Fall 1991, Volume 8.2
Neila C. Seshachari
On a cold, icy evening in early January of 1987, I risked driving 35 miles to Salt Lake City to hear Ron Carlson read at The Waking Owl Bookstore. There was hardly any standing room when I got there, but I was not about to drive the perilous freeway back home right away. I literally squeezed in. Carlson is one of the favorite sons of this metropolitan city; he went to school here. But I had never met him, even though we both haunted the English Department at the University of Utah about the same time.
"Would you please come and read at Weber State?" I remember asking him, as he was autographing The News of the World for me. Thus Carlson visited our English Department for a spontaneously-arranged reading which literally started a tradition of fine readings regularly sponsored by the department, inasmuch as his was the very first one. Thus, too, Ron Carlson walked into Weber Studies!
"The Golf Center at Ten-Acres" is Carlson's second story to appear in our pages. And this time it brings in tow his excellent interview by Brooke Hopkins. The subject of "Ten-Acres"—the sullying of our natural environment and our human relationships—is big news from our part of the world, as are the subjects of poems and stories featured in this issue.
Sherwin W. Howard's poetic play, "The Diaries of Emily Winthrop," was inspired by a brief news item, which stated that an aging French actress, once popular but now fallen on wretched days, had locked herself in her London apartment and starved herself to death rather than become a public liability.
Ed Weyhing's story, "The Physiognomy of the Oriental Woman," while it has Vietnam lurking in its background, comments on the traumas that minorities endure in America and our collective tendency to deprive "Orientals" of their individuality by lumping them all into one pigeon hole. Simone Poirier-Bures's "Searching for Dad" similarly puts its finger on a national malady—the dad who has metamorphosed into a robot.
Poems by Joseph M. Ditta and Michael T. Marsden echo shades of history and its horror, and the loneliness and "heartpains" of life. Robert Ziegler's essay on Julien Green's L'Autre analyzes the painful experiences of the characters and "the use of silence as a medium of healing."
Trust the muscles of your brain and begin again when you think you understand, say Chuck Guilford's poems. And if you wish to express your anxieties or determinations on paper, read John E. Schwiebert's forays into the musings of visual artists and writers on their work. Ultimately all we need may be the courage to take risks.
We are taking one such risk in venturing out to be a triquarterly beginning with our next issue slated for Winter 1992. When does one additional child make too many? I asked at my luncheon group the other day. I was really thinking of one additional issue of the journal! (Devious are the ways of human thinking.) When Mom and Dad each have one in their arms and the third has no one to hold it, said my colleague. But a journal has writers, poets, critics, and readers to nurture it—a journal brings to itself the vitality of all its patrons.
As for the nitty-gritties of bringing forth an additional issue, we have had to raise the subscription price to $10 for individuals and $20 for institutions. The price still reflects only the actual printing and mailing costs of the journal.
Beginning with our triquarterly debut in 1992, we start the first of our "emphasis" issues—this time to mark the Columbus quincentennial. We invite submissions with multicultural emphases on the general topic of "Exploration and Discovery." Please send your manuscripts at your earliest, but no later than March 1992, for the scheduled Fall issue.
As this issue reaches you, our readers, the summer with its promises would have come to an end. I would have spent four weeks at the New York State Writers Institute at Skidmore College and interviewed May Sarton at her home in York, Maine, in early August.