D.E. Steward is another poet featured in this issue. In “Hombres Necios,” he writes that Sor Jauna Inés de la Cruz, “[a]rgued spectacularly for the freedom to be left alone to write.” Then, line after line, Steward pays homage to and exercises that freedom with textured, concrete and evocative details—“Chalk dust felt erasers cloakroom outhouses potbellied stove / One teacher for all start with first move serially to eighth”—details that tell both a personal and universal story.
In addition to the excerpt by Oates, you’ll find nonfiction by J.W. Young. She writes in tones both practical and poignant (“Apparently there’s a racket going on in the Dustbowl…”) about that which creates distance and mystery between mother and daughter: geography, economy and underlying all, time—emotions that linger from the past.
This issue’s book reviews take a critical look at works from Rose Metal Press (Mary Hamilton), University of Alabama Press (Darlene Harbour Unrue), Fence (Josie Sigler) and FC2 (Lynn K. Kilpatrick), to name a few. Smaller presses, too often overlooked, are publishing brilliant work, and we hope you’ll discover some of it here.
The interviews focus on the role of the translator in literature. Among other things, one tells why Justin Quinn inserts American names into his translations of Czech poems, and why translations in the Czech Republic got worse after the Velvet Revolution.
Finally, take a look at our videos. You’ll watch recent readings by Doug Dorst, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Robert Stone, and an extended Q&A with Nick Flynn. What have these authors reading their work aloud to do with life, and not just literature?
A possible answer is suggested in our blog section. A staffer encourages us “to be open to those unexpected dialogues, to never presume that one thing read or written has nothing to do with another, and to welcome those connections and explore them.” Enjoy this spring issue of Front Porch; you’re bound to discover content that speaks to other content and more importantly, to you.