Meet Our Contributors, MQR 57:1

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Purchase MQR 57:1 (Winter 2018) in print or as a downloadable PDF. 

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor | introduction
“What Is Found There: Poetry at Michigan”

Keith Taylor taught at the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2018, after adjuncting for a decade. He serves as Director of the Bear River Writer’s Conference, and his most recent book of poems is The Bird-while (Wayne State University Press, 2017). Find out more at, or follow him on Twitter @keithtaylora2.

Lorna Goodison

Lorna Goodison | poetry
“Constant Spring”

Lorna Goodison is the current poet laureate of Jamaica. Her most recent publication is Collected Poems (Carcanet Press UK, 2017). She taught at the University of Michigan from 1991 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2015, when she retired as Lemuel A. Johnson Professor of English and Afroamerican and African Studies.

Dave Lucas

Dave Lucas | poetry
“Evening in Nod,” “El Dorado,” “The Ship of Theseus,” & “The Musicians of Bremen”

Dave Lucas (2014, PhD) is the author of Weather (University of Georgia Press, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. In 2018, he was appointed Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio. He lives in Cleveland and teaches at Case Western Reserve University. Follow him on Twitter @fakedavelucas.

Paisley Rekdal | poetry

Paisley Rekdal (1996, MFA) is the author, most recently, of Imaginary Vessels (Copper Canyon, 2016) and The Broken Country: On Trauma, A Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam (University of Georgia Press, 2017). She is Utah’s current poet laureate. Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter @PaisleyRekdal.

Diane Raptosh

Diane Raptosh | poetry
“A Selection of Poems from ‘Dear Z: The Zygote Epistles'”

Diane Raptosh (1986, MFA) was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award for her fourth book of poetry, American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press). The recipient of three fellowships in literature from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, she served as Boise Poet Laureate (2013) as well as the Idaho Writer-in-Residence (2013–2016), the highest literary honor in the state. She teaches creative writing and runs the program in Prison Studies at The College of Idaho. Her fifth book of poems, Human Directional, was published by Etruscan Press in Fall 2016. Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter @DianeRaptosh and Facebook @DianeJRaptosh.

Paul R. Dimond

Paul R. Dimond | essay
“Frost and Burton at Michigan, 1921-26, Then and Now”

Paul R. Dimond (1969, JD) served as Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Policy, and Director of the National Economic Council. His policy books include Beyond Busing (1985, reprinted in 2005), winner of the Ralph J. Bunche Book of the Year; and The Supreme Court and Judicial Choice (1989). Recent published fiction includes a fantasy for tweeners, North Coast Almanac (2012), and a historical novel, The Belle of Two Arbors (Cedar Forge, 2017). Find out more at

Scott Beal

Scott Beal | poetry
“Zoe to Alex,” “Ann Arbor Restaurant Says Ice Agents Ate Breakfast, Then Detained 3 Workers” 

Scott Beal (1996, MFA) is the author of Wait ’Til You Have Real Problems (Dzanc Books, 2014) and The Octopus (Gertrude Press, 2016). His poems have appeared recently in Diode, Vinyl, Pleiades, Cincinnati Review, and other journals, and have received awards including a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan and co-hosts the monthly Skazat! reading series in Ann Arbor. Find out more at, or on Facebook @scottwbeal.

Rae Gouirand

Rae Gouirand | poetry
“Long Exposure” & “Solution”

Rae Gouirand (2002, MFA) is the author of two collections of poetry, Open Winter (Bellday Books, 2011) and Glass is Glass Water is Water (forthcoming from Spork Press in 2018), and the chapbook Must Apple (winner of the Oro Fino Chapbook Competition, forthcoming from Educe Press in 2018). She has founded numerous long-running workshops in poetry and prose in northern California and online, and currently lectures in the Department of English at UC-Davis. She is at work on her third collection of poems and a work of nonfiction. Follow her on Twitter @raegouirand.

Francey Oscherwitz | interview
“Politics and Poetry: My Hour with Seamus Heaney”

Francey Oscherwitz is a Chicago-area freelance photographer, editor, and writer. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1981 with a BA in History, winning a Hopwood Award along the way. One of her favorite classes was a fiction writing workshop with Professor Larry Goldstein. She later did graduate work in English at University of California-Berkeley. Her book reviews have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Kansas City Star.

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) was an Irish poet, playwright and translator awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. He authored many books, among them Death of a Naturalist, North, Field Work, Station Island, District and Circle, and Human Chain. Heaney was a regular visitor to the University of Michigan from around 1980 to 2005, taught at Harvard University from 1985-2006, and served as the Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1989-1994.

Laurence Goldstein

Laurence Goldstein | essay
“Poets at the University of Michigan, 1925 to 1980”

Laurence Goldstein, after earning a BA at UCLA (1965) and a PhD at Brown University (1970), served as a professor of English at the University of Michigan from 1970 to 2017. A specialist in the literature of Romanticism and Modernism, he authored, edited, or co-edited fifteen books. In this century he published a volume of poetry, A Room in California; two collections of texts, Writing Ann Arbor: A Literary Anthology and Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry; and a book of literary criticism, Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City. He was Editor of Michigan Quarterly Review from 1977 to 2009.

Donald Hall, photo by Gary Knight

Donald Hall | poetry
“Eating the Pig”

Donald Hall was the 14th Poet Laureate of the United States. He taught at the University of Michigan from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, when he retired and moved with his wife, Jane Kenyon, to the family farm in New Hampshire. He has written well over fifty books in just about every genre.

Sarah Innes

Sarah Innes | photo essay
“Forgotten Photographs from the Feast That Occasioned Donald Hall’s ‘Eating the Pig'”

Sarah Innes (1987, MFA in Painting) taught at the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design from 1995–2003 and at Washtenaw Community College from 1998–2006. She is an active studio artist with work in public and private collections and several exhibits upcoming. She also works as an independent curator.

Ken Lauter

Ken Lauter | essay
“My Debt to Donald Hall and the Gaiety of Without”

Ken Lauter has published fourteen books of poetry; written several plays; taught at four universities; and worked as a mayor’s aide, a university administrator, and an environmental activist. He won a Hopwood Award in poetry and received an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan in 1966. Find out more at

Zilka Joseph

Zilka Joseph | poetry
“For the Birds”

Zilka Joseph (2009, MFA) has been published in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Mantis, Rattle, Review Americana, and Quiddity, and in anthologies such as Cheers to Muses: Works by Asian American Women. Lands I Live In and What Dread, her chapbooks, were nominated for a PEN and a Pushcart award respectively. Her book Sharp Blue Search of Flame (WSUP) was a finalist for the Foreward Indie Book Award. She teaches creative writing workshops in Ann Arbor and is an editor and manuscript coach. Find out more at

Elizabeth Schmuhl

Elizabeth Schmuhl | poetry
“#90” & “#103”

Elizabeth Schmuhl (2006, BA) is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of Premonitions (Wayne State University Press, 2018). Her work appears in Gramma, Hobart, Paper Darts, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. She illustrates essays for The Rumpus, has taught writing at the University of Michigan’s Residential College, and currently works at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter @schmuhlface and Instagram @schmuhlface.

Richard Tillinghast

Richard Tillinghast | essay
“Poetry in Ann Arbor: The Early Days of the M.F.A.”

Richard Tillinghast has published twelve books of poetry and five of creative nonfiction, including, most recently, Wayfaring Stranger (Word Palace Press, 2012), Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2009), Sewanee Poems (Evergreen Press, 2009), and The New Life (Copper Beech Press, 2008). His most recent publication is Journeys into the Mind of the World: A Book of Places (University of Tennessee Press, 2017). He retired from teaching at the University of Michigan in 2005.

H.R. Webster

H.R. Webster | essay
“Birds are Just Birds: The Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing Celebrates Ten Years”

H.R. Webster received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan in 2016. She is a currently a Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has appeared in Ecotone, The Seattle Review, Black Warrior Review, and other journals. Find out more at

Demetrius Buckley | poetry
“Letters from Daddy” 

Demetrius Buckley participated in the Prison Creative Arts Project through the University of Michigan, and was previously published in the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing.

Dell Konieczko | poetry
“As a Captive She Swims Uncorrupted, But Alone”

Dell Konieczko was born on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, and then adopted by a white family when he was two years old. He spent his childhood in California and came to prison in Michigan when he was seventeen. He has been published in the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing.

Cozine A. Welch Jr. | poetry
“Bird Shit”

Cozine A. Welch Jr. participated in the Prison Creative Arts Project through the University of Michigan, and was previously published in the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing.

Cody Walker

Cody Walker | poetry
“The Emperor of Lying,” “A Mad Gardener’s Bouquet,” “Lullaby,” & “Why?”

Cody Walker has taught English at the University of Michigan since 2009. He’s the author of three poetry collections—The Trumpiad (2017), The Self-Styled No-Child (2016), and Shuffle and Breakdown (2008), all from Waywiser—and the coeditor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan, 2013). Find out more at

Benjamin Paloff | poetry
“The Three Christs of Ypsilanti” & “Metadata”

Benjamin Paloff (2001, MFA; 2007, PhD) is the author of the poetry collections And His Orchestra (2015) and The Politics (2011) and of Lost in the Shadow of the Word: Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe (2016). Twice a fellow of the NEA, his poems have appeared in A Public Space, Paris Review, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He lives in Ann Arbor, where he serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan.

Philip Metres

Philip Metres | interview
“The Way I Feel the World: An Interview with Lawrence Joseph”

Philip Metres is the author of nine books of poetry and prose, including Sand Opera (2015). A recipient of the Lannan Fellowship and two Arab American Book Awards, he is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University. Find out more at

Lawrence Joseph

Lawrence Joseph was born in Detroit and received his BA (1970) and JD (1975) from the University of Michigan, and a MA from the University of Cambridge. He is the award-winning author of a number of books of poetry, including, most recently, So Where Are We? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), and two books of prose: Lawyerland (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004) a novel, and The Game Changed: Essays and Other Prose (University of Michigan Press, 2011). He is the Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law and lives in New York City.

Vassilios Lambropoulos

Vassilis Lambropoulos | review
“Neoliberal Austerity and Left Melancholy”

Vassilis Lambropoulos holds the C. P. Cavafy Modern Greek Chair in the Departments of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. He blogs on poetry, politics, music, and friendship at and studies the tragedy of revolution in modern drama at

Thylias Moss

Thylias Moss | poetry
“Pond, the Morning After the Storm”

Thylias Moss taught at the University of Michigan from 1992–2014. She has published fourteen books, most recently a romance novel, New Kiss Horizon. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she was twice nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Pyramid of Bone (University of Virginia Press) and Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler (Persea Books). Her latest collection of poetry is Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code (Persea). Follow her on Twitter @4orkergirl or on Facebook @thyliasrmoss.

Thylias Moss & Thomas Robert Higginson | poetry
“The Moseying Out Bible”

Thomas Robert Higginson (a pseudonym) is a poet from New York who has taught poetry at various US colleges. He collaborated with Thylias on Aneurysm of the Firmament; the essay fuckinmuse: a journey into collaboration explores their work together.

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke | poetry
“His Secret,” “The Nose,” “Beautiful Classmate from the Past,” & “True Crime”

Laura Kasischke (1987, MFA) has published ten collections of poetry and nine works of fiction. Where Now: New & Selected Poems was published by Copper Canyon Press last year. She teaches in the English Department and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter @disaster2follow.

Bob Hicok | essay
“The Promise of American Poetry”

Bob Hicok is a Guggenheim Fellow and two-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hold, his ninth book, is due out from Copper Canyon in 2018. A child of Michigan and twenty-year resident of Ann Arbor, he was for a time enrolled in the Library Science program at the University of Michigan, but dropped out when he realized there were no lab coats, beakers, or particle accelerators involved.

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