The Blog

Playing Twenty-One with Mark Strand

TIR staff

Mark Strand (1934–2014), acclaimed poet, essayist, editor, and translator, taught at the University of Iowa from 1962 to 1965. In 2005, we published this poem by Millie Mae Wicklund, one of his students at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. We offer it here, in memoriam. For more on Mark Strand, please visit the Poetry Foundation

Playing Twenty-One with Mark Strand

Human Rights Index #41: Poverty Disparity

TIR staff

The Human Rights Index is prepared three times a year by the University of Iowa Center for Human RightsThe Iowa Review is proud to feature the Index on our website, to suggest the global political and socioeconomic context within which we read and write.

Human Rights Index #41

Prepared by The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR)*

Christopher Linforth's WHEN YOU FIND US WE WILL BE GONE

Jeremy Griffin

I confess that when I sat down to read Christopher Linforth’s debut story collection When You Find Us We Will Be Gone (Lamar UP, 2014), my expectations were low. This was no fault of the author’s; rather, I had recently been through a spate of bad story collections that had left me jaded. This isn’t uncommon, as any reviewer will tell you, though he will also tell you that it’s invariably during these periods of disillusionment when something stunning finds its way to you, reminding you why you fell in love with books in the first place. And that’s exactly what happened with this collection.

More Than a Metaphor – David Ferry at MIT

Anika Gupta

They were coming very near the upper air,
And a sudden madness seized him, madness of love,
A madness to be forgiven if Hell but knew
How to forgive; he stopped in his tracks, and then,
Just as they were just about to emerge
Out into the light, suddenly, seized by love,
Bewildered into heedlessness, alas!,
His purpose overcome, he turned, and looked
Back at Eurydice. And then and there
His labor was spilled and flowed away like water.

From "Orpheus and Eurydice," Virgil, Georgics, IV, II trans. David Ferry


Andrew Blackman

How does a literary text come into being? Is it born from mad inspiration, or from the labor of a logical mind?

Pablo M. Ruiz explores these questions in Four Cold Chapters on the Possibility of Literature (Leading Mostly to Borges and Oulipo) (Dalkey Archive, 2014), but he also ends up doing much more. He takes us on a journey through literature from Aristotle to Queneau and, being a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, he can’t resist taking the scenic route and pointing out interesting landmarks along the way. The result is a digressive, meandering, occasionally frustrating and yet utterly absorbing book.


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