OffCourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975

A journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories & essays published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg.   Please contact us at Click here for contributor guidelines.

Offcourse gratefully acknowledges the support provided by The University at Albany.

All Issues Index

Issue #57, June 2014.

Philo, art by Ruben Grau 2014

Philo, by Rubén Grau 2012.

Rubén Grau's images appeared in Offcourse  #39, Fall 2009.
See more at his website "Poesía Visual Argentina"


Issue #56, Spring 2014.



Issue #55, December 2013. Happy Holidays!

Anna Akhmatova, art by Sarah White 2013

Anna Akhmatova, by Sarah White.

(The spider is the wicked Andrei Zhdanov, who had her expelled from the Writers' Union.)


Issue #54, September 2013.




Issue #53, Summer 2013.


We announce with great sadness the sudden death of our contributor, Israeli writer Elisha Porat, the 1996 winner of Israel's Prime Minister's Prize for Literature. He was buried on the eve of Passover at his kibbutz Ein Hahoresh.

Jorge Majfud's new book, CRISIS, was published in 2012 by Baile del Sol, Tenerife.



Issue #52, March 2013.

anti judaism book cover


Our congratulations to David Nirenberg on the recent publication of "Anti-Judaism, The Western Tradition" (Norton 2013, ISBN 978-0-393-05824-6.)
His essay "From Nabuchadnezzar to Negroponte:  Three Millennia of Millennialism" appeared in Issue #5, Fall 1999.



Issue #51, December 2012.


Issue #50, September 2012.

Issue #49, June 2012.

Issue #48, March 2012.

Issue #47, November 2011.

Issue #46, Summer 2011.

Issue #45, March 2011.

Congratulations to our contributor Tess Almendarez Lojacono! Her new novel, MILAGROS, has just appeared from Laughing Cactus Press, ISBN 978-0-9826243-4-0.
See the book at

Issue #44, December 2010.

Issue #43, Fall 2010.

Issue #42, Summer 2010.

Issue #41, Spring 2010.

Issue #40, December 2009.



Issue #39, Fall 2009.


Issue #38, Summer 2009.

Five Poems by Dion Farquhar.

Issue #37, Spring 2009.


Issue #36, January 2009.


Issue #35, Fall 2008

The 2008 Elections.



Issue #34, Summer 2008. Tenth Anniversary Issue.

Issue #33, Spring 2008.


Issue #32, December 2007.

Happy holidays to all with new fiction from Offcourse authors:


Both from Blaurock Press, Kitchener, Ontario (Canada)


Issue #31, September 2007.

Issue #30, Spring 2007.

Issue #29, Winter 2007.

Issue #28, Fall 2006

Issue #27, July 2006

Issue #26, March 2006


Issue #25, December 2005

Issue #24, Fall 2005

Issue #23,  Spring 2005

Issue #22,  Winter 2005

Issue #21.  Fall 2004.


William Katz

Associate Editor William Katz died last September. Bill was a well-known specialist in reference librarianship, a compiler of poetry anthologies and a historian of the book. As a professor at the University at Albany he had a widespread influence: if you ask at the reference desk of any library in this country, chances are you'll find, right there, a student and an admirer of Bill. Some of his students have sent their fond and often awed memories of Bill to the following URL:

Bill Katz was the ideal reference librarian, interested in everything. He was the most likely person from Albany to run into, by a happy chance, at a museum or at a concert hall in New York. After his retirement from the university, he spent with his wife Linda five months each year in London; there he would attend as many conferences and concerts as possible and see every play. Much of the remaining time he spent at the British Library reading room, and for those occasions when he had to wait at a dentist office or take public transportation, he would tear off twenty or thirty pages from the Penguin translation of Don Quixote, or from some cheap edition of Stendhal, and keep them in his pocket. That was his idea of the good life, and I remember him saying how happy and grateful he felt for having been able to have it. For he didn't come from wealth: he had to work hard to get there. He had fought as a G.I. in Europe in WWII, an experience about which he talked very rarely, had gone to school on the G.I. Bill, and then worked as a journalist in the West Coast. I will resist my inclination to say something even a touch sentimental about Bill, for he would have sneered at it.


Founding Associate Editor Robert W. Greene has left the journal. All of us at Offcourse wish him great success in his future endeavors and thank him for his many vital contributions during the past six years.

Issue #20.  Summer 2004.

"Painting Tacoma", a novel by Michael J. Vaughn, reviewed by Melissa Byles.

Issue #19. Winter 2004.

Issue #18.  Fall 2003.

Issue #17.  Summer 2003.
Issue #16.  March 2003.

Issue #15.  November 2002.

Issue #14.  Summer 2002.

Issue #13.  Spring 2002.

Issue #12.  Winter 2002.

  • "Love and Violence in a Gray Place," a poem by Stuart Airlie.
  • Three Poems, by Jeffrey C. Alfier.
  • "Love Should Play Fortissimo," a poem by Janet Buck.
  • Six Poems, by Richard Fein.
  • "Infused by Mortal Eyes," a poem by Ward Kelley.
  • "Dying Man," a short story by Nasrullah Khan.
  • Three Poems, by Alec Kowalczyk.
  • "November 19th Starting Out," a poem by Sheila Murphy.
  • "The High Glass Wall," a short story by Elisha Porat.

  • Book Reviews:
    "The Eyre Affair: A Novel," by Jasper Fforde and "Polar," by T. R.Pearson, reviewed by Margaret Black.
    "Roscoe," by William Kennedy, reviewed by I. L.Nirenberg.
    Find these books at The Bookhouse at Stuyvesant Plaza.

  • Issue #11.  Fall 2001.

    Issue #10.  Summer 2001.

  • Three Poems by Barbara Berman
  • Two Poems by Janet Buck
  • Two Poems by Kimberly Copeland
  • Two Poems by Barbara Foster
  • "Venice", a short story by Eugene Garber
  • "Lifeless Life", a short story by Nasrullah Khan
  • Four Poems by Walt McDonald
  • Academic Caplets, by Ricardo Nirenberg
  • Four Poems by Dorin Popa

  • Issue #9.  April 2001.
  • Four Poems by Cindy Colon
  • Three Poems by Anne Comerford
  • Four Poems by Ken Denberg
  • "Short with Quotes", by Amadio Galante
  • "Still More Dedicated Lines": poems by Robert W. Greene
  • Three Poems by Ward Kelley
  • "Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, I, XXIV and XXV", by Ricardo Lida Nirenberg
  • Two Poems by Ellen Reed
  • Five Poems by Harry Staley
  • "The Inductor", a short story by Rowan Wolf

    Contributors to this issue.

    Issue #8.  December 2000.
    New Publications by Offcourse contributors

  • Poems in French and in English by Louis Armand
  • "A soft west breeze" and "Mirka", short stories by John Blackwood
  • "More Dedicated Lines":   poems by Robert W. Greene
  • Poems by David Barnes, Philip Hyams, Durlabh Singh
  • Poems by David Matthews Mitchell
  • "Caplets", by Ricardo Lida Nirenberg
  • "A Spit in the Face":  a short story by Elisha Porat, translated from the Hebrew by Alan Sacks.
  • Contributors to this issue.

    Issue #7.  Summer 2000.

  • "At the Deathbed of the Millennium":  a poem by Alexis Brodesky
  • "Flan" and "Obsession's Deep Obsidian":  two poems by Janet I. Buck
  • "Dedicated Lines":  prose poems by Robert W. Greene
  • "Old Photos":  a story by S.K. Johannesen
  • "A Stanza of Carnality":  a poem by Ward Kelley
  • "Collecting skulls" and "The Secret Life of Carousel Horses":  two poems by Michael Kinnaird
  • "Stories of Creation":  an essay by Ricardo Nirenberg
  • "A Bullet Fired":  a short story by Elisha Porat

    Contributors to this issue

    Issue #6.  Winter/Spring 2000.

    This issue, guest-edited by Jenny Dowling, whose work you have seen in previous issues, showcases The Writers Studio, a remarkably successful school of creative writing located in Manhattan.  As a part of their apprenticeship, students at The Writers Studio do the following exercise:  given a text, either poetry or prose, by an established writer; they must then produce their own text, imitating certain (formal) features of the model.  We present a number of those exercises, and hope you will find, as we did, that they afford a glimpse into the original act of writing, as well as a pleasurable read.
    You will also find a description of the Studio's activities and methods, a presentation of The Writers Studio by Jenny and a recent dialogue between the poet Philip Schultz, its founder and director, and Ricardo Nirenberg.

    Issue #5.  Fall 1999.