in Sonoma Mandala Literary Review (Sonoma State University), The Wisconsin Review (University of Wisconsin), The Best of The Melic Review — Fifth Anniversary Double Issue, Eon Quarterly, Poems Niederngasse and many other magazines and journals. He was a finalist for the 2003 Rita Dove Poetry award, judged by Joy Harjo. He supports his writing as an art director in the graphic design industry. He is currently working on a book length manuscript, Time Water.

Jeannine Hall Gailey has a Master's Degree in English from the University of Cincinnati and has had poems accepted and/or published at Beloit Poetry Journal, The Seattle Review, the Adirondack Review, and www.canwehaveourballback.com. She is currently working on a poetry book centered on the mythological character, Philomel.

David Dodd Lee is the author of three books, including Arrow Pointing North (2002, Four Way Books). he is editor of the new annual literary journal/anthology SHADE. His next book, Unpaved, is forthcoming in 2004.

Mary McGrail lives in New York City. She co-edited the literary anthology Too Darn Hot: Writing About Sex Since Kinsey, Persea Books, New York, 1998. Her fiction has appeared in The Portland Review, and she is currently writing a collection of linked stories. mmcgrail@hotmail.com

Ruth Padel, "the sexiest voice in British poetry" (Maggie O'Farrell) has won the UK National Poetry Competition and published five collections, most recently Voodoo Shop: a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, shortlisted for two of the UK's three major poetry prizes: "Visual, sensuous and highly seductive, as if Wallace Stevens had hijacked Sylvia Plath with a dash of punk Sappho thrown in." (Times Liteary Supplement). As a critic, she has written 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem(Chatto & Windus 2002), based on her celebrated Sunday newspaper column The Sunday Poem, and including a thirty-page introduction, Reading Poetry Today, which explored issues from iambic pentameter to feminism, to media attitudes to poetry in Britain in the last twenty years. She has published three other works of non-fiction: two on Greek theatre, one on masculinity, Greek myth, opera and rock music (I'm A Man, Faber& Faber, 2000). Her books can be ordered from Amazon UK.

Maria Santos has had no formal education to speak of, wipes her palms on her jeans after eating fried chicken, does her writing on a 4-year-old Compaq Presario, and lives in Galveston, Texas. She's been published once before and hopes to be published again so that she might have the pleasure of writing yet another 100-word autobiography in the third person. E-mail: MariaMaria123445@aol.com

Slobodan Sucur teaches English literature at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). He has published articles on Gothic and Romantic literature and theories of Comparative Literature in the online journal, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture: A WWWeb Journal (yes, there are two colons in the title). He has also published a book-length study, Poe, Odoyevsky, and Purloined Letters: Questions of Theory and Period Style Analysis, a work that draws on his broad literary interests, ranging from Edgar Allan Poe and Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoyevsky to such topics as Romanticism, the "long" eighteenth century, literary history, and literary theory. In his spare time he manages to write the odd poem, among other things.

Dennis Tafoya: I am an electronics salesman who lives in the Philadelphia area with my wife and three children. I am 43 and this is my first published short story. Arcane9999@comcast.net

—COVER ART: Female Figure With Head of Flowers; Salvador Dali, 1937.—