Spring 2008


The Broken Balance

The poet Robinson Jeffers warned us nearly a century ago of the ravages to nature we now face

by Edward Hoagland

Passing the Torch

Why the eons-old truce between humans and fire has burst into an age of megafires, and what can be done about it

by Stephen J. Pyne

The Liberal Imagination of Frederick Douglass

Honoring the emotions that give life to liberal principles

by Nick Bromell

What Kind of Father Am I?

Looking back at a lifetime of parenting sons and being parented by them

by James McConkey

Rome’s Gossip Columnist

When the first-century poet Martial turned his stylus on you, you got the point

by Garry Wills


Like Robinson Crusoe after the storm, a daughter salvages what she can after her mother’s death

by Janna Malamud Smith

A Slow Devouring

Banter, beer, and bar food smooth a disciplined but difficult passage through Finnegans Wake

by Steve Macone



Boarding: Hemaris thysbe

Joanie Mackowski

Maker and Collector: Frank Bidart

Langdon Hammer

Two Poems

Frank Bidart

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews

Book Essay

The Art of Literature and the Science of Literature

The delight we get from detecting patterns in books, and in life, can be measured and understood

Brian Boyd

Book Reviews

The Art of Doing

Let’s give our hands a great big hand

Wayne Curtis

A Dangerous Weapon

The fault is not in the camera, but in ourselves

Andy Grundberg

Drought and Famine

What the past teaches us to fear most about global climate change

Dan Bouk

Sleepless Nights

Getting cranky about the things that keep us awake

Sarah Fay

The Case of the Defective Detective

Britt Peterson

Enlightenment Lite

Sudip Bose