Meet Our Contributors, MQR 54:4

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SPECIAL FEATURE: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES BAXTER

Jeremiah Chamberlin: “What We Owe Each Other: An Interview with Charles Baxter”

Baxter is the author of five novels and six story collections. He has also written two books of criticism and three books of poetry, as well as having edited several anthologies. In addition to a National Book Award nomination in 2000 for Feast of Love, his work has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for the Arts, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundations, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He now teaches at the University of Minnesota and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Find out more at charlesbaxter.com.

Jeremiah Chamberlin

Chamberlin is the assistant director of the English Department Writing Program at the University of Michigan, as well as a contributing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine and the editor-in-chief of Fiction Writers Review. He is the co-author of Creative Composition (Cengage Publishing, 2013). His work has appeared in such places as the Michigan Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, Flyway, Absinthe, and Vagabond, as well as in online exclusives for Granta and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

The first three editors of MQR (left to right): Laurence Goldstein, Sheridan Baker, Radcliffe Squires. Photo was taken in 1997, the publication year of Baxter's "Harmony of the World."

The first three editors of MQR (from left): Laurence Goldstein, Sheridan Baker, Radcliffe Squires. Photo was taken in publication year of Baxter’s “Harmony of the World.” Photo by Bob Kalmbach.

Laurence Goldstein: “Charles Baxter and MQR

Goldstein, Professor of English at the University of Michigan, edited Michigan Quarterly Review from 1977–2009. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of sixteen books, including most recently Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City (University of Michigan Press, 2014) and a volume of poems, A Room in California (TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press, 2005), as well as a literary anthology of writings about Ann Arbor and a coedited collection (with Robert Chrisman) of writings by and about Robert Hayden.

Matthew Burgess

Matt Burgess: “A Tribute to Charles Baxter”

Burgess, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota’s MFA program, grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Uncle Janice (Anchor, 2015) and Dogfight, A Love Story (Anchor, 2011). He is a graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Minnesota’s MFA program. He teaches at Macalester College. Find out more at mattburgessbooks.com.

Michael Byers

Michael Byers: “Notes Toward a Baxterian Taxonomy”

Byers is the author of two novels, Percival’s Planet and Long for This World, as well as the story collection The Coast of Good Intentions. His fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Best American Travel Writing, and elsewhere. A native of Seattle, he is a former Stegner fellow and teaches in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Find out more at michaelbyers.org or follow him on Twitter @TheMichaelByers.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt: “Charles Baxter’s Tuneful Bewilderment”

Pitt’s first story collection, Attention Please Now, won the Autumn House Fiction Prize and the Late Night Library’s Debut-litzer Prize and was a finalist for the Writers League of Texas Book Award. His fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines, journals, and anthologies, including work in Conjunctions, Oxford American, Cincinnati Review, Epoch, Witness, Best New American Voices (Harcourt) and Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53). Find out more at matthew-pitt.com.

Joan Silber

Photo by Shari Diamond.

Joan Silber: “Darkness Outside the Door: Charles Baxter and the Meaning of Melodrama”

Silber is the author of seven books of fiction, most recently Fools, longlisted for the National Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World, finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize.  She’s also written The Art of Time in Fiction. She’s been the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her short fiction has been chosen for an O. Henry Prize three times–most recently in the 2013 collection–and twice for a Pushcart Prize. Stories have appeared in The New YorkerPloughshares, The Paris Review, and other magazines. Silber lives in Manhattan and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Find out more at joansilber.net.

Valerie LakenValerie Laken: “Minnesota Nice: The Depths and Limits of Charles Baxter’s Good Behavior”

Laken is the author of the novel Dream House (Harper, 2009) and the story collection Separate Kingdoms (HarperPerennial, 2011). Her work has appeared in such places as Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Writer, and the Chicago Tribune. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, an Anne Powers Prize, two Hopwood Awards, a Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, and an honorable mention in the Best American Short Stories. She earned her MFA at the University of Michigan and is an associate professor of English in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s PhD program in Creative Writing. Find out more at valerielaken.com or follow her on Twitter at @valerielaken.

FICTION

Maria Adelmann

Maria Adelmann: “None of These Will Bring Disaster”

Adelmann is a freelance writer, editor, and artist currently living in Baltimore, MD. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was a Poe/Faulkner Fellow. She earned an undergraduate degree in English and psychology from Cornell University. Find out more at mariaink.com.

Garret Keizer

Photo by Kathy Keizer.

Garret Keizer: “Miss Capelletti Gets a Boost”

Keizer is the author of eight books, including, most recently, Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher (Holt, 2014) and Privacy (Picador, 2012). He is also the author of  The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise (2012), Help: The Original Human Dilemma (2005), The Enigma of Anger: Essays on a Sometimes Deadly Sin (2004), God of Beer (2002), A Dresser of Sycamore Trees: The Finding of A Ministry (2001), and No Place But Here: A Teacher’s Vocation in a Rural Community (1996)His work has appeared most recently in Harper’s, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, a former Guggenheim Fellow, and a freelance writer and lecturer. Find out more at garretkeizer.com.

Jane RatcliffeJane Ratcliffe: “Back to Us”

Ratcliffe’s short stories have appeared in New England Review, the Sun, NER Digital, Literary Orphans, and the Intima. “You Can’t Be Too Careful” was selected as a Best American Short Stories Notables 2013. Her novel The Free Fall (Holt, 2001), was chosen by the New York Public Library as a notable book of the year. She has written for publications including Vogue, The Huffington Post, Interview, Guernica, Tricycle, and The Detroit News. She holds a MFA from Columbia University.

Laura Lampton Scott

Laura Lampton Scott: “Come Down Off the Mountain”

Scott is a writer and editor. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Guardian, Monkeybicycle, No Tokens Journal, Okey-Panky, and the Tin House blog. She has served as assistant and managing editor on books in the McSweeney’s Voice of Witness series, and is a MacDowell Colony fellow. She has taught fiction at the University of Montana, Literary Arts in Portland, and Hugo House. She is currently working on a novel. Find out more at lauralamptonscott.com or follow her on Twitter at @thelampton.

Beth ThompsonBeth Thompson: “Needs”

Thompson earned an MFA in fiction from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a recipient of the Owen Fellowship. She lives and teaches in Washington, D.C.

Ronna WinebergRonna Wineberg: “Bare Essentials”

Wineberg is the author of the novel, On Bittersweet Place (Relegation Books, 2014), and Second Language (New Rivers Press, 2005)a story collection, which won the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project Literary Competition. Her stories have appeared in American Way, Colorado Review, South Dakota Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a scholarship in fiction to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and residencies to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. She has been awarded a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the founding fiction editor of Bellevue Literary Review. Find out more at ronnawineberg.com or follow her on Twitter @Ronnawineberg.

POEMS

Durs Grünbein (translated by Monika Cassel): from “Porcelain: Poem On the Downfall of My City”

Grunbein

Copyright: Tinke de Lange / Suhrkamp Verlag

Grünbein was born in Dresden in 1962. He studied theater at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin but interrupted his studies to work as a writer. His first book of poems, Grauzone morgens, was published in 1988 in West Germany; he has published more than thirty works of poetry, translations of classical authors, and essays. He has received numerous awards, including the Georg-Büchner Prize. Porcelain is a book-length poem written in forty-nine ten-line sections, composed between 1992 and 2005. Recently Grünbein has been an outspoken critic of antiforeigner sentiment in Dresden.

Cassel

Photo by Jamey Stillings.

Cassel is the acting chair of Creative Writing and Literature at New Mexico School for the Arts, a statewide public arts high school in Santa Fe. Her chapbook, Grammar of Passage, won the Venture Poetry Award and is forthcoming from flipped eye publishing. Her translations have appeared in AsymptoteGuernica, and Structo Magazine, and her poetry has appeared in The Laurel Review, Phoebe, and Rust+Moth. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan.

Timothy Liu

Timothy Liu: “Escape Velocity”

Liu is the author of nine books of poems, including Of Thee I Sing, selected by Publishers Weekly as a 2004 Book-of-the-Year; Say Goodnight, a 1998 PEN Open Book Margins Award; and Vox Angelica, which won the 1992 Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. He has also edited Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry. Translated into ten languages, Liu’s poems have appeared in such places as Best American Poetry, Bomb, Grand Street, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New American Writing, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Yale Review. His latest book of poems is Don’t Go Back to Sleep. Liu is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey and lives in New York City with his husband. Find out more at timothyliu.net or follow him on Twitter @arabadjisliu.

Alessandra LynchAlessandra Lynch: “This Time Autumn”

Lynch is the author of Sails the Wind Left Behind (Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (Louisiana State University Press, 2008), and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (forthcoming from Alice James Books). Her work has appeared in 32 Poems, American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, jubilatMassachusetts Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. She teaches in the creative writing program at Butler University.

Raymond McDanielRaymond McDaniel: “Claire Lenoir,” “Pilgrims”

McDaniel is from Florida. The poems included here will appear in The Cataracts in 2017 from Coffee House Press, where he has also published Special Powers and Abilities in 2013, Saltwater Empire in 2008, and Murder (a Violet) in 2004, which won the National Poetry Series competition. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he teaches at the University of Michigan. Follow him on Twitter @RaymondMcDaniel.

Deborah Pope: “Once In Canterbury Cathedral”

Pope has published three books of poetry—Fanatic Heart, Mortal World, and Falling Out of the Sky. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, among them Poetry, Triquarterly, Threepenny Review, Southern Review, Southwest Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Cave Wall, and others. She teaches at Duke University.

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