David Dodd Lee
Orphan, Indiana is a collection of spontaneous outbursts framed by reticence and the guiding mania of the subconscious. Profane and poignant, accidental-seeming but soaring with satirical intent, David Dodd Lee's poems capture a verisimilitude that's phenomenological, and yet of the moment.
Oliver de la Paz
These are vivid, visceral poems about coming of age in a place “where the Ferris Wheel/ was the tallest thing in the valley,” where a boy would learn “to fire a shotgun at nine and wring a chicken’s neck/ with one hand by twirling the bird and whipping it straight like a towel.” Looking back, the poet wrestles with the meaning of labor in the apple orchards and “the filthy dollars we’d wad into our pockets,” or the rites of passage that included sinking a knife into the flank of a dead chestnut horse. In spite of such hardscrabble cruelties—or because of them—there is also a real tenderness in these poems, the revelations of bliss driving along an empty highway “like opening a heavy book, / letting the pages feather themselves and finding a dried flower.” In line after line, poem after poem, there is an immersion in the realm of the senses. The poet has a gift for rendering his world in cinematic images: a ten-gallon hat on his head in the second grade is “an upside down chandelier;” carnival workers “snarl into the darkness on their borrowed Harleys.” In short, these poems are the stuff of life itself, ugly and beautiful, wherever or whenever we happen to live it. —Martín Espada
Sketches at Home and Abroad: A Critical Edition of Selections from the Writings of Nathaniel Parker Willis
Jon Miller and Nathaniel Parker Willis
Critics and general readers highly regarded the poetry and prose of Nathaniel Parker Willis (18061867) during the "American Renaissance" of creative literature in the decades before the Civil War. As an editor and frequent contributor to one of the young nation's most successful and elegant literary magazines, The New-York Mirror, Willis achieved an international reputation for his witty and worldly tales and letters.
This new edition collects outstanding examples of Willis's short fiction written at the peak of his abilities. These tales of adventure embellish and improve Willis's own experience as a bachelor adventurer during the 1830s, relating, for example, the comical to harrowing experience of American stagecoach and international sea travel of the era. Several tales of courtship and romance, set at Saratoga and other resort towns, show the charm and wit that made Willis so popular with nineteenth-century readers. Good examples of Willis's horror stories, written in a style that we associate today with Edgar Allan Poe, can also be found in this essential collection.
This scholarly edition of important short fiction by N. P. Willis includes a general introduction as well as many short essays describing literary and historical contexts that provide information for the contemporary reader.
Most Jewish-American fiction is centered on Jews from New York City or New Jersey or Boston whose parents all retire to Florida. Wasserman examines the diverse west coast experiences of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and especially Los Angeles, all having their own unique Jewish-American sensibility and quirkiness. Written early in his career, the stories reflect a young writer who was very hungry to make his mark. The stories all have a youthful immediacy and energy. This edition of The Temporary Life has a new forward written by the author and includes a book group guide. In this stunning debut collection, Wasserman's beautifully crafted stories chart the experiences of characters who, in various ways, must come to terms with the less-than-perfect realities of their lives. He writes with a rare mix of ironic wit and compassionate perception, and the result is both captivating and luminous. Whether he's depicting the hollow bar mitzvah of a middle-aged man's spoiled nephew or an estranged couple's unlikely attempt to save their dying son, his keen eye renders his characters extraordinary in their contradictions, compromises, and subtle moments of redemption. —Frederick Reiken, author of Day for Night Wasserman probes the nether regions of the human spirit with a wisdom that belies his years. Restless, unflinching, tender, the voices in these rich and layered stories carry across a multitude of landscapes—family, politics, religion. Haunted by the echoes, you'll want to read them more than once. —Anne Whitney Pierce, author of Rain Line While it's the "dubious attachment to ethnicity" in these stories that gives the collection the ballast to carry it to its target audience, for me, what floats the book is Wasserman's way of layering humor—gentle, sly, and rabid—into many of these serious stories. A fine first book by a talented young man. —Rick Hillis, author of Limbo River
The poems of The Wild Rose Asylum offer a multi-faceted consideration of the historical phenomenon of Ireland’s Magdalen asylums, the largest and most controversial of which were run for 150 years, until 1996, by the Catholic Church. In poems that embrace both traditional and experimental forms, Rachel Dilworth’s work explores complex factors involved in the loss by thousands of Irish women of years of their lives, numerous aspects of their identities, and countless future possibilities to confinement and arduous unpaid laundry labor as “penitents” in these facilities for so-called “fallen” women. Pervaded by a cutting awareness of an incarceration of the spirit, as well as of the beauty and naturalness of so many women’s development being suppressed and denied, these poems navigate individual and collective voice and silences, the held and withheld and disappeared or ignored, with a grace and unflinching attention. Humane and wide-ranging, The Wild Rose Asylum is a researched act of witness to an issue rife with loss—poems that seek to be “bird enough to dive far/into the heart of it and bring up something.”
According to Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, when she went back to Ohio, her city was gone. For Jen Hirt, her Strongsville, Ohio greenhouses were gone. Her ancestry, bloodlines, memories, and her complete identity were replaced by a large-chain pharmacy store. Four generations taken away by the wrecking ball; fourteen greenhouses dismantled and shattered. Under Glass traces the rise and fall of the family business and the family itself.
Hirt is the girl with a thousand Christmas trees, growing up surrounded by life and vitality. She is the greenhouse filled with hope and growth. Then the rubble sets in—financial pressures, a brutal divorce, and the literal demolition of her past. This story is Hirt’s memoir, told with poignancy and honesty. As honest as the greenhouse tattoo she has on her arm. As true as love turning into despair. As genuine as the modern rebirth of the family business, not at the center of town, but smaller and internet-based. For Hirt, the greenhouse metaphor, in its richness, is the soul of America and her life.
Walter Miles and His 1920 Grand Tour of European Physiology and Psychology Laboratories: A Reproduction of the Original Typescript
Walter R. Miles, C. James Goodwin, and Lizette Royer Barton
Walter R. Miles (1885-1978) was an American experimental psychologist very much interested in laboratory apparatus and procedures and their applications to human behavior. Early in his career, Miles received an appointment as a research scientist at the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts. When Miles arrived at the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory in 1914, work was well underway on the physiological effects of various nutrients on the human body. Miles began studies on the effects of alcohol on physiological and psychological functioning.
The First World War severed many of the relationships that the Carnegie Laboratory had with research counterparts in Europe. After the war, efforts were made to reestablish these ties. From April through August of 1920, Miles visited 57 laboratories and institutes in 9 different countries throughout Europe. A fastidious observer and note taker, Miles documented his journey in exquisite detail. At every stop, he observed, recorded, and interacted with key figures in European physiology and psychology. He gathered all this information together into a highly-detailed report of more than 300 pages. The report, part of the Walter Miles Papers available at the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron, was never formally published. Now available in print, this title provides unique information about the workings of major centers of physiological and psychological research in early 20th century Europe. The book is introduced by C. James Goodwin, a renowned Miles' scholar.
This carefully-selected collection brings together his columns about the major figures, seminal events, and legends from 1969 through 2005. Leonard, the man with no agenda but the truth, covers campaigns and national political conventions, including the famous Democratic primary battles between John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum in the 1970s. Fully described is the era of the four-term Governor James A. Rhodes, who controlled the Ohio Republican Party for two decades. Among the cast of characters are colorful lobbyist, Tom Dudgeon, who described the legislative process as “The Dance of the Stomping Buzzards,” state Senator Oakley Collins, a southern Ohioan who campaigned so enthusiastically that he “could dive into the Ohio River and shake three hands before he surfaced,” and Senator Tony Calabrese, a former nightclub bouncer from Cleveland, who told a nervous lobbyist: “Don’t worry. Once I’m bought, I stay bought.”
"No one—I mean no one—knows more about the inner workings of Ohio politics than Lee Leonard. With clear vision and steadfast integrity he clears the political underbrush so that his readers get a real understanding of how their tax dollars are spent—and misspent." —U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
"Lee Leonard is that rare observer—one with a real understanding and appreciation of the very imperfect people, processes, and politics that somehow makes the system work, in Columbus and in other state capitals as well. No journalist has covered the Statehouse as long and as faithfully as Leonard. His columns provide the best of reads for reviewing almost four decades of politics in Ohio; they reflect his discerning eye and critical judgment." —Alan Rosenthal, Professor of Public Policy, Rutgers University
"For those who follow Ohio politics—either closely or casually—Lee Leonard’s delightful collection of a lifetime of columns on the topic is an invaluable addition to understanding of this fascinating topic." —Alexander P. Lamis, Case Western Reserve University, editor of Ohio Politics
A Letter to Serafin is a multi-paneled study of juxtapositions and duplicities, where history becomes a living entity, not just a shadowy artifact. Minczeski colors his lines with dark hues of wry comedy and sharp tones of pathos, transcending geography and time by providing testimony on behalf of those who no longer can. This is a vital book for anyone who has ever been transported by a piece of artwork, or haunted by a photograph that projects meaning beyond its borders.
"If the aim of poetry is to speak the unspeakable, then John Minczeski gives voice to all that goes unsaid between generations.—Dorianne Laux, author of Facts About the Moon
"A Letter to Serafin is an absolute original." —John Guzlowski, author of Lightning and Ashes
"A Letter to Serafin is a multilayered archeological dig of the author’s pasts." —Philip Metres, author of To See the Earth
Can the past be discovered? Are memories only someone else’s recollections? Can we draw out the shadows deep within the crevices of the brain?
Goosetown, once a physical location in Akron, Ohio, and a place in Joyce Dyer’s childhood world, still lingers on the edge of the author’s perception. Dyer lived her first five years, the most significant five, some would say, in Goosetown, and had dismissed them as irrelevant because she couldn’t recover the images.
Years later, accompanied by her uncle, the self-proclaimed “Mayor of Goosetown,” the odd couple travels to unearth the lost years. Together they search for signs and symbols to jar recollections. Dyer weaves her story from the traces that remain: memories of relatives, public records, letters, and diaries. Facing a present with streets and buildings that have disappeared with urban progress, can Dyer ever find her real home?
Goosetown is a story of recovery, a story of discovery, and a story of melancholy. Take a ride with the Mayor of Goosetown. You’ll enjoy the scenery.
David Lee Morgan
High school sports might be the last arena in which athletes compete for the sheer joy of participating. This collection of stories touches the heart and soul and emphasizes the little victories. Most of the players, coaches, and administrators consider their actions the result of hard work. They don’t think of themselves as remarkable. They’re wrong.
Among the stories you’ll read…
* Diversity, Golf Meet: Every Young Golfer Given Chance to Play at Akron’s First Tee
* Dream Becomes a Tall Order: Hudson Girl Outgrows Skating, Finds Success on Basketball Court
* CYO Coach Training Helps Protect Kids: Team Leaders Learn How to Spot Sexual Predators
* Area Youth Leader Dies at Age of 70: Anderson was Coach, Father Figure to Many Youngsters in Akron
* St. V-M: Things You Didn’t Know (and Didn’t Think to Ask): Taylor Talks to the Mirror, Cotton Writes Poetry and TravisLikes to Sleep
* Players Pass It Forward: Area Students Pitch in to Help Local Church Give Out Food
* The Tausch Family Always Enjoys Hosting Aeros Players: With Jhonny Peralta, They’ve Worked to Overcome a Language Barrier * Buchtel, Yale Mold the Lives of Two Teammates
Jane knows food. She’s taste-tested dishes with Paul Prudhomme, interviewed Martha Stewart, and rubbed elbows with Wolfgang Puck. Jane is adventurous. She once sampled every item offered at three amusement parks. Jane is downright daring. While judging Ohio State Fair dishes, she downed a slice of Spam-apple pie.
This collection of recipes and stories is a cornucopia of haute cuisine and drive-in delights. It includes local Akron, Ohio favorites like Cranberry Velvet, miniature marshmallows and all, Kaase’s Cinnamon Star Cookies, and the Bavarian Haus’s Sauerkraut Balls. But Jane offers much more—Gertie’s Crab Cakes, direct from Baltimore, Maryland; Choco-Orange Brownies; Garlic Pork in Lettuce Leaves; Gazpacho Andalucia discovered on a trip to Spain; Indonesian Chicken Wings; Vietnamese Chicken Salad; Southwestern Beef Shanks; and Coconut-Pecan Bread Pudding. Jane has gone to great lengths to discover recipe secrets. She knows her way around diverse cuisine. Your taste buds will be thrilled.
"Much as we love finding out how to make Barberton chicken, sauerkraut balls and Waterloo coconut-cream pie, Jane Snow Cooks is not just a book of recipes to treasure. It is the story of life in Akron, in the Midwest and in America as seen in the way people cook and eat. Each recipe is connected to a place, person, time or memorable experience, giving this eminently useful book added cultural resonance that is rare in the world of food writing." —Jane & Michael Stern, Authors of Roadfood (Roadfood.com)
"This is a collection of Jane Snow’s favorite recipes, menu ideas, tips, and stories. Anyone can cook from this book—the recipes are easy to follow and use readily available ingredients. The heart of this cookbook lies in the chapter of ‘Jane’s Favorites.’ Her recipes are a celebration of the best of her collection and include: Jane’s Chili, Pineapple-Ginger Glazed Riblets, and Peach Meringue Pie." —Russ Vernon, Chairman Emeritus, West Point Market
Map of the Folded World, John Gallaher's third full-length collection, examines the eros and desperation of suburban America with the precision of a cartographer's eye. But as its title suggests, it does so according to the polar opposite of convention. More concerned with subtext than narrative, often childlike in tone and propelled by the logic of innocence, Gallaher's poems don't shy away from a bottom-line sensibility: “If you can just run fast enough,” one poem offers, “no one will ever die. // Do you remember that? / And are you better now?” This is a book filled with swimming pools and bridges, houses and families, the ordinary places, objects, and people that connect us. However, these same things are often misunderstood when it comes to their capacity for danger. As Gallaher observes, “It doesn't really matter...what / you're drowning in, / once you realize you're drowning.” Map of the Folded World brings us back to a territory that we never knew we had discovered, as it attempts to locate an ever-shifting present on an ever-changing field.
"Gallaher's whimsical and empathic poems unfold. The subjects of these poems are stalked by their fantasies (“A film crew will follow you, they promise. And a little/ dog”) and face the inevitable with a bit of a grin (“All the old people left and then we were the old people”). Throughout, these lines are filled with pleasure and wisdom." —Publishers Weekly
Our Boys in Blue and Gold chronicles Zips football from the late 1800s until today. Stories from The Buchtelite have been carefully selected to provide a complete and unique picture of the university’s crucial games and motley characters. Historic images fill the pages with a timeline of the sport itself. The first book of its kind about Zips football includes:
* An historical account of the team’s journey from its inception in 1891 through the 2008 season
* Special sections on the Zips and Zippy, the wagon wheel, the Acme–Zip game, the coaches, the marching band, the cheerleaders, and the playing fields and stadiums
* Over 50 carefully-selected news articles that provide a comprehensive portrait of Zips football
* Unique images from every decade dating back to 1891
* A foreword by Jim Tressel, who started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at The University of Akron
* Extensively-researched selections from The University of Akron Archives, The University of Akron Athletics Department, The Buchtelite, the Tel-Buch, and more
* Features about landmark games, historic contests, and traditions
* Season records dating back to the program’s inception.
Hop on your bicycle, discover Northeast Ohio, and grab a bite to eat along the way. Pedaling to Lunch is your guide to twenty bicycle trips that traverse sixteen Ohio counties. Halfway through each ride, you can rest and dine at scenic eateries such as the Spread Eagle Tavern, Des Dutch Essenhaus, and the Sunrise Café.
The bicycle rides of Pedaling to Lunch take you on an historic journey across the Western Reserve and its unique sights, including the childhood home of Clarence Darrow; the summer resort where Dean Martin got his start; the farthest point north raided by Confederate troops; the town where the barnstorming pitcher, Alta Weiss, grew up; and the restored residence of Daniel McCook of the “Fighting McCooks.” Even more, you’ll pedal past wineries, old mills, and spacious lakes along the back roads and byways where the flow of life is still serene, and the countryside undeveloped.
Pedaling to Lunch has detailed maps, accurate mileage notations, and precise directions. Purdum, an experienced cyclist, adds his whimsical commentaries and editorial verve to the scenes and miles. The book is rich with interesting facts and snippets about Ohio towns, characters, and events both famous and infamous.
A book for novice and expert cyclists alike, Pedaling to Lunch lets you climb on your bike with Stan Purdum as your guide to the scenic sights in your own backyard. Save some gas and get some exercise, or imagine it all from the comfort of your armchair.
Harriet Angel and Jon Miller
Originally published in 1887, this unique cookbook includes recipes for Oyster Croquettes, Frizzle Beef, Eggs Au Plat, Royal Diplomatic Pudding, English Currant Bread, White Mountain Cake, Hickory Nut Macaroons, Spanish Pickles, and more. Also included is a discussion of cooking for the sick, and a chapter, “Scraps,” that details homemade solutions for getting rid of red ants, removing mildew, and preventing calicos from fading. There’s even a discussion of antidotes for common poisons of the day like laudanum–“coffee, acids, and cold water on the head with friction.”
Moreover, the book is catalog of the era’s history and culture reflected in advertisements for milliners, grocers, plumbers, furniture makers, and medicinal dealers. To put the work in context, a new introduction has been written, and this edition contains an insert with historical photos and tidbits
Henry J. Inman
The Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) was founded to promote the education, professional growth, and betterment of those individuals associated with the rubber and associated industries. 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Rubber Division, ACS. Over those ten decades, the elastomeric profession has undergone innovations, improvements, retooling, and rethinking.
The Rubber Mirror: Reflections of the Rubber Division’s First 100 Years traces the history of the division and details how it became the forum for the many people who ultimately impacted the advances in the rubber industry. Started by twenty-eight rubber chemists in the early 1900s, the Rubber Division, ACS has grown substantially. Its story reflects how people of simple backgrounds, working together, have propelled advances in natural and synthetic rubber materials and applications, polymer engineering and manufacturing, thermoplastics research, and chemistry. The Rubber Mirror reveals the heart and spirit of individuals. Their chronicles are primary documents in the history of the Rubber Division, ACS.
The history of the organization is multifaceted and covers:
* inventors and patents
* a library including informational assets of Firestone, General, B. F. Goodrich, Goodyear, and U.S. Rubber; * agreements and disputes
* pioneering correspondence courses in rubber technology
* scholarships and awards.
This well-researched book includes several appendices that detail officers of the Rubber Division from 1909–2009, inductees of the International Rubber Hall of Fame, the Charles Goodyear Medal winners, and many other special award recipients.
After retirement, Heinz Poll completed his memoir, A Time to Dance. In a distinctive voice both pungent and charming, he tells the compelling story of how a teenager forced to spend the last two years of World War II in the German navy eventually wound up directing a dance company in Akron, Ohio. Following a beginning as a soloist in Germany, Poll had a successful career as principal dancer and choreographer with the National Ballet of Chile. In the ’60s, stints as dancer and teacher in France and New York led to his unlikely position in Akron. With determination and uncompromising artistic ambition—and with the indispensable help of his partner, Thomas Skelton, a veteran Broadway lighting designer—Heinz Poll turned an eight-member student ensemble, the Ohio Chamber Ballet, into the fully professional and widely acclaimed Ohio Ballet. Through all the unexpected twists of his adventurous life, one constant is clear: Heinz Poll’s total dedication to dance.
Mark D. Bowles
While “plastics” was a one-word joke in the 1967 movie "The Graduate," plastics and other polymers have never been a laughing matter at the University of Akron, with its world-renowned College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Chains of Opportunity: The University of Akron and the Emergence of the Polymer Age, 1909–2007 tells the story of the university's rise to prominence in the field, beginning with the world's first academic course in rubber chemistry almost a century ago.
Chains of Opportunity explores the university's pioneering contributions to rubber chemistry, polymer science, and polymer engineering. It traces the school's interaction with Akron rubber giants such as Goodyear and Firestone, recounts its administration of the federal government's synthetic rubber program during World War II, and describes its role in the development and professionalization of the academic discipline in polymers. The University of Akron has been an essential force in establishing the polymer age that has become a pervasive part of our material lives, in everything from toys to biotechnology.
William Greenway’s Everywhere at Once travels between muggy recollections of a Southern Baptist childhood, meditations on the otherworldly beauty of Wales, and commentary on life, death, and the revelry in between. In lines taut with bluesy musical precision, Greenway clearly demarcates the before and after, pivoting on his wife’s stroke and arduous recovery. “This is our new umbilicus, / like those childhood cans on a string,” Greenway declares in “Cells,” a poem that likens his beloved to “a preemie, struggling back / from your ‘fatal’ stroke / to be my wife again.” For every witty turn of phrase, a punch beyond the punch line stuns us with wisdom and transcendence. Whether we are witnessing “Feeding Time at the Fuel and Fuddle” or “The Path to Iskeroon,” the constant company of a wry conductor’s voice guides and provokes, paying tribute to the humble moments in life, and even the world “beyond / the reach of light and love and words."
Attempting to repair the fissures of everyday life, Brian Brodeur negotiates the psychological distances between desire and disgust, humor and catastrophe, banality and dream. The poems of Other Latitudes begin in the realm of personal experience, and expand into larger territories of cultural narcissism and political blindness. These poems meditate on the tenuous relationship between artist and subject, the curiosities of self-inflicted wounds, and the presence of hope in a landscape that is intrinsically scarred. Brodeur’s debut illustrates the conflict between inner lives and their outward appearances, with an eye turned to the unforgiving natural world.
"Brodeur’s world is one of layers and shadings. His diction is limpid and precise, his ear a fine-tuned instrument for registering nuance.” —Stephen Dunn
“The language under Brodeur’s pen is as startling as his poems are wise. This book is more than a debut—it is the work of an already mature and accomplished poet.” —Carolyn Forché
“Human relationships—the tragic and the comedic—are his subject and he testifies to their essential vitality and complexity with a capacious wit, a quick intelligence, and an enduring generosity.” —Eric Pankey
Heather Derr-Smith’s second collection journeys to the rough core of desire, creating and destroying binaries along the way. Familiar artifacts of domesticity become as volatile as land mines, and the streets of Damascus, Calcutta, and other faraway locales obliterate the American landscape. Yet Derr-Smith’s poetry transcends time and place, illuminating the ties that bind man to woman, mother to child. The Bride Minaret is a relentless chronicle of experience, where the sacred and profane become interchangeable, where “Every tent has a name, and every name is the breath of you.”
"Her poems are intercultural, expansive while still grounded in the evocative complexities of motherhood, childhood, and faith. The Bride Minaret is a wonderfully intense collection." —Denise Duhamel, author of Two and Two and Mille et un sentiments
"Often paying close attention to those displaced and/or disconnected from the society around them—Arabs in Europe, Americans in the Middle East, Mennonites in Iowa, Balkan refugees, Roma orphans, Palestinians, and, at the heart of the book, a mother now separated from her former, childless self—these poems ultimately argue that dislocation is itself a kind of location, just as living forever in one place can end up dislocating oneself from the realities of our time." —Wayne Miller, author of Only the Senses Sleep and The Book of Props
In Seattle, people swear by Pike Place Market. In the Big Apple, native New Yorkers trek to Zabar's. In Northeast Ohio, everyone salivates at the thought of West Point Market's Killer Brownies.
West Point Market, a market like no other, packs 350 varieties of cheese, 3,000 different wines, and 8,200 international gourmet items into 25,000 square feet of sheer culinary heaven. Family-owned since 1936, the Market's national reputation for quality and panache attracts professional chefs, party planners, gastronomic connoisseurs, and anyone who savors a dish that adds spice to life, literally.
"[I]t improves lives in a particularly local way. It's the best kind of provincialism, the aspect of life in a place that enjoys certain flavors exclusively. This is the place where, the only time in my life I ever needed to purchase octopus, I was able to. I bought octopus off the rack, as they say in the sportcoat business. —David Giffels
"This glorious book admits food pilgrims to the inner sanctum of one of America’s most acclaimed fancy foods stores. Killer Brownies, Turkey Braciola, Sticky Toffee Pudding—the secret recipes are all here. They show why West Point Market has become a magnet for food cognoscenti from across the country and around the world." —Jane Snow, food writer and winner of two James Beard Awards
"My father sold groceries to Russ Vernon's dad at the original Highland Square store seventy-five years ago. It has been a continuing joy to watch West Point Market grow into a national treasure. Whenever it shares its recipes, count me in." —Bob Lape, Emmy Award winner, Food journalist for WCBS and Crain's New York Business
In Big Muddy River of Stars, her second full-length collection of poems, Alison Pelegrin continues her celebration of the quirks and characters of south Louisiana, tempered now by the devastations of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. These sassy poems come on like a carnival parade, with boisterous shout-outs to sleepy rivers and Big Shot soda, crawfish and trailer trash and those “git-r-dones” who rebuild homes ravaged by hurricane and high water. Presiding over the book is the spirit of Chinese poet Li Po, Pelegrin’s prodigal mentor and drinking buddy. Sharing his “exultation” and “taste of recklessness,” she wants to write “the Li Po way— / wine and the wide world.” And she does. With lines that laugh and rage and slur in the piquant tongue of her native Louisiana, Pelegrin knows how to play the blues in a bold and irreverent key.
Words fail me, but certainly not Pelegrin, who writes some of the jazziest, high-velocity, funny, serious, and, if I may say so without causing the keepers of the gates of high culture to wet their pants, entertaining poetry I have read in a long time. For those who hate poetry, try this book. For those who love poetry, this is your lucky day. —B. H. Fairchild
Guangqiu Xu, a native of China fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese, has written an exhaustive study of United States-China relations during the Cold War, with a special focus on the role of the U.S. Congress in influencing Sino-American policy.
Based upon extensive archival research in Chinese and American sources, Professor Xu's book is comprehensive and original. It is a detailed account of the interactions between Congress and the White House as the United States forged its policies regarding the world's most populous nation. Covering the period from the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 to the United States' recognition of the PRC in 1979, this study shows how Congress became a key factor in the formulation and conduct of China policy. No other book examines so fully the legislative-executive struggles and compromises during this thirty-year period, from the postwar maneuverings of Truman to Nixon's surprising visit to Beijing. Especially important is Professor Xu's use of Chinese source material to discuss China's reaction and response to American policy decisions.
Congress and the U.S.-China Relationship, 1949-1979 examines a familiar story from a fresh perspective, putting into a new context the forces at play in determining how the United States and China responded to each other during the chilliest years of the Cold War. With his emphasis on Congress, Professor Xu has opened up the history of the period to an analysis of how legislative power, direct and indirect, can affect foreign policy and change the course of world events.