Volume 1.2 – Winter/Fall 2008-09 Contributors
In conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration, Quiddity’s “Better Angels’ issue features a collection of creative responses — including poetry, artwork, fiction, essays, and a radio play — to Abraham Lincoln’s literary essence from new, emerging, and established writers. The “Better Angels” issue was generously funded with a grant from the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
For this issue, with its highly specialized subject matter, Quiddity’s editors were joined by the following guest editors:
Professor Emeritus and Author
Living with Lincoln and The Lincoln Poems
Kathryn M. Harris
Director of Library Services
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
John A. Lupton
Associate Director/Associate Editor
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln
|Having always been a Lincoln fan, WILL ANDERSON was happy to use his art to try and right one of history’s greatest wrongs. A professor by day, national award-winning radio dramatist, and former Artist-in-Residence at Iowa’s Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, he is a tireless promoter of the resurging art form of radio drama.
“The Ending Everyone Wanted” Read
|TROY BIGELOW is a part-time lifeguard for little bunnies and a full-time husband and
father of three. He is both a keeper of brothers and sisters and a graduate student at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he will finish his masters degree in December.
“My Baby Girl Shrieked Like a Bunny” Listen
“These Are Times of Transit” Listen
|Over the past 20 years, DOUGLAS A. BLACKMON has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly,
the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal have explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct, and racial segregation.His book, Slavery by Another Name, an excerpt of which appeared in Quiddity’s fall/winter 2008-09 issue, won the Pulitzer Prize in April 2009. Blackmon visited Benedictine University at Springfield in November 2008 and then again in January 2009.
|ADAM BRAVER’s books include Mr. Lincoln’s Wars (HarperCollins, 2003) and November 22, 1963 (Tin House, 2008). He holds an MFA from Goddard College and teaches creative writing at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.He visited Benedictine University at Springfield in February 2009.
Feature Interview || Listen
|SEAN BRENDAN-BROWN is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently resides in Olympia, Washington. He works as a photographer for the Insurance Commissioner’s investigative division (affectionately called “the yuck unit”) and has published in the Notre Dame Review, Wisconsin Review, Southampton Review, Hunger Magazine, and the University of Iowa Press anthologies American Diaspora and Like Thunder.
“Pro Bono Publico” Listen
|JASON LEE BROWN’s writing has appeared in The Journal, Natural Bridge, Spoon River Poetry Review, Post Road, Tar River Poetry, and Ecotone. He is working on a novel about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, Illinois.|
|MARCY CAMPBELL’s recent fiction is published or forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, Carve Magazine, Kalliope, and Pearl. Her poem “Traffic,” as a winner of the “Moving Minds: Verse and Vision Project,” was published on nearly 1,000 buses in metro Cleveland. She lives in Wooster, Ohio, and is working on her first novel.|
|DAN CAMPION, an editor who works in Iowa City, Iowa, is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism (Bucknell University Press,1995) and co-editor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (Holy Cow Press, 1981 and 1998). His poems have appeared in Light, Poetry, Shenandoah, and other magazines.
“The Subject” Listen
|ORMAN DAY’s prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as ZYZZYVA, Creative Nonfiction, Third Coast, Flyway, Buffalo Carp, Karamu, Oyez Review, and The Truth About the Fact. He’s writing a book about his backpacking travels in 90 countries and the 50 states, journeys in which God has protected at least one fool.|
|JANE ECKLES has been a graphic artist for over thirty years, and she holds an MFA from the University of Houston in graphic arts. Her website is <www.janeeckles.com>.|
|REBECCA ELLIS lives in southern Illinois. She has previously published poems in Hanging Loose, Natural Bridge, qarrtsiluni, and on a bus as part of the Metro Arts in Transit 2008 Poetry in Motion project. She is the editor of Cherry Pie Press, publishing a series of poetry chapbooks by Midwestern women poets.
“Lincoln’s Boyhood Home, Indiana” Listen
|DAN GUILLORY, a PhD in American literature from Tulane University, was appointed Professor Emeritus of English at Millikin University in 2004. In addition to over 500 articles and book chapters, he has published seven books, his most recent being The Lincoln Poems (Mayhaven, 2008). He has spoken about Abraham Lincoln at the Newberry Library in Chicago, at Michigan State University in Lansing, at the Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield, at the Illinois State Historical Society Conference in Springfield, and most recently at the Decatur Public Library as part of the “Forever Free” exhibition on Lincoln. He served as a guest editor of this special issue of Quiddity.
Feature Interview || Listen
|KATHLEEN GUNTON, a photographer and poet, has had her images appear in Inkwell, National Catholic Review, Thema, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, and Ellipsis, as well as gallery and private collections. She lives in Orange, California.|
|Author of seventeen books of poetry, as well as numerous prose pieces, JOHN KNOEPFLE is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He has won many awards, including the Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature (1986) and the President’s Award for Exemplary Achievement in the Literary Arts (2004) by the Poets and Writers Literary Forum. His books of poetry include Poems from the Sangamon (University of Illinois Press, 1985) and Prayer Against Famine and Other Irish Poems (BkMk Press, 2003).|
|KLIPSCHUTZ is the pen name of San Francisco-based Kurt Lipschutz. His books include Twilight of the Male Ego (Tsunami Press, 2002) and The Good Neighbor Policy (Noir Publications, 1989). His work has appeared in anthologies and magazines, including Poetry (of Chicago) and Ambit (UK). His songs have been recorded by Chuck Prophet and others.
“Washington, DC, 1863″ Listen
|JOHN KRUSE has exhibited and received awards at various art shows, and he is currently working as a freelance artist.|
|ANNIE LIGHTHART earned an MFA from Vermont College but now happily lives in Portland, Oregon. Her manuscript The Safety of Birds was a finalist for the 2007 Four Way Books Levis Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, CALYX, Crab Creek Review, and other journals.
|MIKE MANNING is a self-taught pastel artist whose work has appeared in numerous magazines. He lives in Springfield, Illinois.|
|WESLEY McNEESE serves as the executive assistant to the dean for diversity at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and as the President of the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield and Vicinity. He completed his residency at Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1990, and he
earned his medical degree from Southern Illinois University in 1986. He became a paramedic with the US Air Force in the late 1970s after serving in Vietnam (1968-69). Born and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, McNeese’s accomplishments are acknowledged in Eugene Redmond’s anthologized poem “We’re Tight, Soul-Tight—Like Lincolnites,” along with other esteemed natives of East St. Louis—including Miles Davis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Barbara Ann Teer.
“Face to Face ” (Read by Tony Young) Listen
|JANE NOBLET, though a Northerner by birth, absorbed the history that went into Lincoln (Seeds of Change) while living in Savannah, Georgia, where she says “the Civil War is still part of everyday life.” This line drawing is her third Lincoln portrait. She lives in Taylorville, Illinois.|
|SARA RATCLIFFE holds a BFA in art history from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. For Mr. Lincoln, she used the unusual technique of white ink on black paper to reflect the unconventional thinking of Abraham Lincoln.|
|PAUL SOHAR has added nine books of translations, prose, and poetry (Homing Poems, Iniquity Press 2005) to his numerous magazine credits (Chelsea, Grain, The Kenyon Review, Poem, and Rattle) since going on disability from his laboratory day job. He is also lyricist to G-d Is Something Gorgeous, a musical in revival in Phoenix.|
|EMILY THOMPSON has an MFA in photography from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is a freelance photographer who explores many themes, including landscape, documentary, and narrative tableaux.|
|JIM TOLAN’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Bellevue Literary Review, The Fourth River, Fulcrum, Good Foot, Knockout, Louisiana Literature, and MARGIE. He teaches at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he co-chairs the Writing and Literature Program.
“Tourists at the Temple ” Listen
“Five Takes on Lincoln’s Looks ” Listen
“Lincoln Analogues” Listen
|National Endowment for the Arts Fellow MARTHA MODENA VERTREACE-DOODY is Distinguished Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Kennedy-King College. Glacier Fire (WordTech Communications, 2005), her latest book, won the Word Press
Poetry Prize. Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein included her poem
“Walking under Night Sky” in his cassette Bread & Steel: Illinois Poets Reading from Their Works.
was born in 1965 in Everett, Washington. He currently lives and works
in Gig Harbor, Washington, with his wife and four enormous dogs that
often provide inspiration when writer’s block hits. His fiction has
appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, New Millennium Writings, and The American Literary Review.
|MARTIN WILLITTS, JR. is a librarian and visual artist. His recent print and online chapbooks include Lowering Nets of Light (Pudding House, 2007), News from the Front (www.slowtrains.com, 2007), Words & Paper (www.threelightsgallery.com, 2008), and The Garden of French Horns (Pudding House, 2008).|
|DAVID WRIGHT lives in Champaign, Illinois, and teaches writing and literature at Wheaton College. He is the author of A Liturgy for Stones (Cascadia, 2003); and his work has appeared in Image, Artful Dodge, Poetry East,and many others. In addition to his work as a poet and reviewer, he collaborates with composer James E. Clemens on choral and church music. In 2002 he was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for poetry.
“Emancipation Blues” Listen