A journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories
& essays published since 1998 by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for contributor guidelines.
Offcourse gratefully acknowledges the server support provided by The University at Albany.
We mourn the death of Harry Staley. Some of his poems appeared in the Spring 2001 issue and his book "All in one Breath: Selected Poems", The Snail's Pace Press, was reviewed by Robert W. Greene in the Spring 2002 issue. Paul Grondahl's tribute to Staley appeared in the Albany Times Union in August 14, 2018.
Congratulations to Rachel King on on her new poetry chapbook, published through dancing girl press. The chapbook includes "Returning" and "Near the Solstice," which were first published in Offcourse in December 2016.
Congratulations to Frederick Pollack on his new book, Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018).
Congratulations to contributors J.R. Solonche on "Invisible", just published by Five Oaks Press, to Robert Earle on "She receives the night" ( http://www.vineleavespress.com/she-receives-the-night-by-robert-earle.html), to Louis Phillips, whose "The Pleasure of his Company: the off-beat Shakespeare Book" is now available on Amazon, and to Ian Ganassi whose translation of Book 7 of Virgil's Aeneid appeared in the New England Review, Issue #37, Vol. 2. (An interview with Ganassi appears in NER.)
We have updated the web page with Alex Cigale's translations of Russian Poetic Miniatures in Offcourse #41, correcting and improving the links to the Russian originals.
Benjamin Fondane's Cinepoems and Others, Leonard Schwartz ed., NYRB/POETS, ISBN 978-1-59017-900-0. This is the first selection of English translations of Fondane's poems written in French. Fondane was born Benjamin Wechsler in 1898, Ia?i, Romania, killed in 1944 in Auschwitz by the nazis.
Medulla Review Publishing just published Chris Crittenden's newest poetry collection, Escape from the Orchard of Wheels.
Rebecca Foust's Paradise Drive has just been published by http://www.press53.com.
Art by Nicolás Sedano Acosta
Philo, by Rubén Grau 2012.
Anna Akhmatova, by Sarah White. (The spider is the wicked Andrei Zhdanov, who had Akhmatova expelled from the Writers' Union.)
Congratulations to David Nirenberg on the recent publication of "Anti-Judaism, The Western Tradition" (Norton 2013, ISBN 978-0-393-05824-6.) Nirenberg's essay "From Nabuchadnezzar to Negroponte: Three Millennia of Millennialism" appeared in Issue #5, Fall 1999.
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 http://silverboomerbooks.com/draft/9780982624340-Perfect_Milagros.pdf
Both from Blaurock Press, Kitchener, Ontario (Canada)
William Katz 1924-2004
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: https://www.albany.edu/sisp/people/faculty/katz_memories.htm.
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.
- From the Editor: Inescapable Torture?
- Three Poems by Janet Buck.
- Concise Poems, by Davis Wayne Davis.
- Two Poems, by Michael Kinnaird.
- "Baroque Dreams", by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- "In Netanya", a poem by Elisha Porat.
- "Chicago Wages", a poem by Mark Prudowsky.
- "Spring Street", a story by Harvey Sutlive.
- "Painting Tacoma", a novel by Michael J. Vaughn, reviewed by Melissa Byles.
Issue #19. Winter 2004
- Four Poems by Janet I. Buck.
- Three Poems by Michelle Cameron.
- Two Poems by Ward Kelley.
- Three Poems by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
- "American Fiction", a story by Andrew Madigan.
- Three Poems by Karen Mandell.
- "The Moralist in the Locker Room", an essay by Ricardo L. Nirenberg.
- "Nottiteln", poems by R.L. Swihart.
- Three Poems by Michael Vaughn.
- "In the Shadow of the Globe: Where History Comes to Life" by Michelle Cameron. Review by Janet I. Buck.
- "Beasts in their Wisdom" by Eugene K. Garber. Review by Ricardo L. Nirenberg.
Issue #18. Fall 2003
- Three Poems by Jeffrey C. Alfier.
- Two Poems by Stuart Airlie.
- Two Poems by Janet Buck.
- Two Prose Poems by Martin Burke.
- Seven Poems by Rebecca Lou Kiernan.
- Two Poems by Michael Kinnaird.
- Two Poems by Andrew Madigan.
- The Coin Box, a story by Harvey Sutlive.
- Three Poems by Mariko Sumikura. Translated from the Japanese by Michael Finkenthal in collaboration with the poet.
- "Christening the Dancer" by John Amen. Reviewed by Robert W. Greene.
Issue #17. Summer 2003
- Two Poems by Carlos Barbarito.
- Three Poems by Ken Denberg.
- Two Poems by Richard Fein.
- "The Stalker," a story by Eugene Garber.
- "Interim," a story by Michael Kinnaird.
- Two Poems by Michael Kinnaird.
- Two Poems by Kelly Malone.
- "One Brushed Past," a poem by Sheila Murphy.
- "My Turn to Dream," a story by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- "In the Shadows," a story by Debi Orton.
- Two Poems by Elisha Porat.
- "Pick-up-Charlie to Astronaut," a story by Tom Sheehan.
- "Back Formation," a story by Harvey Sutlive.
- " Tickets to a Closing Play. " by Janet Buck. Reviewed by Robert W. Greene.
Issue #16. March 2003
- Three Poems, by Janet Buck.
- Two Poems, by Catherine Daly.
- Two Poems, by Thomas Fink.
- Two Poems, by Apryl Fox.
- Three Poems, by John Horvath Jr.
- "Elsewhere", a poem by Ward Kelley.
- Two Poems and Artwork, by Stephen Mead.
- Three Poems, by Martin Mitchell.
- Two Poems, by Sheila Murphy.
- "Strides We Make Sometimes," a story by Harvey Sutlive.
- "To Have and to Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting," reviewed by Judy Kramer.
Issue #15. November 2002
- Three Poems, by Janet Buck.
- Three Poems, by Joachim Frank.
- "Failing Words," a poem by Philip Hyams.
- Three Poems, by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
- Three Poems, by J. B. Mulligan.
- "Big Stick," a story by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- "Ghost Town," a story by S. Scott Simpson.
- "Watching from the Warehouse," a story by Harvey Sutlive.
- Two Poems, by Michael J. Vaughn.
- "Dancing through Russia's Cultural History," a review article by Margaret Black.
Issue #14. Summer 2002
- "The Battle of the Falkland Islands," a poem by Stuart Airlie.
- "Yolki Blues," a poem by Janet Buck.
- Four Prose Poems, by Joel Chace.
- Two Poems, by Alison Daniel.
- "Manny the Cleaner," a short story by Timothy Kaiser.
- "Whispering along the Dead Sea," a short story by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan.
- "On the Eighteenth Anniversary of your Imminent Destruction," a poem by Michael Kinnaird.
- Two Poems, by Walter McDonald.
- "Dada in Albany, NY," by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- Book Reviews: "Discovering Diane Schoemperlen," by Margaret Black.
Issue #13. Spring 2002
- Three Poems by Jack Cannon.
- Two Poems by Ken Denberg.
- "Loki and Death," by Eugene Garber.
- "Bush, bin Ladin and Taja," by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan.
- Three Poems by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
- "The Cartoon Vandals," a poem by Martin Rutley.
- Three Poems by Ellen Reed.
- Two Poems by R.L. Swihart.
- "These Dreaming Houses," a poem by John Sweet.
- "Arsonist," a poem by Jacqueline Vanzyl.
- Book Reviews: "All in One Breath: Selected Poems" by Harry C. Staley, reviewed by Robert W. Greene.
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 and "Roscoe," by William Kennedy, reviewed by I. L.Nirenberg.
Issue #11. Fall 2001
- Coffee, a poem by Anthony DiPietro.
- Two Poems by John Horvath.
- Four Poems by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
- Three Poems by Michael Kinnaird.
- Three Poems by Duane Locke.
- A Day for Singing, a Vietnam vignette by James MacNeil.
- From my Private Journal: September 11, 2001 , by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- The Lost Son, a story by Elisha Porat, translated from the Hebrew by Alan Sacks.
- The Yellow Boat , a story by David Ritchie.
- Cantos, three poems by Serafín Roldán.
- The Meat Market , a story by Julia Simpson-Akin.
- Open letter to Susan Sontag by Melissa Byles and letters about Melissa Byles' article.
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
Issue #8. December 2000
- 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
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
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.
- Jenny Dowling's presentation
- The writers speak about their work: examples and exercises
- The elements of craft
- The reading list
- Interview with Philip Schultz
Issue #5. Fall 1999
- "From Nabuchadnezzar to Negroponte: Three Millennia of Millennialism",
by David Nirenberg.
- "Some Trees, not Birches" and "Four Poems", by Robert W. Greene.
- "Four Festering Sores": short stories by Ricardo Nirenberg.
- "Mongrel" and "Jerusalem Python": poems by Phylip Hyams.
- "After the Sandwich": a poem by Michael Kinnaird.
- "Fear and Hesitation #9 and #10": poems by Duane Locke.
- "Family Language" and "Long Haul": short stories by Elisha Porat, translated from the hebrew by Alan Sacks.
- "Closer Sun", a short story by Rowan Wolf.
- "Cry Uncle: a novel by R. Nirenberg", reviewed by Margaret Black.
Issue #4. Summer 1999
- December, by Holly Lalena Day
- Lost, by Roger Gathman
- A Sonnet and Two Sagas, by Robert W. Greene
- SKIN MAN by Mary Kennan Herbert
- Something's coming to meet you, by Alan Kaufman
- A South American Quartet, by Ward Kelley
- H, by Ricardo L. Nirenberg
The editors recommend Eugene Mirabelli's most recent novel, "The Language Nobody Speaks" (Spring Harbor Press). Elegant, melancholy and salacious, it's the delicious fruit of a lifelong research into prose and sex.
Issue # 3. Spring 1999
- From the Editor
- The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Jenny Dowling
- Selling the Holocaust Museum, by Amadio Galante
- Parts and Wholes of Memory, by Robert W. Greene
- Two Poems by Mary Kennan Herbert
- Pieter de Hooch, by Laura von Roijj
- Three Poems by David Hunter Sutherland
- "Life is Beautiful" and "Tango": two fables of the ineffable, by Solano Meier
Issue # 2. Fall/Winter 1998
- More Poems, by Robert W. Greene.
- Witold Gombrowicz, or the Sadness of Form, by Ricardo Nirenberg. (Also in Spanish )
- Gombrowicz está en nosotros, by Juan Carlos Gómez
- No More Father, by David Siff
- Richard Ford on Raymond Carver, by Melissa Byles.
Issue # 1. Summer 1998
- Three Poems, by Robert Greene.
- PABLO PALAZUELO, A Biography, by Richard H. Knight
- Geologic form un-earthed: "Seeing through" the art of Pablo Palazuelo, by Richard H. Knight.
- River, Sea, Mother and Prostitute: the poetry of Fredi Guthmann, by Ricardo Nirenberg. (Also in Spanish)
- Links on Fredi Guthmann
- From the quagmire of Academe by Melissa Byles.