Fall 2011

First, some updates on IWWG: The IWWG Conference at Yale University succeeded in attracting new (and old) friends.  Its rave reviews included the quality and variety of workshops and leaders and the facilities of the campus. Yale welcomed the attendees with warmth and hospitality. 

A New Role For EJS:  Founder and former executive director Hannelore Hahn, who has held both positions since the Guild’s inception, has announced her daughter, Elizabeth Julia Stoumen will assume a new position as Associate Director and Network Editor.  Elizabeth writes the dynamic column, “Dolphin’s Den,” for the Guild’s quarterly (available online and in hard copy), which she edits.  FORTHCOMING EVENT:  BIG APPLE CONFERENCE, OCT. 15-16, AT NATIONAL ARTS CLUB.

Reviews, etc.: Another favorable review of Art and Politics / Politics and Art (Syracuse Univ. Press. 2010), this time from Banipal, the elegant British “Magazine of Modern Arab Literature.” The reviewer comments:  “The final section, ‘Wars,’ presents Melhem’s most intense poetry.  On the Gaza War she writes:  ‘Weighted by tear-load/ words can’t go far/ bombs bear steel teeth/ to phosphorous flames/ parsing the wailing/ pages of flesh.’  A work of poetry that flagrantly defends universal human values in difficult times.” 

For other recent commentary, including Midwest Book Review, Al Jadid, and Confrontation, see preceding News & Notes, Summer 2011.

I was interviewed for the 9/11 issue of Phati’tude:  Bridging the Cultural Divide:  Remembering September 11th–along with several other writers.  The issue will be available this month.  It will also include my poem “September 11, 2001, World Trade Center: Aftermath.”

I can’t resist quoting a brilliant and richly merited review of Philip Appleman’s latest book, Perfidious Proverbs and Other Poems: A Satirical Look at the Bible (Humanity Books, 2011), “a sequel with every bit of the irreverence of Karma, Dharma, Pudding and Pie, but plenty more of the bitterness that distinguished the Roman satirist Juvenal from his more salubrious predecessor Horace. The sarcasm seething in Appleman’s thirty-year retrospective volume, Perfidious Proverbs, suggests that its author, one of America’s foremost wits, has not mellowed but, rather, is now more fed up than ever. . .”   James Reiss, in Gently Read Literature, September  2011.

I wish you all a good season, creatively, healthwise, and buoyed by a Congress that just might find a way to govern intelligently and fairly–prodded, necessarily, by an aroused, if not irate, electorate.  Peace.