Reediana Briefs


Cold Mountain Poems: Twenty-Four Poems by H’an-Sh’an, handwritten by Michael McPherson ’68 (Counterpoint Press, 2013). First printed in 1958, Gary [’51] Snyder’s translation of poems by H’an-Sh’an was handwritten by Michael in 1969, and later printed by John Laursen ’67 at Press-22. In this new edition, dedicated to Lloyd Reynolds [English & art, 1929–69], Michael’s calligraphy is placed alongside woodblock images from The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting and includes afterwords by Gary and Michael and a CD of the Stronach Memorial Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2012, given by Gary, in which he reflects on his relationship with Chinese poetry, H’an-Sh’an, and his own work as a poet and translator.


The Foreign Exchange Matrix: A New Framework for Understanding Currency Movements, by Barbara Rockefeller ’68 (Harriman House, 2013). The foreign exchange (FX) market is huge, fascinating, and yet widely misunderstood by participants and nonparticipants alike, due to numerous unanswered questions, such as: What is the purpose of the $4 trillion-per-day trading volume? What determines currency trends and who are the players in the FX arena? Barbara and coauthor Vicki Schmelzer draw on a combined 50 years’ experience in foreign exchange to “cut through the clutter and provide an elegant and razor-sharp look” at this market. The analysis presented in this volume is accurate, useful, and enlivened by many anecdotes and examples from historic market events. Barbara is the founder of Rockefeller Treasury Services, an independent research firm specializing in international financial market consulting with an emphasis on foreign exchange forecasting and currency management.


Emily Dickinson and Philosophy, by Gary Stonum ’69 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Gary is coeditor of this collection of essays by various scholars examining Dickinson’s thinking in relation to philosophers from her own time and afterwards. Essays aim to clarify the ideas at stake in Dickinson’s poems by reading them in the context of one or more relevant philosophers, including near contemporaries, such as Nietzsche Kierkegaard, and Hegel, and later philosophers whose methods are implied in her poetry, including Levinas, Sartre, and Heidegger. The Dickinson who emerges is a curious, open-minded interpreter of how human beings make sense of the world—one for whom poetry is a component of a lifelong philosophical project.

Laura Leviton ’73 is the coauthor of one of the 10 best-selling reports of the National Academy of Sciences this year, “Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts: A Plan for Measuring Progress.” Read more


The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation, by Louise Steinman ’73 (Beacon Press, 2013). In 2000, Louise attended the weeklong Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau, organized by the Zen Peacemaker Order. Until that time, she’d known very little about family left behind in Poland, about Polish history, or about the weight of her own unexamined prejudices. During the decade that followed, she traveled in Poland and reestablished a relationship with the town where her mother’s family lived for hundreds of years. She writes of memory projects throughout Poland, stewarded by Polish citizens who seek to honor the memory of lost Jewish neighbors. Louise’s book is called provocative and ultimately redemptive, “a powerful reminder of how ideologies can become ‘crooked mirror(s)’ that distort reality and destroy lives, cultures, and nations.”


Temporary Roses Dipped in Liquid Gold, by James Freeman ’78 (Finishing Line Press, 2013). The poems in Temporary Roses are beautifully crafted, and a “richly evocative landscape of discovery and loss, challenge and courage,” say reviewers. This new collection was the subject of a feature in the winter issue of Bucks County magazine and was also featured in Philadelphia Stories magazine. Completed during a sabbatical that James took in spring 2013, the collection shared the writing table with his first children’s book, “Lady and Sierra’s Storage Shed Summer.” He also wrote the monograph “A Literature Review on the Heuristics of Learning Writing, and a Discussion of Academic Rigor and (robo) Grading” for the November issue of the Journal of Language Teaching and Research; published the article “Creative Writing Pedagogy in the Two Year College: Lessons Learned and Literature Reviewed, Findings by a 35-year Teacher” in the September 2013 issue of Theory and Practice in Language Studies; and was coauthor of the book-length manuscript, “The Ancient Hyskos History of (Biblical) History.”

We Shall: Photographs by Paul D’Amato, by Paul D’Amato ’80 (DePaul Art Museum, 2013). Through emotionally charged portraits and richly layered interior views, Paul’s photographs made on Chicago’s West Side provide a nuanced perspective on life in some of the most challenging and troubled neighborhoods in the U.S. Equally committed to his craft and to immersing himself in the community, Paul’s collaborative approach to portraiture aspires to narrow the divide between his and his sitters’ subjective experiences in order to create photographs that are at once genuine and aesthetically engaging. We Shall brings together 10 years of work and offers insight into the making of the photographs. By pairing variants of a portrait from a single sitting, Paul seeks to complicate the images’ meaning by defying the authority of a single photograph as a comprehensive statement. Neither feel-good narratives nor stories of despair, his photographs convey the complexities of representation and the ambiguities of life in a socially and economically marginalized community.


A Rough Deliverance: Collected Poems 1983–2013, by Nancy Gormley Bevilaqua ’85 (CreateSpace 2013). Many of the sonnets that Nancy wrote for her senior thesis with adviser Lisa Steinman [1976–],are included in this volume, as well as other poems Nancy wrote while at Reed. The collection includes work from her time in the graduate program in creative writing and poetry at New York University, as well as more recent poems, including five poems contained in her book Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days.

Jason Seidel ’90 published the article “Effect Size Calculations for the Clinician: Methods and Comparability,” in Psychotherapy Research, 2013.


Blogging the Revolution: Caracas Chronicles and the Hugo Chávez Era, by Francisco Toro ’97, coeditor (Cognitio Books, 2013). Francisco and blog coeditor Juan Cristobal Nagel have selected the best work from their blog for this volume. Blogging the Revolution surveys the evolution both of chavismo and the opposition, the disintegration of Venezuela’s public sphere, the political economy of the petrostate, and its impact on everyday life in the South American nation. In order to understand Chávez’s “bizarre regime,” says one reviewer, begin by reading this book. 


A Perpetual Fire: John C. Ferguson and His Quest for Chinese Art and Culture, by Lara Netting ’98 (Hong Kong University Press, 2013). After serving as a missionary and then foreign advisor to Qing officials from 1887 to 1911, Canadian American John Ferguson became a leading dealer of Chinese art, providing the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and other museums with their inaugural collections of paintings and bronzes, and donating 1,000 objects—paintings, bronzes, rubbings, and other artifacts—to Nanjing University, the school he had helped to found as a young missionary. Lara’s book offers a significant contribution to the history of Chinese art collection and is a “meticulously researched study” that restores to Ferguson the credit he has long deserved. 


The Glass Casket, by McCormick Templeman ’98 (Delacorte Press, 2014). Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl, but that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Reviewers praise the stylish prose, richly developed characters, and well-realized world building, which create “a compelling blend of mythic elements and realistic teen experience.”


How the Other Half Ate: A History of Working-Class Meals at the Turn of the Century, by Katherine Turner ’98 (University of California Press, 2013). How the Other Half Ate, part of the California Studies in Food and Culture series, expands on Katherine’s doctoral dissertation to investigate what working-class people ate at the turn of the 20th century, and, more critically, how they cooked it. “The book examines cooking as a labor process, as part of the family economy, and as part of a neighborhood economy of food retailers, entrepreneurs, and home food production.” Katherine says that her dissertation and the book followed loosely on her Reed senior thesis, which was about canned food in the American kitchen at about the same time. The book is relevant reading for a range of disciplines—history, economics, sociology, urban studies, women’s studies, and food studies—and fills an important gap in historical literature. “Turner delivers an engaging portrait that shows how America’s working class, in a multitude of ways, has shaped the foods we eat today.”


Connected by the Ear: The Media, Pedagogy, and Politics of the Romantic Lecture, by Sean Franzel ’00 (Northwestern University Press). The lecture has always been an integral component of German scholarly life, both in and outside the university. Connected by the Ear takes this fundamental place of the lecture as a point of departure, examining the pedagogical, institutional, and medial practices that produced the realities and myths of the modern, lecturing scholar—in particular how thinkers in the romantic era (between 1790 and 1815) privileged the lecture in reimagining scholarship. This was a time of political upheaval, university reform, and literary, philosophical, and scientific innovation, an era when a series of fraught questions arose for writers, teachers, and orators: What is the status and function of education? Does education serve the interests of state, society, or the individual? Who is the scholar’s proper audience? What kinds of interpersonal interaction do different media set in motion, and, more broadly, how does scholarship affect culture and politics? In examining a range of responses to these questions, Sean, assistant professor of German at the University of Missouri at Columbia, makes two central claims, namely that romantic attempts to reimagine the scholar shared a striking preoccupation with the scene of the lecture and that romantic visions of scholarly speech have had a lasting impact on how the institutional and medial manifestations of modern scholarship continue to be understood.

Cecily Swanson ’05, doctoral candidate in English at Cornell University, has published “Conversation Pieces: Circulating Muriel Draper’s Salon” in the Journal of Modern Literature (Summer 2013). “Four years before Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas would become a bestseller, catapulting Stein from relative obscurity to celebrity, her friend Muriel Draper published a memoir of equal popularity, but considerably less cultural longevity. Music at Midnight (1929) describes the music salon Draper presided over in London [in] 1911–15, before she returned to her native America and became a leading New York socialite, writer, radio show host, interior decorator, and Communist activist.”


Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone, by Annelyse Gelman ’13 (Write Bloody, 2014). From Greek mythology to Top 40, Pavlov to Sartre, the space station to the zoo, Annelyse’s range of reference is what steadies her hand as she dissects her generation’s fascination with love and belonging, with isolation and autonomy, with sex and sanctity, with the Bible and with Nietzsche, with doubt and with overwhelming hope, in this debut collection of poems. There are people that we love, she says, and then there are strangers. But everyone we love is a stranger to someone. Two poems, animated with Auden Lincoln-Vogel ’13, are available on YouTube: “An Illustrated Guide to the Post-Apocalypse” and “Giraffe.”


Woody on Rye: Jewishness in the Films and Plays of Woody Allen, coedited by Prof. Marat Grinberg [Russian 2006–] (Brandeis University Press, 2013). Marat and coeditor Vincent Brook introduce this anthology, which draws together a distinguished group of contributors in the fields of literature, philosophy, film, theatre, and comedy. The essays examine the schlemiel, Allen and women, the Jewish take on the “morality of murder,” Allen’s take on Hebrew scripture and Greek tragedy, his stage work, his cinematic treatment of food and dining, and what happens to “Jew York” when Woody takes his films out of New York City. Marat also contributes a comparative analysis, “The Birth of a Hebrew Tragedy: Cassandra’s Dream as a Morality Play in the Context of Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point.” The book is part of the Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life.


Justice, Politics, and the Family, by Prof. Tamara Metz [poli sci 2006–] (Paradigm Publishers, 2013). At a time when same-sex marriage, gay adoption, and the rise of single-parent households challenge traditional views of the family, this collection of readings provides both social and legal perspective on the issues. Introductions by Metz and coeditor Daniel Engster trace key ethical, political, and legal principles at stake, and offer interpretive summaries and recommended readings.