Per Contra Winter 2006-2007

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Arlene Ang


Arlene Ang lives in a small town outside Venice, Italy. Her reviews have appeared in Poems Niederngasse and Drexel Online Journal. Website:


Richard Burgin


Richard Burgin, Contributing Editor of Per Contra, is a fiction writer, editor, composer, critic and teacher.  Burgin is the author of 12 books, including his latest short story collection,The Conference on Beautiful Moments,  published this fall by Johns Hopkins University Press.  Burgin is also the author of the novel, Ghost Quartet (l999), and the short story collections The Sprit Returns (2001), Fear of Blue Skies (l998),  Private Fame (1991),  and Man Without Memory (l989).  The latter three books were each listed as a Notable Book of the Year by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Burgin’s stories have won four Pushcart Prizes and 15 others have been listed by that prestigious anthology as being among the year’s best.  Other stories have been reprinted in the anthologies The Best of Witness and As the Story Goes: Twenty Five years of the Johns Hopkins Short Fiction Series, among others.  Burgin is also the author of Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer, which has been translated and published in four foreign language editions.  A major excerpt from the book appeared in two parts as the cover story in The New York Times Magazine.  Burgin was the founding editor of Boston Review and New York Arts Journal and the founding and current editor of the internationally distributed literary journal Boulevard (l985 to present), now in its 21st year of continuous publication.


Barbara Jacksha


Barbara Jacksha is an editor and co-founder of the literary journal Cezanne's Carrot (  Her work has appeared in the W. W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward, as well as in such publications as Beloit Fiction Journal, The Summerset Review, Vox, Carve Magazine, Mad Hatter’s Review, Margin, Peregrine, Mindprints, Poetry Midwest, Tattoo Highway, Smokelong Quarterly, Dark Moon Lilith, Talking Stick, and Quercus Review.  Barbara’s work has received many honors and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  For more information, visit Barbara’s website:


Daniel Karasik


Daniel Karaskik, 19, is a writer and actor based out of Toronto.  His prose and poetry have appeared in literary journals:  The New Quarterly, lichen, The Claremont Review, Pindeldyboz, Whitling Shade, The Dream People, and daily newspaper The Toronto Star (with a contest-winning poem, adjudicated by poet laureate Dennis Lee).  As a playright he has been produced at most of Toronto’s major theatre festivals, and was last year playwright-in-residence at the Paprika Festival, Canada’s foremost venue for new  theatre work by artists under 21.  As an actor he has performed with leading artists at the Tarragon Theatre, Modern Times Stage Company, companytheatercrisis, and elsewhere; he has also acted in projects for NBC, Walt Disney Films, Alliance Atlantis, Lifetime Network, and (within Canada) CTV and Global.  He has spent the majority of the past year living, volunteering, studying and writing abroad, in West Africa, the Middle East, and Paris.  He is currently studying literature and anthropology at the University of Toronto.


Vincent Katz


Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, art critic, editor, and curator.  He is the author of nine books of poetry, including Cabal of Zealots (Hanuman Books), Understanding Objects (Hard Press), and Rapid Departures (Ateliê Editorial).  He won the 2005 National Translation Award, given by the American Literary Translators Association, for his book of translations from Latin, The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius (Princeton University Press).  


In December of 2005, Rapid Departures, a selection of poems Katz wrote in Brazil over the past 17 years, was published by Ateliê Editorial, an imprint of the University of São Paulo Press.  Katz is currently working in collaboration with the painter Francesco Clemente on a book, to be published by Granary Books, that will pair poems written in Italy with watercolors responding to those poems.  


He was awarded a Rome Prize Fellowship in Literature at the American Academy in Rome for 2001-2002.  He was chosen to be a Guest of the Director for a one-month residency at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring, 2006.  Katz curated a museum exhibition on Black Mountain College, whose catalogue, Black Mountain College: Experiment In Art, edited by Katz, was published by MIT Press in 2002.


Katz is the editor of the poetry and arts journal VANITAS and of Libellum books.


Donald Kuspit


Donald Kuspit is one of America's most distinguished art critics.  Winner of the prestigeous Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (1983), given by the College Art Association, Professor Kuspit is Contributing Editor at Artforum, Sculpture, and Tema Celeste magazines, and the Editor of Art Criticism.  He has doctorates in philosophy (University of Frankfurt) and art history (University of Michigan), as well as degrees from Columbia University, Yale University, and Pennsylvania State University.  He has also completed the course of study at the Psychoanalytic Institute of the New York University Medical Center.  He received honorary doctorates in fine arts from Davidson College (1993) and the San Francisco Institute of Art (1996).  In 1997 the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design gave him a Citation for Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts.  In 1998 he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In 2000 he delivered the Getty Lectures at the University of Southern California.  In 2005 he was the Robertson Fellow at the University of Glasgow.  He is Professor of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has been the A. D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (1991-97).  He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, and Asian Cultural Council, among other organizations.  He has written numerous articles, exhibition reviews, and catalogue essays, and lectured at many universities and art schools.  He is the editorial advisor for European art 1900-50 and art criticism for the new Encyclopedia Britannica (16th edition), and wrote the entry on Art Criticism for it.  He is on the advisory board of the Lucy Daniels Foundation for the psychoanalytic study of creativity.  His most recent books are The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1993; also in German, Klagenfurt:  Ritter Verlag, 1995), The Dialectic of Decadence (New York:  Stux Press, 1993; reissued New York:  Allworth Press, 2000), The New Subjectivism:  Art in the 1980s (Ann Arbor:  UMI Research Press, 1988; reissued New York:  Da Capo Press, 1993), The Photography of Albert Renger-Patzsch (New York:  Aperture, 1993), Signs of Psyche in Modern and Postmodern Art (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1994; also in Spanish, Madrid:  Akal, 2002), Primordial Presences:  The Sculpture of Karel Appel (New York: Abrams, 1994), Health and Happiness in Twentieth Century Avant-Garde Art (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), Idiosyncratic Identities:  Artists at the End of the Avant-Garde (New York:  Camridge University Press, 1996), Chihuly (New York:  Abrams, 1997), Jamali (New York:  Rizzoli, 1997; reissue with expanded text, 2004), Joseph Raffael (New York:  Abbeville, 1998), Daniel Brush (New York:  Abrams, 1998), Hans Hartung (Antibes/Nagoya:  Aichi Museum of Art, 1998), The Rebirth of Painting in the Late 20th Century (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2000), Psychostrategies of Avant Garde Art (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2000), Redeeming Art:  Critical Reveries (New York:  Allworth Press, 2000), Don Eddy (New York:  Hudson Hills, 2002), Hunt Slonem (New York:

Abrams, 2002), Hans  Breder (Münster:  Hackmeister, 2002),  Steven Tobin (New York:  Hudson Hills, 2003), Mel Ramos (New York:  Watson Guptill, 2004), and The End of Art (New  York:  Cambridge University Press, 2004; also in Chinese (University of Bejing Press), Polish (Gdansk:  National Museum), Spanish (Madrid:  Akal), and Turkish (Istanbul:  Metis), April Gornik (New York:  Hudson Hills, 2005), Cristobal Gabarron (New York and Valencia:  Chelsea Art Museum and Valencia Museum of Art,  2005), Marlene Yu (New  York:  Queensboro College Art Museum, 2005), Horst Antes (Mainz: Wolf Huber, 2005), Albert Paley (Geneva:  Skira, 2006).  He has also written Clement Greenberg, Art Critic; Leon Golub:  Existentialist/Activist Painter; Eric Fischl; Louise Bourgeois; Alex Katz:  Night Paintings; and The Critic Is Artist:  The Intentionality of Art.  He is also the author of three Books of poetry, Self-Refraction (1983; visual accompaniment by Rudolf Baranik), Apocalypse with Jewels in the Distance; visual accompaniment by

Rosalind Schwartz), and On the Gathering Emptiness (2004; visual accompaniment by Walter Feldman and Hans Breder). 



Nathan Leslie


Nathan Leslie’s five collections of short fiction include Believers (Pocol Press, 2006), Reverse Negative (Ravenna Press, 2006), and Drivers (Hamilton Stone Editions, 2005).  Leslie’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 100 literary magazines including Boulevard, Shenandoah, South Carolina Review, North American Review, and Cimarron Review.  He is fiction editor for The Pedestal Magazine and of The Potomac.  His website is


Alison Lewis


Alison Lewis is the Social Sciences and Humanities Librarian at Drexel University's Hagerty Library. She holds a Master's degree in Library Science from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Temple University. She lives in West Philadelphia with her husband and an undisclosed number of cats.


Tanure Ojaide


A Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa, Tanure Ojaide was educated at the University of Ibadan, where he received a bachelor's degree in English, and at Syracuse University, where he received both M.A. in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English. He has published fourteen collections of poetry, a book of short stories, a memoir, two novels, and scholarly work. His literary awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (1987), the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry (1988, 1997), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award (1988), and the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Award (1988, 1994, and 2003). Ojaide taught for many years at The University of Maiduguri (Nigeria), and is currently Professor of Africana Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in 1999, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 2002/2003, and The University of North Carolina’s First Citizens Bank Scholar Medal Award for 2005.


Larry Silver


Larry Silver holds the Farquhar Chair of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and previously taught at Berkeley and Northwestern.  A specialist in painting and graphics of Holland, Belgium, and Germany, he has recently published a monograph on Hieronymus Bosch (Abbeville, 2006) and a study of"Peasant Scenes and Landscapes" of the sixteenth century (U. Pennsylvania Press, 2006).  He has also served as President of the College Art Association and as editor-in-chief of their on-line reviews journal, ""


R. T. Smith


R. T. Smith's collection of stories Uke Rivers Delivers will be published by LSU late in 2006, to be followed by a collection of poems, Plantation of the Mad.  Smith's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology and three times in New Stories from the South. Books of poetry include Messenger (LSU, 2001), winner of the Library of Virginia Poetry Prize, and The Hollow Log Lounge (Illinois, 2003), winner of the 2004 Maurice English Prize.  His poems have appeared recently in Southern Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares and The Sewanee Review.   He lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia and has edited Shenandoah:  The Washington and Lee University Review since 1995.


Ruth Stone


Ruth Stone is the recipient of many awards, among them: The Academy of American Poets Eric Mathieu King Award, the Vermont Cerf Award for lifetime achievement in the arts; the National Book Award, the Bess Hokin Award from Poetry magazine, the Shelley Memorial Award the 2002 Wallace Stevens Award.  She writes both short fiction and poetry.  Some of her books are: In The Dark (Copper Canyon, 2005, Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement), In the Next Galaxy (Copper Canyon 2002), Ordinary Words ( Paris Press, l999)  Simplicity (Paris Press, l997), Who is the Widow’s Muse  (Yellow Moon Press, 1991).  The poems in this issue of Per Contra will be included in her collection What Love Comes To, New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon).