American Letters & Commentary #17    
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AMERICAN LETTERS & COMMENTARY
Editor: Anna Rabinowitz
Fiction Editor: Eric Darton
Poetry Editor: Matthea Harvey
Art Director: Quinn Latimer
Editorial Assistants: Makeba Seargeant

Cover Art: Tony Conway, Transit, 2005
Digital photograph, acrylic paint and graphite on acrylic panel, 30" x 24". Courtesy Galerie Deschler, Berlin
 

"I've been reading AL&C for three years and I'm pleased to see that [the editors] are still determined to consider and publish work based on its own merits rather than the published credits of potential contributors. The editors [have] exquisite taste and an obvious ardor for language... My only misgiving about AL&C is that it's published but once a year."

—Nick DiSpoldo, Small Magazine Review

announcing new editors

2005 marks the 18th year of publication for AL&C, an enviable record for longevity in the literary journal world. For 14 of those 18 years, I have devoted much of my energy to publishing challenging, innovative work in all genres. I have enjoyed the fulfillment of initiating and overseeing remarkable changes in the journal. The time has come, however, to kick myself upstairs, to the position of Publisher and Executive Editor. David Ray Vance and Catherine Kasper, two exceptional poets and editors, will take over the helm as Co-Editors. Matthea Harvey, our Poetry Editor, will become a Contributing Editor in order to focus on her own wonderful work as teacher and poet. Finally, we say farewell to Sasha Wizansky, our Art Director, who has transformed AL&C into the handsome journal it now is.

Though I will no longer have a day-to-day role in the operation of AL&C, I plan to remain an ongoing presence in its continued evolution as a journal that has made, and will make, a lasting contribution to American literature. While the literary landscape has changed dramatically in these 18 years, AL&C has never deviated from an activist approach—by championing the use of language in experimental ways and by boldly embracing what it means to be a language user and a citizen of the planet. Many of the pieces in this issue display an energy, almost a desperation at times, to communicate concerns with our present predicament and to articulate possible modes of survival. It seems fitting that I leave the editorship on such a note of engagement.

Thanks to all of you for your loyalty, continued support of AL&C, and commitment to the essential values of humanity, world citizenship and the arts.

—Anna Rabinowitz


Issue #17 Special Feature: Wedding the World and the Word

Charles Bernstein
Marjorie Perloff
Kamau Brathwait
Linh Dinh
Mary Jo Bang
Mevyn Taylor
Claudia Rankine
Elena Alexander
Cathy Park Hong
The Beauty of Useless Things
The Wedding of the World and the Word
CowPastor
Lessons from Vietnam
On Writing a War Poem
Two Poems
from Don't Let Me Be Lonely
Excursus
Fabula Poetics

Poetry and Prose by...

Jessamyn Smyth, Samuel Amadon, Catie Rosemurgy, Penelope Cray, Matthew Hittinger, Michael Loughran, Rebecca Givens, Dora Malech, Anne Waldron Neuman, Bliss Morehead, Patricia Carlin, Diana Barnes-Brown, Darcie Dennigan, Steve Fellner, Lisa Fishman, Xue Di, M.S. Henry, John Stuart Mann, Daniel Johnson, Addit Tsai, Joshua Rivkin, Joshua Beckman, Stefi Wesiburd, Lucy Anderton, Cal Bedient, Molly Dorozenski, Susan Tepper, Mei Underhill, Sarah Murphy, Lisa Isaacson, Matthew Shindell, M. Lynx Qualey, Mark Irwin, Jeff Baker, Simeon Barry, Susan Thomas, Ali Hosseini, D.A.Powell, Jonathan Weinert, David Trinidad, Daniella Pafunda, Patrick Lawler, Jason Labbe, Patrick Culliton, Elizabeth Galaida, John Isles, Lisa Visendi, Ian Randall Wilson, Fritz Ward, Ben Lerner, Joanna Fuhrman, Thomas Carney, Xu Xi, John Hadden, Ashley Van Doorn, Leila Wilson, Kevin Stein, Lisa Lubasch, Sharon Dolin, James Shea, Claudia Keelan, Sasha West, Juliet Patterson, C.S. Carrier, Nadia Herman Colburn.


Art by...

Peter Blegvad, Chris Ofili, Kai Althorf, Laleh Khorramian, Tony Conway