Athens, Ga.– The Georgia Review will present its second annual Earth Day Celebration and Spring Issue Release Party on Thursday, April 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Acclaimed writers Judith Ortiz Cofer, a 2010 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, and George Singleton, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, will read in the Cecil B. Day Chapel. A reception will follow on the patio. The event is free and open to the public.
Photographs by Michael J. Marshall, the Review’s Winter 2009 featured artist, will be on display; local musical duo Hawk Proof Rooster will perform; andcopiesof The Georgia Review will be available for purchase, both individually and via subscription.
The Georgia Review, published continuously at the University of Georgia since 1947, is a winner of National Magazine Awards for both Fiction and Essays, recently earned a Governor’s Award in the Humanities, and has its contents regularly reprinted in numerous “best of” anthologies.
Cosponsors of this Earth Day event are the Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, home.made catering, and Shiraz Fine Wines and Gourmet.
Cofer is the Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. A widely anthologized poet, fiction writer, and essayist, her books include A Love Story Beginning in Spanish: Poems (2005), The Meaning of Consuelo (2003), Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer (2000), The Latin Deli (1993), and Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1990)—whose title essay was first published in The Georgia Review.
Singleton has published four collections of short stories—Drowning in Gruel (2006), Why Dogs Chase Cars (2004), The Half-Mammals of Dixie (2002), and These People Are Us (2001)—two novels, and most recently Pep Talks, Warnings, and Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice For Writers (2008). His short stories have appeared in The Georgia Review nine times since his 1989 debut, and he has also published in other prominent magazines, including Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Southern Review, and Kenyon Review. He lives in Pickens County, South Carolina.
Marshall is an associate professor and area chair of photography in the UGA Lamar Dodd School. His work has been exhibited widely, including recently at Krause Gallery in Atlanta, Definition Gallery in Baltimore, and the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.
Nancy and Charlie Hartness of Hawk Proof Rooster play “old-time” music and songs featuring fiddle, ukulele, guitar, banjo and vocals. They have performed on WUGA’s It’s Friday and at the Folklife in Georgia Festival, the North Georgia Folk Festival, Athfest and elsewhere.
The Spring 2010 issue features new work by renowned artist Kara Walker, essays by Reg Saner, Anne Goldman, and Laura Sewell Matter, and a new poem from Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, along with many other poems, short stories and reviews.
Walker’s stark shadow-and-fire image, Bureau of Refugees: Mr. Alexander, colored preacher brutally beaten and forced to leave, results in what the editors believe to be one of the most striking Georgia Review covers in itssixty-three year history. Ten Walker pieces in all illustrate the validity of her self-described artistic mission: “I’m interested in the continuity of conflict, the creation of racist narratives, or nationalist narratives, or whatever narratives people use to construct a group identity and to keep themselves whole—[and] such activity has a darker side to it, since it allows people to lash out at whoever’s not in the group.”
Essayists Saner, Goldman, and Matter engage in similar dialogues. With “My Fall into Knowledge,” the well-known environmentalist Saner argues that the inexplicable mysteries of the earth and the universe are far more miraculous than the narrow religious certainties we often try to paste onto them. Saner’s centerpiece is a detailed recounting of his public debate with an anti-Darwinian fundamentalist preacher.
In “Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante,” Goldman claims a sanctity for the act of reading by looking at—among other things—the way Levi helped himself to survive the Nazi concentration camps by remembering and quoting from Dante’s great Divine Comedy. And in “Franz Schubert Dreamt of Indians,” Matter explores the strange implications of the early-nineteenth-century composer’s deathbed request for the “comfort” of James Fennimore Cooper novels.
The short fiction in the Spring 2010 Georgia Review does not shy from ethical issues. In Anna Solomon’s “The Lobster Mafia Story,” a well-meaning New England fisherman becomes a party to murder—and his wife, the story’s narrator, becomes complicit in her husband’s crime. Jack Driscoll’s “Sky Riders” looks at two struggling and crumbling lower-class families in the upper Midwest, with a teenage boy from one of them recalling the circumstances and trying to make sense of the mess.
Walcott recalls “The Spectre of Empire,” and in doing so he provides a lead-in for Walker’s art portfolio. Lola Haskins puts scientific inquiry under an ethical microscope in her poems “Drosophila” and “The Dew-Tasters,” while Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Dunn takes on moral ambiguity via both humor and solemnity in “The Good News,” observing that “The good news is that I know who I am; that’s the bad news, too.”