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Am I Blue?
Issue #12, Summer 2002
Warning: once you plunge into Jo Ann Beard's "Undertaker, Please Drive Slow," you may never be the same. This chronicle of Cheri Tremble's two-year odyssey of illness—from the onset of cancer to her decision to contact Dr. Jack Kevorkian and her eventual suicide—is simply life-changing. With remarkable emotional clarity and lyrical brilliance, Beard weaves fact with fiction to push the envelope of narrative non-fiction. We are proud to publish this groundbreaking work. Andre Dubus III makes a passionate case for reading the soon-to-be-re-issued collection of stories by a cult writing from the hills of West Virginia, Breece D'J Pancake, who committed suicide in 1979, at the age of twenty-six. As always, we're delighted that so many of our favorite poets, emerging and established, including Charlie Smith, Joel Brouwer, and Celia Gilbert, are gracing our pages.
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Tom Barbash, Matthew Vollmer, Lynn Freed, Terese Svoboda, John McManus
THE BREAK • They kissed hungrily, illicitly, like adulterers in a bad movie when they've sneaked from the dinner party into the kitchen.
TWO WOMEN • She wondered if, given the right circumstances, in self-defense maybe, she could kill her.
THE FIRST RULE OF HAPPINESS • It was one of the reasons Antonia didn't mix him with her friends anymore. She could keep her friends, he said, they were bloody awful, the whole band shoot of them.
LAST NIGHT • Is the future a kind of black hole? my son asks, with his voice growing quiet near the end as if someone's grading him...
ON THE COAST HIGHWAY • For six months I picked up bodies, he said. When the battles were over we burned them in a heap.
Jo Ann Beard
UNDERTAKER, PLEASE DRIVE SLOW • The story of Cheri Tremble, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's seventy-second patient.
Summer Literary Seminar Winners:
Heather Hartley, Liz Phang
ELEGY IN INDIA INK
THE GLASS WALKWAY
Karl Kirchwey, Charlie Smith, Joel Brouwer, Diane Ackerman, A. Loudermilk, Celia Gilbert
IN HIS VATICAN APARTMENTS, THE HOLY FATHER LEARNS THAT ROME HAS WON THE FINAL
THE SMALLEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD WHO ONCE POSED ON THE LAP OF THE RICHEST MAN IN AMERICA CONSIDERS THE BAD DREAMS OF THE TALLEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED
Leslie Wootten interviews a Tin House favorite, Ron Carlson.
Lost & Found:
Andre Dubus III, Alice Elliott Dark, Anna Keesey
on The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
on Jane Bowles' story 'A Stick of Green Candy'
on Jean Stafford's The Mountain Lion
Janet Lee, Su Shi, translated by Jeffrey Yang
Better Than Fruit
Three poems from East Slope
Letters from Hayden Carruth to the late Jane Kenyon
A Readable Feast:
THE TASTE OF A WILD MUSHROOM
The Last Word: