Vol. 14 – No. 3 & 4, Spring/Summer 1996 | Alaska Quarterly Review

Vol. 14 – No. 3 & 4, Spring/Summer 1996

About the Cover

The Byron Glacier, located in southcentral Alaska’s Kenai Mountains, falls steeply off the north side of Carpathian Peak,producing a highly crevassed surface. Because of frequent avalanches and rock slides, the glacier’s retreat cannot be measured.

©1996 Richard J. Murphy

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Table of Contents


The Curse of the Scarred Mummy Ben Brooks
Ben Brooks has won an O. Henry Award and has had more than fifty stories published in literary magazines. Most recently his stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Confrontation, Outerbridge, and The Long Story. A novel, The Icebox, was published by Amelia Press in 1987. This is his third appearance in AQR.
Okay, A Cake Then Jiri Kajane (translated from the Albanian by Kevin Phalen and Bill U’Ren)
Jiri Kajane (b. 1947) was reared in Kruji, Albania, and trained in engineering at Tirane University in the late 1960’s. He is the author of a number of stories, including the collection Sa Kushton (What is Cost?), and over a dozen one-act plays. Due to Kajane’s precarious standing before the Albanian revolution and during the industrial paralysis that followed, his work has never bee formally published in its original language. English translations have appeared in GlimmerTrain, Cutbank, and Minnesota Review.
A Simple Story Marie Sheppard Williams
Marie Sheppard Williams is a recipient of a 1995 Bush Artist Fellowship in Fiction, a 1995 Pushcart Prize ( her second), and a Wolf Pen Fellowship in fiction sponsored by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. A collection of her stories is due out from Coffee House Press this year. This is her third appearance in AQR.
This is How Houdini Died Tom Fleming
Tom Fleming’s story, “Conception,” won the 1995 World’s Best Short Short Story Contest, and is forthcoming in Sun Dog. “This is How Houdini Died” is his first published story.
Flight Tamara Skidmore
Tamara Skidmore is in the MFA Writing Program at Western Michigan University where she coordinates the Third Coast Writers’ Conference and teaches composition. She has previously published a story in SFSU Review.
A Late Demonstration Elisabeth Panttaja Brink
Elisabeth Panttaja Brink has recent stories in Vermont Literary Review, The Fiddlehead, and Yellow Silk. This is her second appearance in AQR.
Nature Erika Taylor
Erika Taylor is the author of a novel, The Sun Maiden. She lives in Los Angeles and is a book reviewer for The Los Angeles Times.
Albinos Blake Maher
Blake Maher’s fiction has appeared in Carolina Quarterly and The Greensboro Review, and was cited in The Best American Short Stories, 1993. One of his stories was also broadcast on NPR’s “The Sound of Writing” through the Syndicated Fiction Project.
Eggs Brennen Wysong
Brennen Wysong’s stories have appeared in High Plains Literary Review and Story.
Sorrow Michelle Fogus
Michelle Fogus has stories in Sou’wester, Minnesota Review, The Worcester Review and The Seattle Review. She recently received an MFA from the University of Massachussets at Amherst.


Baby Hades: A play in one act Brighde Mullins
Brighde Mullins is a playwright and a poet. Her plays have been produced by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, at New York University, and at the Yale Cabaret. Her opera, Increase, was produced at La Mama ETC. Her play Pathological Venus is anthologized by the University of Nevada Press, and her monologues can be found in Fifty Great Monologues. Mullins received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting in 1992. Baby Hades was inspired by the short story The Crocodile by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was directed at the Yale Cabaret by Jennifer McCray.


Guest Editor: Jane Hirshfield

Evening Bath Ryan Iwanaga
Ryan Iwanaga’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, The Raven Chronicles, and Negative Capability. He lives in Saratoga, California, where he teaches high school English.
The Woman Who Wrote Too Much Kay Ryan
Closely Watched Things
Kay Ryan’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Her forthcoming collection, Elephant Rocks, will be published by Grove/Atlantic Press in spring, 1996. She has received an Ingram Merrill grant and other honors and is currently a finalist for the Lenore Marshall prize.
Day Near the End of May Stefanie Marlis
Stefanie Marlis works as a copywriter in San Anselmo, California. Her most recent book is Sheet of Glass (Floating Island Press, 1994). She has received an NEA fellowship and other honors.
A Night When Only Angels Interest Me Laura Fargas
The Problem of Good
Translated Either as ‘Experience’
or ‘Suffering’
Laura Fargas lives and works in Washington, D.C. Her first book, An Animal of the Sixth Day, will be published by Texas Tech University Press in spring, 1996.
Zen Stephen Berg
Stephen Berg’s most recent books are Crow with No Mouth: Ikkyu (1989), New and Selected Poems (1992), and Oblivion (1995). These three poems are sections from a book-length poem titled Treatise on the Rainbow. Berg is a co-editor of the American Poetry Review.
“It’s Sunday, October Ninth” Gary Young
Gary Young’s most recent books are The Dream of A Moral Life and Whenever I Looked. He has received fellowhips from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has recently been awarded a grant from the Vogelstein Foundation and a Pushcart Prize. Young is editor of Greenhouse Review Press.
Parnell and the English Woman Sandra Hoben
Sandra Hoben’s work has appeared in Antioch Review, Partisan Review, Ironwood, Quarterly West, and most recently in The Prose Poem and Sonora Review, whose 1995 poetry prize she won. A chapbook of her poetry was published in letterpress by Westigan Press.
Transmigration Sarah Randolph
Sarah Randolph’s poems have appeared in journals including The American Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Global City Review, Iowa Review, Sonora Review, and The Quarterly. She is a scuptor as well as a poet, and is also editor of Cosmos Press.
City Snow Donald Platt
Donald Platt’s first book of poems, Fresh Peaches, Fireworks, & Guns, won the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and was published by Purdue University Press in 1994. He has also been a winner of the “Discovery”/The Nation Contest and received the 1994 Paumanok Poetry Award. Recent poems appear in the New England Review, TriQuarterly Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.
Fisherman Kathy Evans
Kathy Evans lives on a houseboat anchored in Sausalito. California. She is the recipient of several California Arts Council grants. She currently teaches poetry at juvenile hall. Her work has most recently appeared in The Pacific Sun, On the Bus, Southern Review, and Yellow Silk.
A Poem of Her Own Roberta Spear
Roberta Spear is the author of three collections of poetry (most recently, The Pilgrim Among Us, Wesleyan University Press, 1992). She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships for poetry, and her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines over the past twenty-five years. She currently lives with her family in Fresno, California.
A Small Warm Day Barbara Hendryson
Barbara Hendryson has poems forthcoming in a wide range of magazines, including Calyx, Calliope, Sequoia, The Southern Poetry Review, and the anthologies Cries of the Spirit, Sixteen Voices/Poets: Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse, and Out of the Dark: Survivors of Family Violence. She is a recent recipient of an individual artist’s grant from The Peninsula Community Foundation.
West End of Dallas Benjamin Scott Grossberg
Benjamin Scott Grossberg is an MFA student in poetry at the University of Houston. He has previously published in Green Mountains Review and Boston’s Bay Windows, and has poems forthcoming in Western Humanities Review and The Seattle Review.
Turning the Lamb Walter Pavlich
Flying Montana
Walter Pavlich’s latest book is Running Near the End of the World (University of Iowa Press). Other work has appeared in recent issues of The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Manoa. He lives in Davis, California.
“Lifting Your Head” Yosano Akiko
Yosano Akiko (1989-1942) was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, essays, fairy tales, translations, and autobiography. Her first volume of poetry, a large collection of tanka called Midaregami (“Tangled Hair”), established her reputation as a daring, original voice in erotic poetry. She was Japan’s first feminist in the modern sense, and almost alone voiced her opposition to Japanese aggression in Asia. About the translators: Sam Hamill’s Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995 (White Pine Press) and The Erotic Spirit: An Anthology of Poems, Sensuality, Love and Longing (Shambhala Publications) were published in 1995. Keiko Matsui Gibson is a poet, translator, and scholar of American Literature. She lives in Yokohama, Japan.
Closer Reginald Shepherd
Reginald Shepherd’s collection, Some Are Drowning, was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 1994 as winner of the 1993 AWP Award; Pittsburgh will publish his second collection, Angel, Interrupted, in late 1996. He is the recipient of a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, among other awards.
The Order of the Day Thomas Centolella
Thomas Centolella’s first book, Terra Firma, was selected by Denise Levertov for the National Poetry Series. His second book, Lights and Mysteries, is due this fall from Copper Canyon Press. A recent recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, he lives in San Francisco and teaches in the Bay Area.
Marriage Jenny Mitchell
Jenny Mitchell is a recent graduate of the writing program at the University of San Francisco. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband and daughter.
From The Monarchs Alison Hawthorne Deming
Alison Hawthorne Deming, director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center, is the author of Science and Other Poems (LSU, 1994), a collection of essays titled Temporary Homelands (Mercury House, 1994), and editor of Poems of the American West (forthcoming, Columbia University Press, 1996). These poems are from a book-length work-in-progress, The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence.
The Newborn Linda Pastan
Red Fox
Linda Pastan’s ninth book of poems, An Early Afterlife, has recently been published by Norton.
Death Comes to Me Again, A Girl Dorianne Laux
How It will Happen, When
Dorianne Laux’s most recent book, What We Carry (BOA Editions, 1994), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has received an NEA fellowhip and other honors, and teaches in the writing program at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
My Name Robert Wrigley
Robert Wrigley’s most recent book is In the Bank of Beautiful Sins (Penguin, 1995). He lives at Omega Bend, near Rattlesnake Point, on the Clearwater River, in Idaho.
Delivery Frank Huyler
Frank Huyler’s poetry has recently appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. He practices medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico .
Eating Bread and Honey (Service with Benediction) Pattiann Rogers
Pattiann Rogers has new poetry in The Paris Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Georgia Review. Her sixth book, Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems, was published by Milkweed Editions. It was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of poetry published in 1994. It also received the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.