Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kauffmann essay in Writer’s Chronicle

“Understated Prose: The Beauty of Conveying More with Less,” a writing craft essay by upstreet author Jay Kauffmann, appears in the December issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. The essay, a re-appreciation of literary minimalism, uses examples from Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Marguerite Duras, Kathryn Harrison and others to illustrate the techniques that characterize minimalist fiction. These techniques include the use of ordinary words, simple sentence patterns, a flat, clipped delivery, attention to surface detail, the absence of emotion, a narrow focus on sensation, and an overall tendency toward omission, compression, and economy of language.

Jay, a former international model and current writing teacher, holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He was a finalist for the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize and a nominee for Best New American Voices 2009. He currently lives in Paris with his wife and their two children, and will be the 2009 Writer-in-Residence at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. Jay’s short story, “In a German Garden,” will appear in the upcoming upstreet number five. We congratulate him on a fine piece of work and hope Fan Club members will take the time to enjoy this issue of the Chronicle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dispatches by Robin Hemley—
from Manila to McSweeney’s

Robin Hemley, Director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and soon to be an upstreet author, is spending the year on a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Philippines with his family. During this time, he’ll be writing regular dispatches from Manila, which will appear as a column in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Robin’s wife, Margie, is from the Philippines, and he has spent considerable time there since 1998, when he was researching Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday (Nebraska, 2003).

Robin, who is also a faculty member in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program, will be the subject of the author interview in upstreet number five. His latest book, Do-Over!, will be released by Little, Brown in the spring of 2009.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lamb novel to be released November 11

The Hour I First Believed (Harper, 2008), the third novel by best-selling author Wally Lamb, will appear in bookstores November 11, and is currently available for pre-ordering. Wally, whose earlier novels, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, were both Oprah’s Book Club selections, was interviewed by Editor/ Publisher Vivian Dorsel for upstreet number three. Here’s what he said about how the idea for his new book came to him:

Lamb:The Hour I First Believed, the novel I’m writing now, started not with a voice or an image, but with an anecdote that a cousin of mine told me. She and her family live in Paducah, Kentucky, the site of one of the school shootings; I think it was about a year and a half before Columbine. Her two younger daughters went to that school, and were friends with the sister of the kid who did the shooting and killing. His name was Michael Carneal, and my cousin’s daughters knew his older sister. So, my cousin was telling me this story about that day—the confusion, and the horror of what had just happened. I believe Michael had been apprehended and taken away, and the school was in chaos, and his older sister was walking in a daze down the corridor, just sobbing and saying, “But in four years here I’ve never even been absent, I’ve never been in trouble.” She was just moaning, at least in the version that I heard. And that was a couple, three, four years before I sat down to write this novel. Every time I remembered the story my cousin told me, tears would come to my eyes, and sometimes tears would fall, and my heart went out to that poor girl and everybody in the school, including this very disturbed kid who had brought the gun to school. I didn’t want to write about a school shooting, but it wouldn’t let go of me, so I started researching Columbine, just because there’s so much out there about Columbine, and lo and behold, that’s where the novel begins, in Littleton, Colorado, at Columbine High School. —“A Conversation with Wally Lamb,” upstreet number three, ©Copyright 2007 Vivian Dorsel

You can read Chapter One of The Hour I First Believed on Here’s how it begins:

They were both working their final shift at Blackjack Pizza that night, although nobody but the two of them realized it was that. Give them this much: they were talented secret-keepers. Patient planners. They’d been planning it for a year, hiding their intentions in plain sight on paper, on videotape, over the Internet. In their junior year, one had written in the other’s yearbook, “God, I can’t wait till they die. I can taste the blood now.” And the other had answered, “Killing enemies, blowing up stuff, killing cops! My wrath will be godlike!”

My wrath will be godlike: maybe that’s a clue. Maybe their ability to dupe everyone was their justification. If we could be fooled, then we were all fools; they were, therefore, superior, chaos theirs to inflict. But I don’t know. I’m just one more chaos theorist, as lost in the maze as everyone else.

It was Friday, April 16, 1999, four days before they opened fire. I’d stayed after school for a parent conference and a union meeting and, in between, had called Maureen to tell her I’d pick up takeout. Blackjack Pizza was between school and home. —The Hour I First Believed, ©Copyright 2008 Wally Lamb

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanks to Chapters Bookstore—
and to photographer Craig Swinson

We’d like to thank Chapters Bookstore, 78 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, for making its wonderful events room available for two readings by a variety of authors from the first four issues of upstreet. These photographs, taken by Craig Swinson, show the second reading, featuring poets Lisken Van Pelt Dus and Aaron M. Beatty, and hosted by upstreet Editor/Publisher Vivian Dorsel, which took place on Thursday evening, October 30.

The earlier reading, on September 25, featured poets Michelle Gillett and Cynthia Saunders Quiñones, and creative nonfiction writer Frank Tempone. Chapters’ versatile reading/ writing/ events room was also used for two sessions of a fiction writing workshop, “The Reminiscent Narrator,” conducted by Vivian Dorsel in connection with Pittsfield’s community reading project, The Big Read: To Kill a Mockingbird, which took place during October.

Chapters welcomes members of the community who would like to use their room for reading, or for working on their own writing. Once again, we are pleased to have a bookstore in Pittsfield’s central business district—“upstreet,” to us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Breiner Begins Blogging

The chronically employed Sandy Breiner, Vermont College of Fine Arts alumna, memoirist, and (most important) upstreet author, has entered the blogosphere with The Serial Worker. Sandy is the author of the upstreet number one creative nonfiction piece “Fast Food Family,” an excerpt from her memoir, Tales of a Serial Worker: 63 Jobs and Counting. Those 63 jobs of a mere three years ago have now grown to 69, and the purpose of Sandy’s blog is to celebrate what has become a career in itself: continual vocational rebirth. In addition to listing Sandy’s 69 jobs (from Corn Detasseler to Assistant Historical Romance Editor) and posting narratives about them from time to time, The Serial Worker invites readers to enumerate their own serial careers, describe their worst job ever, and even asks whether they have ever worked with her—an obvious attempt to rival Facebook in the networking field. We congratulate Sandy on her energy, and wish her success with the blogification of her memoir (Job #70?).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Come join us in Lowell
Columbus Day weekend

The first Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which is being promoted by its organizers as “An Epic Celebration,” will take place in Lowell on October 10-12, 2008. This new event will include workshops, readings, discussions, films, “Downtown Kerouac Places”—a guided tour of the locations that were important in the life of Lowell’s best known literary resident—and a Small Press Fair on Saturday, October 11, in which upstreet will be an exhibitor.

The Massachusetts festival is being compared with the biennial four-day Dodge Poetry Festival, “the largest poetry event in North America,” the most recent of which concluded on September 28, 2008, in Stanhope, NJ. It will have a long way to go to achieve that magnitude, but the possibility is there. Most of the events will be free, but tickets will be required for the featured readings, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. Festival sponsors include the Massachusetts Poetry Outreach Project, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and many Merrimack Valley and Lowell business, educational, and cultural organizations.

The Merrimack Valley was chosen because of its rich literary history, which in addition to Jack Kerouac includes Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Henry David Thoreau. Some have observed that Berkshire County’s literary heritage makes it an excellent location for a future Massachusetts festival—and not just for poets!

Come visit upstreet in Lowell. Maybe some year soon we’ll be greeting you in Pittsfield.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hostovsky poem chosen
for Pushcart anthology

A poem by Paul Hostovsky, author of the upstreet number four poem “A Woman Taking off Her Shirt,” has been selected for Pushcart Prize XXXIII: Best of the Small Presses (Pushcart Press, 2009). The poem chosen for the anthology is “Dream,” which appeared in Volume 28 of Blueline, a literary journal published by the State University of New York at Potsdam. This was the ninth of his poems to be nominated for a Pushcart Prize (including the one that appeared in upstreet number four), but the first to be chosen as a winner.

Paul Hostovsky’s poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, and have been published in Carolina Quarterly, Shenandoah, New Delta Review, Atlanta Review, Poetry East, and many other journals and anthologies. He won the Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Award for 2001 and the White Pelican Review’s Hollingsworth Prize in 2005. He has two chapbooks, Bird in the Hand (2006), which won the Grayson Books Poetry Chapbook Competition, and Dusk Outside the Braille Press (2006), winner of the Riverstone Poetry Chapbook Award. He makes his living in Boston as an interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where he specializes in working with the deaf-blind. Both of his chapbooks are available for the blind through

Paul’s first full-length collection, Bending the Notes, is due out in January 2009 from Main Street Rag. About the collection, Jeffrey Harrison (also an upstreet poet) says: “This book kicks ass. … Equally adept with fixed or not-so-fixed forms as with free-wheeling free verse, Hostovsky shows us, over and over, in language that is always alive, what it is like to be alive.” You may visit Paul at his website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

upstreet author is editor of
Teenagers from the Future

Timothy Callahan, whose short story, “Polyphemos Erat Monstrum,” appeared in upstreet number two, is the editor of the newly released Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Superheroes (Sequart, 2008). He will be available to sign his books from 6 to 8pm on September 18 at Chapters Bookstore, 78 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, as part of the city’s “Third Thursday” celebration. The book is also available at

Teenagers from the Future, which includes a foreword by Matt Fraction and an afterword by Barry Lyga, is described by the publisher as follows: “For 50 years, the Legion of Superheroes has occupied its own, vital corner of the DC Universe—and comics fandom. The Legion’s expansive cast, bizarre characters, futuristic setting, extended storylines, and elaborate continuity all set it apart from other superhero comics. This essay collection, from fans and scholars alike, is as diverse as Legion history. Essays examine significant runs (by Jim Shooter, Paul Levitz, & Keith Giffen); the Legion’s science, architecture, and fashion; the role of women, homosexuality, and race; the early Legion’s classical adaptations, teenage cruelty, relation to the early Justice League, and resurrection of Lightning Lad; whether the Legion should be allowed to age; the Amethyst saga; the themes of the reboot Legion; and the so-called Threeboot’s relationship to adult adolescence and generational theory.”

Tim Callahan teaches English at Drury High School in North Adams, MA, where he has been voted Teacher of the Year twice. He is the author of Grant Morrison: The Early Years (Sequart, 2007), which explores the unifying themes of Morrison’s early work, providing a close analysis of stylistic and structural techniques. The new, revised edition of this book is available from the publisher. Tim also writes for Back Issue magazine and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Pittsfield with his wife, Judy, and their two children. You may visit him at his blog, geniusboyfiremelon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

upstreet 5 introduces
online submissions

Submission Manager, an automated system that enables writers to submit their work through the upstreet website, went online September 1, the first day of the upstreet number five reading period. Under the new system, we will no longer take submissions by e-mail (or surface mail), but only from authors who submit through the website. This system asks submitters to log in, fill out a form giving their contact information, add a comment if they wish, and then upload their submission files. The procedure is very simple, and many submitters have already used it with no problems. In the first 24 hours we received 69 submissions--25 fiction, 25 poetry, and 19 creative nonfiction.

The Submission Manager software was designed and developed by Devin Emke, webmaster for One Story magazine, and is available to other literary journals for a fee through the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). It is very flexible and can be customized to accommodate the ways in which individual journals deal with their submissions. It also keeps a database of all submissions received, which can be sorted and searched in various ways, and generates e-mail messages acknowledging receipt of submissions and notifying submitters whether their work has been accepted or declined.

upstreet is very pleased to be among the users of this time- and labor-saving system. To read our new guidelines, or to submit to upstreet number five, visit our Submission Manager here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The personal in poetry:
Frances Richey’s The Warrior

This is a long-overdue post about a stellar poetry collection: The Warrior: a Mother’s Story of a Son at War, by Frances Richey. Two of the poems in this collection, “His Gun” and “He Tells Each Story,” first appeared in upstreet number two, and another, “The Power Lifter”—the poet’s favorite—was published in upstreet number three.

Fran Richey, who raised her son, Ben, as a single parent, began writing these poems when he, a West Point graduate and Green Beret, was deployed to Iraq in 2004. While they had long been at opposite ends of the political spectrum, they had always been able to discuss, and even argue about their differences openly, without damaging their relationship. On September 11, 2001, the very day that Ben was selected for Special Forces training, the likelihood of his eventually going into combat became a certainty. From then on, their differing attitudes toward the war developed a stronger personal relevance, the channels of communication between Fran and Ben started closing up, and Fran began to feel as if she were losing her son. She wrote the poems as a way of coping with her own feelings and saying the things she could not say to him directly, and doing so made her feel closer to him. While she didn’t show him the poems until he returned from overseas, she did tell him she was writing them. “But don’t worry,” she said. “No one reads poems.”

In hindsight, this statement is ironic. Fran’s agent put the manuscript out for auction, and four or five publishers bid on it. This in itself is unusual for a poetry collection. The winning publisher, Viking, gave the book national publicity and sent the author on a reading/signing tour of nine major cities from New York to San Francisco. The book tour was preceded by appearances at Fort Bragg and West Point with Ben, a 34-year-old Special Forces Major who has returned home safely after two tours of duty in Iraq.

Besides the coverage of Fran Richey’s book tour that appeared in local papers across the country, The Warrior has been written and talked about in places where it is unusual to find poems or discussions of poetry. It was featured, and one of its poems reprinted, in the November 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and that article has been included in a book of the best articles that appeared in the magazine in 2007. Another poem—the first poem ever—was featured on the “Lives” page of the March 2, 2008 New York Times Magazine, which is usually devoted to a personal essay. The book was discussed in Anna Quindlen’s April 14, 2008 Newsweek column, in a June 2007 New York Times op-ed column by Nicholas Kristof, during a Mother’s Day appearance on “The News Hour” (PBS, May 9, 2008), and in appearances on NPR’s “The Story with Dick Gordon” (May 22, 2008) and “All Things Considered” (May 25, 2008).

This upstreet Fan Club post was partly prompted by a full-page review by David Orr that appeared in the Sunday, July 20 New York Times Book Review. Most of that review was devoted not to the book itself, but to a discussion of the personal element, or the story behind the poems, with the suggestion that this, rather than the poetry, is what Viking had paid such a (presumably) large sum for. Although he does grant that “Frances Richey is a poet, fortunately…,” and that she “is an actual writer, and she knows how to put together a clean, solid contemporary poem,” there remains the clear implication that poems about the poet’s personal experience are somehow less adequate than detached lyrics about Greek gods or Celtic myths. (Fran Richey, by the way, was an award-winning poet before she wrote The Warrior; her prior collection, The Burning Point, won the 2004 White Pine Press Poetry Prize.) As William Wordsworth defined it, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” My own belief is that, were it not for “the personal,” very few poems—indeed, very few essays, stories, plays, or novels—would ever be written.

I dislike political art; that is my bias. Others believe that all art is political; that is their bias. Inevitably there will be those who use others’ work to grind their own political axes, on one side or the other of any issue. But as Fran Richey says herself, these are not political poems—and her son does not feel them as political, but as his mother’s expression of the effect his being placed in harm’s way had on her. He also sees the poems as her effort to cope with the growing rift between them, and believes, as she does, that her work has had a healing influence on their relationship, enabling them both to recognize that love is more important than political differences.

The strength of The Warrior, in addition to the obvious timeliness of its subject matter, lies in its memoir-like personal narrative quality and its accessibility to a larger audience than the usual readers of poetry collections. Most important, however, is the ability of its author to make the reader feel what it would be like to have a son who is risking his life, by his own choice, in the service of his country.

He Tells Each Story
with his hands, all the lines
in his palms deeply creased.
When he makes his right
a gun, it is a gun;
the third and index fingers
fused, extended;
the thumb bent sharp
at the knuckle. Sometimes
his left hand hovers
over his chest,
as if he still wears armor,
as if his heart must be
protected from his touch.

From The Warrior: A Mother’s Story of a Son at War, by Frances Richey (Viking, 2008). Reprinted by permission.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

upstreet 4 features Martone interview

upstreet number four, which is now on sale, features a 24-page interview with Michael Martone, the Indiana-born author of Michael Martone, Racing in Place, and many other works of experimental fiction and nonfiction.

This year’s issue, at 232 pages, is the longest one to date, and received the largest number of submitted works in its four-year history. It contains eight short stories, selected from 584 submitted; nine creative nonfiction pieces, chosen from 153 submitted; and 23 of the 1,174 submitted poems.

Its contributors hail from all areas of the U.S., and even from Shanghai, China. The 36 authors whose work appears in upstreet number four include finalists for the 2007 National Book Award (David Kirby) and the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award (Michael O’Brien), a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow (Bill Zavatsky), and the winner of the 2003 Governor General’s Award for English Fiction, Canada’s highest literary prize (Douglas Glover). Their work has appeared in such journals and anthologies as The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Stories, and the Norton anthologies.

Besides these accomplished authors, upstreet number four includes many whose publication careers are just beginning. We hope this will always be true, since upstreet was founded with the vision that it would ultimately be a mixture of established and emerging writers. In the end, the truly rewarding part of publishing a literary journal is discovering new talent--and there is plenty of that in upstreet number four.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

upstreet poet wins prize
in Times Square competition

upstreet poet Gretchen Fletcher has been named a winner in the first-ever national contest for poetry inspired by Times Square, “Bright Lights/ Big Verse: Poems of Times Square,” and will read her winning poem, “Two Giant Men in New York,” in Times Square on June 23. This competition, sponsored by the Poetry Society of America and the Times Square Alliance, selected five winners from a pool of close to 700 entrants. Besides the trip to New York to read their poems, each winner will receive a prize of $1,000. A poem by Gretchen, “Recitation in Clover,” appeared in upstreet number three.

Gretchen Fletcher lives in Fort Lauderdale and leads writing workshops for Florida Center for the Book. Her poetry has appeared in journals, including The Chattahoochee Review, Pacific Coast Journal, Northeast Corridor, and Inkwell, and in anthologies, including Sincerely, Elvis; The Cancer Poetry Project, and Poetic Voices Without Borders. She received the grand prize in San Francisco’s Artists Embassy International Dancing Poetry Festival, and first honorable mention in Canada’s lichen literary journal Serial Poet competition. She was a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and a juried poet at the Houston Poetry Fest. Her poetry chapbook, That Severed Cord, will be published by Finishing Line Press on June 27. You may visit Gretchen on the web at Open Art Space.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Karen Chase wins Bronze IPPY
for Land of Stone

Land of Stone: Breaking Silence through Poetry (Wayne State, 2007), a nonfiction book by upstreet author Karen Chase, was named a Bronze Medal winner in the category of psychology/mental health by the judges of the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards (“IPPY”). The award-winning book is an account of Karen’s ten years as poet-in-residence at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where she taught poetry writing to severely disturbed psychiatric patients. The book focuses on her work with Ben, a handsome, formerly popular and athletic young man who had given up speaking and had withdrawn from social interaction. One day a week for two years, she and Ben passed a pad of paper back and forth, taking turns writing one line of poetry each, a process that ultimately produced 180 poems.

The purpose of the IPPY Awards is to recognize the best independently published books of the past year in 64 national categories. This year’s contest drew 3,175 entries. Karen has traveled all over the country giving readings and talks about Land of Stone, which is in its second printing and has also been named a Best Book of 2007 by Chronogram.

“Karen Chase’s Land of Stone is a poignantly eloquent narrative of the therapeutic relationship between an admirably humane, gifted poet and a schizophrenic young man.”—Harold Bloom

Karen Chase’s poems have appeared in all four issues of upstreet; two poems from her newly released second poetry collection, BEAR (CavanKerry, 2008), will be included in the upcoming upstreet number four. She founded and ran the Camel River Writing Center in Lenox, MA, from 1991 to 2004. She has taught at The Frost Place and has been a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellow. Her work has appeared in the Norton anthologies, Billy Collins’s Poetry 180, The New Yorker, The Gettysburg Review, and The Yale Review. Her first book of poems, Kazimierz Square (CavanKerry, 2000), was shortlisted by ForeWord Magazine as Best Indie Poetry Book of 2000. Karen lives in Lenox with her husband, painter Paul Graubard.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Evison novel available for pre-sale

All About Lulu (Soft Skull, July 2008), a novel by upstreet author Jonathan Evison, is now available for pre-sale on,,, and The publisher describes it as “A freakishly charming tale of star-crossed, would-be step-sibling love in a family of failed bodybuilders in suburban Los Angeles.” The film rights for the book have been optioned by Crossroads Films, which is developing the project. Here are a couple of samples of the advance praise the novel has been receiving:

All About Lulu is an exhilarating, wholly original and brave novel about obsession, love and becoming. With Will Miller, Evison has created a thoroughly modern protagonist steeped in Dickensian complexity, pure yet conflicted, lost yet driven to find truth in the dysfunctional American abyss.”—James P. Othmer, author of The Futurist

“All About Lulu is a novel of tremendous energy and heartbreaking, hilarious insight, a novel with a heart of gold. In a manner that is both breathless and effortless, Evison reminds us of life’s beautiful oddity. A remarkable debut.”—Brad Listi, author of Attention Deficit Disorder

Evison, who lives on an island in Puget Sound, is the author of “Static,” a short story that appeared in upstreet number three. His stories have also been published in Portland Review, Orchid, Knock, Red Wheelbarrow, Quick Fiction, Stringtown, and other journals. An excerpt from All About Lulu, titled “Big Bill Down Under” (estimated reading time 15:02), appeared in Opium Five.

Friday, May 30, 2008

upstreet nominates Ackerman and Rian for Best New Poets 2008

The annual Best New Poets prize anthology allows eligible literary magazines to nominate two emerging poets (poets who have not published a book-length collection) each year. We have submitted two nominations from upstreet number three for the 2008 anthology: Stephen Ackerman, “Magic Lantern,” and Kirsten Rian, “The Dark Blue Swath Flies Like a Kite.”

Stephen Ackerman works as a lawyer for the New York City Law Department. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Columbia Review, Mudfish, Partisan Review, Seneca Review, and upstreet. He lives in Dutchess County, NY, with his wife, Laurie, and their sons, Nicholas and William.

Kirsten Rian is a poet and educator, and a freelance grant writer and editor. She was a finalist in the last Glimmer Train Poetry Open, and her work has appeared in the literary journal Rhino and in Raising Our Voices, an anthology of Oregon poets against the war. She is a writer in residence through the Writers in the Schools Program in Portland.

The guest editor for Best New Poets 2008 is Mark Strand, who will select 50 poems from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an open internet competition. The upstreet selections were made by Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum and Editor Vivian Dorsel. We wish both nominees the best of luck in the competition.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

upstreet poet wins
Prairie Schooner Award

Yerra Sugarman, whose poem, “We Were a Boat,” will appear in the upcoming upstreet number four, has won a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award for an excerpt from “Journal: Rai’ut Coma Ward, Tel Aviv-Yaffo, July 2003,” which appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of Prairie Schooner.

Yerra Sugarman received the 2005 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for her first book, Forms of Gone (Sheep Meadow, 2002). Her second book, The Bag of Broken Glass, was published in January of this year, also by Sheep Meadow. She has received a “Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Prize, a Chicago Literary Award, the George Bogin and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards of the Poetry Society of America and, most recently, a 2008 Canada Council Grant for Creative Writers.

Yerra’s poems, translations and articles have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Nation, ACM, Cimarron Review, and many other journals and anthologies. She was born in Toronto and now lives in New York City, where she has taught creative writing in undergraduate and MFA programs. She currently teaches poetry at Rutgers University and is Writer in Residence at Eugene Lang College of The New School for Liberal Arts. You may visit Yerra at her blog.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

upstreet nominates three
for The Best Creative Nonfiction

The journal Creative Nonfiction is currently taking submissions for the third volume of its anthology, The Best Creative Nonfiction, and we have nominated three pieces from upstreet number four: “Run Story,” by Daniel Hales, “Tools of the Trade,” by A. J. Naslund, and “Everlasting,” by Frank Tempone.

Daniel Hales lives in Greenfield, MA, and teaches English to residential Special Ed high school students, and to honors students at UMass/Amherst. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Conduit, Quarter After Eight, Slipstream, Cranky, Bateau, and Opus 42.

A. J. Naslund lives in Louisville, KY. He holds a BA and an MA from the University of Montana/Missoula, and a PhD from the University of Louisville. He was a university English teacher for several years in the US, Japan, and Korea. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Abiko Annual (Japan), Lips, Ceramics Monthly, RagTimes, Kentucky Poetry Review, The Louisville Review, Caesura, and others. His poetry collection, Silk Weather (1999), was published by Fleur-de-Lis Press, Spalding University.

Frank Tempone, director of Word Street, holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A fiction writer and essayist, he has been teaching for fourteen years, and his work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 580 Split, and The Berkshire Review. He lives in Dalton, MA.

The selections were made by Creative Nonfiction Editor Harrison Candelaria Fletcher and Editor Vivian Dorsel. We wish all three candidates the best of luck in the competition. upstreet number four will be available for sale by early July.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

upstreet author publishes Nerds book

Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them (Penguin, 2007), by David Anderegg, PhD, is now available in bookstores, and online from Anderegg, a Lenox, MA, family psychotherapist who teaches psychology at Bennington College, also writes fiction under the pseudonym “Ed Anthony.” His short stories have appeared in The Berkshire Review and in upstreet number one (“Dejeuner Sur L’Herb,” p. 189) and number two (“Heretics,” p. 11). He was nominated by upstreet’s editors for a 2007 Pushcart Prize.

Nerds is a lively, thought-provoking book that focuses on how anti-intellectualism is bad for our children and our country. It asks why children are so terrified to be called “nerds,” and what this anti-intellectualism costs both our children and our society. In his book, Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults ignore the derision of “nerdy” kids, and what we can do to prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly high-tech world. Using education research, psychological theory, and interviews with both nerdy and non-nerdy kids, Nerds argues that we need to change our society’s anti-intellectual attitudes and prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace.

David Anderegg was born and grew up in Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received his PhD in psychology from Clark University, Worcester, MA. He and his wife, Kelley DeLorenzo, have two grown-up children: Francesca, a doctoral student in violin at Juilliard, and Peter Lorenzo, a cellist in the Phoenix Symphony. For more information about Anderegg and his work, including selected book reviews and “The Last Nerd Self-Test You’ll Ever Need,” visit the author’s website.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Finishing Line to publish Coté chapbook

Flying for the Window, a poetry chapbook by Charles Coté, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. The manuscript includes “Seeing the Oncologist,” which will appear in upstreet number four, and other poems about the poet’s son Charlie, who died of a malignant melanoma in 2005 at the age of 18, when he was still a high-school student and the frontman for a popular Rochester-area band, Fivestar Riot. The chapbook takes its title from one of the entries in the journal Charlie left behind:

Certainty is the cage that keeps us
safe from curiosity. I’ve been released
from the cage. I am the songbird
and I am flying for the window.
I know it’s closed but I plan on
breaking through.

Charles Coté was born in North Adams, MA, and lives in Rochester, NY, where he practices as a clinical social worker. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cortland Review, Blueline, Free Lunch, Identity Theory, Modern Haiku, Connecticut River Review, Adagio Verse Quarterly, and HazMat Review. To read his interview with Boston Literary Magazine on the poems he wrote about his son, go here:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

upstreet poet wins Rosenberg Award

“God Doesn’t Speak in the Psalms,” a poem by Jennifer Barber, received the $1,000 first prize in the 21st annual Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards for poems on the Jewish experience. A reading and awards ceremony was held on 27 April at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center.

Jennifer’s work appeared in upstreet number three and will appear in the upcoming upstreet number four. Her book, Rigging the Wind, 2003, received the Kore Press First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Field, Harvard Review, Partisan Review, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Massachusetts Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She attended Colby College in Maine, studied medieval literature in England as a Rhodes Scholar, and received her MFA from Columbia University. She teaches at Suffolk University in Boston and edits the literary journal Salamander.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Zavatsky awarded MacDowell Fellowship

upstreet poet Bill Zavatsky has been awarded a Fellowship by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH, for the second summer in a row. He will spend five weeks during June and July at MacDowell, which is the oldest artists’colony in the United States.

Bill Zavatsky’s work appeared in the second and third issues of upstreet and will appear in the upcoming fourth issue. He holds BA and MFA degrees from Columbia University and has published three collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose, 2006). A poem that appears in that collection and also in upstreet number two, “Live at the Village Vanguard,” received a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize anthology. A longtime jazz pianist, he has written poems for CDs by Bill Evans and Marc Copland. He has also published translations of several French poets, including (with Ron Padgett) The Poems of A. O. Barnabooth, by Valery Larbaud, which will be reissued this year by Black Widow Press of Boston. Bill lives in New York City and teaches English at The Trinity School. Earlier this year he was named a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Harrison is runner-up for Poets’ Prize

upstreet poet Jeffrey Harrison's fourth collection, Incomplete Knowledge (Four Way, 2006), is one of two runners-up for the Poets’ Prize, awarded annually by a peer jury of poets and administered by the West Chester University Poetry Center. The 2008 prize was won by A.E. Stallings for Hapax, and the other finalist was The Queen’s Desertion, by Carol Frost. Jeffrey will read from his work at the awards ceremony, which will take place at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York City, on Thursday 22 May at 7pm.

Two of Jeffrey Harrison’s poems, “Temporary Blindness” and “Bed Trouble,” are in upstreet number three. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Yale Review, The New Republic, Poets of the New Century, and many other magazines and anthologies. His previous published collections are The Singing Underneath (selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, 1988), Signs of Arrival (1996), Feeding the Fire (Sarabande, 2001), and The Names of Things (Waywiser, 2006). His chapbook, An Undertaking, was published by Haven Street Press in 2005. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as two Pushcart Prizes, the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets.

Jeffrey has taught at several universities and schools, including George Washington University, Phillips Academy, where he was the Roger Murray Writer-in-Residence, and College of the Holy Cross. He is currently on the Faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sexton poems in O! Magazine, Poetry Daily

“Night. Fire,” a poem from Causeway (New Issues), the new poetry collection by Elaine Sexton, will be featured on Poetry Daily April 27. Another poem from Causeway, “Heaven,” appears in the May issue of O! the Oprah Magazine. Elaine’s book is described this way by Eamon Grennan: “Lodged in various locales, whether urban or rural, earthbound or on the open sea, answering a landscape, a family memory, or the vagaries of love, the poems of Causeway are always informed by an honest buoyancy of spirit.”

Two of Elaine’s poems were in upstreet number three: “What He Carried,” which appears in Causeway, and “Seaside Pastoral.” A third poem, “Tack,” will appear in upstreet number four. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, ARTnews, Art in America, Bloom, Hunger Mountain, Massachusetts Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and the Lambda Book Report. She teaches a poetry workshop with a special focus on the chapbook for The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and a few years ago started the website Elaine is the author of an earlier poetry collection, Sleuth (New Issues, 2003). She lives in New York City, where she works as a publisher of special-interest magazines.

Elaine will read her work on May 4 (along with upstreet Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum and others) in the Bellevue Hospital Rotunda, New York, on May 14 at Bird & Beckett Books in San Francisco, on May 27 at Bluestockings in New York , and on June 6 at RiverRun in Portsmouth, NH.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Randall Brown wins chapbook contest

Randall Brown, whose (very) short story, “Patterns,” will appear in upstreet number four, has won the 2007 chapbook contest conducted by Flume Press, a small press affiliated with the literary editing and creative writing programs at California State University, Chico. His short-short story collection, Mad to Live, will become the latest book in the Flume Chapbook Series, and will be released in August or September of this year.

The aim of Flume Press is to give newer writers exposure that can help them achieve deserved recognition. They publish one book a year, with a print run of 500 copies, and try to get the book to reviewers, literary magazine and small press editors, and other readers interested in contemporary poetry and fiction. Flume began in 1984 as an independent poetry publisher, and since then has released 18 poetry chapbooks. In 2003, they launched their first fiction chapbook contest, the winner of which was Sherrie Flick’s I Call This Flirting, which Randall says was “…a big influence on my writing short shorts.”

Randall Brown teaches at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He holds a BA from Tufts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he studied with authors such as Nance Van Winckel, Abby Frucht, Pamela Painter, and Douglas Glover. He was formerly an editor for SmokeLong Quarterly, an online literary magazine dedicated to flash fiction. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, Connecticut Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Evansville Review, The Laurel Review, Dalhousie Review, and others. You may visit Randall at his blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Poem-A-Day to feature Karen Chase poem

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets will send out one new poem each day in April to those who subscribe to its Poem-A-Day e-mail service. Poems have been selected from new books published this spring. The poem for Sunday, April 13, will be “Jam,” from BEAR, the forthcoming book by Karen Chase, which will be out in May. Two poems from BEAR, “The Hint” and “Ursa Major,” will be in upstreet number four.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

upstreet poet is Guggenheim Fellow

Poet Bill Zavatsky, whose work has appeared in the second and third issues of upstreet and will appear in the upcoming fourth issue, has been awarded a 2008 Fellowship in Poetry by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded, on a competitive basis, to enable advanced professionals in the sciences, humanities, and creative arts to pursue research or creative work of their choice.

Bill Zavatsky grew up in Bridgeport, CT, and holds BA and MFA degrees from Columbia University. He has worked as a journalist and published three collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose, 2006). A poem that appears in that collection and also in upstreet number two, "Live at the Village Vanguard," received a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize anthology. A longtime jazz pianist, he has written poems for CDs by Bill Evans and Marc Copland. He has also published translations of several French poets, including (with Ron Padgett) The Poems of A. O. Barnabooth, by Valery Larbaud, which will be reissued this year by Black Widow Press of Boston. He lives in New York City and teaches English at The Trinity School.

Photo by Margaretta K. Mitchell

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pamela Erens is L.A. Times Book Prize finalist

The Los Angeles Times has announced the finalists for its 2008 Book Prize, and one of the five contenders for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction is The Understory (Ironweed, 2007), a novel by Pamela Erens, author of "Sebastian," a short story in upstreet number three (p. 145). The Understory won the Ironweed Press Fiction Prize.

Pamela's short fiction has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has appeared or is forthcoming in Chicago Review, Boston Review, The Literary Review, Bellingham Review, Skidrow Penthouse, and Redivider. Her work will be featured in the short-story anthology Visiting Hours (Press 53, 2008). A resident of New Jersey, she is the recipient of two New Jersey State Council for the Arts fellowships in fiction, most recently for 2007. Pamela has also published poetry, literary essays, articles and book reviews in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, New York Newsday, Glamour, O: The Oprah Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Review, Ms., and Mother Jones. A longtime editor at magazines including Glamour and 7 Days, she has won national awards for both her editing and her journalism.

upstreet wishes Pamela the best of luck in the competition. The Understory is available from several online sources, including Pamela's website.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fletcher essay in Writer's Chronicle

"Writing a Shadowbox: Joseph Cornell and the Lyric Essayists," a writing craft essay by upstreet Creative Nonfiction Editor Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, appears in the March/April issue of The Writer's Chronicle. The essay, based on Fletcher's 2006 Vermont College of Fine Arts graduation lecture, is a sensitive and compelling exploration of the similarities between the lyric essay form and the intricate constructions of late Brooklyn visual artist Cornell. upstreet congratulates Harrison Fletcher on a fine piece of work, and hopes Fan Club members will take the time to enjoy this issue of the Chronicle.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jim Shepard wins Story Prize

Fiction writer Jim Shepard, who was the subject of upstreet's first author interview, has been awarded this year's Story Prize for his short-story collection, Like You'd Understand, Anyway (Knopf, 2007). The book, a collection of eleven first-person stories covering subjects ranging from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to a town's obsession with high-school football in contemporary Texas, was also one of five finalists for this year's National Book Award. Shepard, a 49-year-old English professor at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, was awarded $20,000, the largest first prize for any fiction contest in the country.

For those who live in the Berkshires and surrounding area, Shepard will read from his prize-winning work at 7:00 p.m. tonight (Thursday 6 March), at Gallery 51 in North Adams. Copies of his books will be available for purchase at the event, as will upstreet number one, which contains the interview with Shepard conducted by Frank Tempone in 2005.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Celebrating New Yorker Poetry

On Thursday evening, February 21, an illustrious collection of poets gathered to honor the retirement of The New Yorker's longtime Poetry Editor, with a reading and celebration at The New School's Theresa Lang Center: "Alice Quinn: Twenty Years of Poetry at The New Yorker." The event was co-sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, the New School Graduate Writing Program, and Poets House. The New Yorker poets chosen to toast Alice Quinn included Henri Cole, Deborah Garrison, Eamon Grennan, Major Jackson, D. Nurkse, Sharon Olds, Vijay Seshadri, C.K. Williams, Matthew Zapruder, recently named New York State Poet Jean Valentine—and upstreet's own Poetry Editor, Jessica Greenbaum. Each poet was asked to read a poem of his/her own that Quinn had published, then one or two by other people that she had published. Jessica read Jack Gilbert's "A Brief for the Defense," Wislawa Szymborska's "A Little Girl Tugs at the Tablecloth," and her own poem, "The Yellow Star that Goes with Me," which was requested by Alice Quinn. Here it is:


Sometimes when I'm thirsty, I mean really dying of thirst
For five minutes
Sometimes when I board a train
Sometimes in December when I'm absolutely freezing

For five minutes
Sometimes when I take a shower
Sometimes in December when I'm absolutely freezing
Sometimes when I reach from steam to towel, when the bed has
soft blue sheets

Sometimes when I take a shower
For twenty minutes, the white tiles dripping with water
Sometimes when I reach from steam to towel, when the bed has
soft blue sheets
Sometimes when I split an apple, or when I'm hungry, painfully

For twenty minutes, the white tiles dripping with water
As the train passes Chambers Street. We’re all crammed in like laundry
Sometimes when I split an apple, or when I'm hungry, painfully
For half an hour, sometimes when I’m on a train

As it passes Chambers Street. We’re all crammed in like laundry
It’s August. The only thing to breathe is everybody’s stains
For half an hour. Sometimes when I’m on a train
Or just stand along the empty platform

It’s August. The only thing to breathe is everybody’s stains
Sometimes when I board a train
Or just stand along the empty platform—
Sometimes when I'm thirsty, I mean really dying of thirst

—From Inventing Difficulty, by Jessica Greenbaum (Silverfish, 2000)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wish you had all been there

Monday night was our night downstairs at the Cornelia Street Cafe in the Village, where the audience enjoyed readings by two creative nonfiction writers from upstreet number three, followed by a short musical program by one of the readers. Frank Tempone read his upstreet story, "Born Again," and Karen D. Taylor a personal narrative, "Not Tina in This Country: Remembering the Things My Grandmother Told Me." Karen, also a jazz vocalist, then performed five musical numbers, beginning with an a cappella rendition of "Dindi." For the subsequent four songs, Karen was accompanied by Marcus Persiani, piano, Andy McCloud, bass, and Jimmy Delgado, percussion. Those numbers were "People Make the World Go Round," "Work Song," "My Favorite Things," and "Angel Eyes." Poet Bill Zavatsky and I were the guest hosts. This was a treat, and I hope we have an opportunity to do something like it again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Pushcart nominations

The works in the annual Pushcart Prize anthology are chosen not only from the six nominations allotted to each independent press and literary magazine, but also from nominations by Pushcart's Board of Contributing Editors, a group of 230 distinguished writers and editors. We have just been notified that this Board has nominated three pieces from upstreet number three for inclusion in the 33rd edition of the Pushcart anthology, which will be released in November. The nominated works are two poems by Karen Chase, "The Angel of Lost Things" (p. 22) and "Dusk in the South" (p. 23), and a short story by Lindsay Anne Sproul, "Chariot" (p. 83). We will be notified by May if any of upstreet's nine nominees are chosen for the anthology. Meanwhile, we congratulate Karen and Lindsay, and we are keeping our fingers crossed.

And, yes...we are very, very pleased at the literary community's continuing recognition of upstreet and its authors.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

upstreet @ Cornelia Street

Please join us for the final reading in the upstreet number three road tour, at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, New York City, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, February 25. The Cornelia Street Cafe is the award-winning Greenwich Village restaurant and jazz club, also well known for its literary readings, which has been called "a culinary as well as a cultural landmark." The hosts for this event will be New York City poet Bill Zavatsky and upstreet Editor/Publisher Vivian Dorsel. The readers, both creative nonfiction writers, will be Frank Tempone ("Born Again," p. 11) and Karen D. Taylor ("The Space between Lucidity and Madness," p. 133). Karen, a professional jazz vocalist, will also give a musical performance, accompanied by Marcus Persiani, piano; Andy McCloud, bass; and Jeff Haynes, percussion.

Stop by and say hello, and enjoy the delicious food and drink, excellent music, and outstanding writing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pushcart mention for upstreet poem

"Live at the Village Vanguard," a poem by Bill Zavatsky that appears in upstreet number two, is listed in Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses (Pushcart Press, 2008) as one of the notable poems which were nominated for the Prize but were not selected for publication in the anthology. It was nominated for the 2007 Prize by upstreet Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum and Editor Vivian Dorsel, and also appears in Zavatsky's poetry collection, Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose, 2006).

Bill Zavatsky grew up in Bridgeport, CT, and holds BA and MFA degrees from Columbia University. He has worked as a journalist and published two previous collections, Theories of Rain and Other Poems and For Steve Royal and Other Poems. A longtime jazz pianist, he has written poems for CDs by Bill Evans and Marc Copland. He has also translated Valery Larbaud, Robert Desnos, and Andre Breton's Earthlight, which won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. He was the owner and operator of SUN, which gave many fine poets their first publication credits. He lives in New York City and teaches English at The Trinity School.
upstreet is delighted, and congratulates Bill on his well-deserved accomplishment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

upstreet poets featured on Poetry Daily

The work of upstreet Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum will be featured on the Monday, January 28 Poetry Daily, the online poetry anthology which spotlights each day a new poem from a book, magazine or journal. Jess’s poem, “The First, Youngest Men,” was selected from The Harvard Review 33, and can also be seen on the journal's website.

Today’s featured work is a new translation of two poems from Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poet in New York (Grove/Atlantic) by Pablo Medina and upstreet contributor Mark Statman, whose “Night Flower” appeared in upstreet number two.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Book Critics nominate upstreet 4 poet

We are pleased to report that the National Book Critics Circle has announced the finalists for its 2007 Awards, and one of the nominees will soon be an upstreet author. Among the five finalists in the Poetry category is Sleeping and Waking, by Michael O’Brien (Flood Editions). O’Brien is a New York City poet whose previous collections include The Ruin and Sills. In the December 9 Sunday New York Times, reviewer David Orr called Sleeping and Waking “a quietly startling collection that ought to earn O’Brien not only poetry-world attention, but actual readers.”

We congratulate Michael O'Brien on his nomination. Three poems from his current work in progress, Avenue, will appear in upstreet number four.

Monday, January 14, 2008

AWP, here we come!

For those of you who have been living on another planet, the Annual Conference & Bookfair of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) will take place in New York City from Wednesday, January 30, to Saturday, February 2 (Ground Hog Day and, more important, James Joyce’s birthday). The conference HQ will be the Hilton New York, and many events will be held across the street at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Seven thousand people have signed up for this literary lovefest, which encompasses more than 300 readings, lectures and panel discussions on contemporary writing, publishing, and teaching. Two events we consider especially interesting, both scheduled for Friday, are:

—3:00-4:15pm: Fraud! The Debunking of Experimental Fiction, a panel discussion in which one of the participants is Michael Martone, the author we will interview for upstreet 4.
—4:30-6:15pm: A New Kind of College, a discussion of the creation of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the nation’s first college devoted solely to MFA programs. Three of upstreet’s four editors are graduates of VCFA’s MFA in Writing Program.

Registrations have been sold out for a couple of weeks now, but the Bookfair exhibit halls, located on the second and third floors of the Hilton, will be open to the public from 8:30am to 5:30pm on Saturday. We hope supporters of upstreet who are planning to be in NYC will stop by and visit our editors (Robin Oliveira, Jess Greenbaum, Harrison Fletcher, and Vivian Dorsel) at the Bookfair table we’ll be sharing with Opium magazine. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Score one for The Touchstone Anthology!

The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone, brings together fifty works of creative nonfiction selected by five hundred writers and writing teachers from across the U.S. These teachers were asked which essays and personal narratives they chose to give their students as examples of the best creative nonfiction work published since 1970. Their choices include work by such luminaries as Jo Ann Beard, Annie Dillard, Robin Hemley, Jamaica Kincaid, Phillip Lopate, David Sedaris, Sue William Silverman, David Foster Wallace, and—most significantly—upstreet Creative Nonfiction Editor Harrison Candelaria Fletcher.

We are delighted, but not surprised. Harrison’s essay, “The Beautiful City of Tirzah,” appears on page 190, and we encourage you to either buy the anthology or check it out of your local library, so you can read his piece and the other wonderful works in whose company it appears.

Harrison, who holds a BA from the University of New Mexico and an MFA from the newly renamed Vermont College of Fine Arts, has been awarded the 2005 New Letters Dorothy Churchill Cappon Prize for best essay and a New Letters Readers’ Award. He was an essay finalist for the 2007 National Magazine Award, and has been a finalist for the PEN Center USA, Eugene S. Pulliam, Iowa Review, and Gulf Coast Awards. Harrison’s work has appeared in New Letters, Fourth Genre, Puerto del Sol, Cimarron Review, and upstreet. A native New Mexican, he lives in Denver, CO, with his wife and two children, and has recently completed a memoir, Man in a Box.