ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal logo

A journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories & essays published since 1998 by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg.
Please contact us at [email protected].   Click here for contributor guidelines.
Offcourse gratefully acknowledges the server support provided by The University at Albany.

All Issues and Search, from #1, July 1998.

Please use the "FIND" command of your browser (usually Control-F or Command-F) to find authors by name. This page contains the complete list of works published since Offcourse started; "FIND" will return all entries matching your query.

Issue #94, September 2023

Nantucket 2023, photo by Lawrence Bridges
Photo by Lawrence Bridges, Nantucket, 2023



Congratulations to:

Issue #93, June 2023

Congratulations to:

Issue #92, March 2023

Congratulations to:

Issue #91, December 2022

Congratulations to:

Issue #90, September 2022

Scrawl Group, by Michelle Edwards

By Michelle Edwards. See more of her work at

Congratulations to:

Issue #89, June 2022

Congratulations to:

Issue #88, March 2022

Eleanor Stands with Ukraine, photo by Joachim Frank
“Eleanor Roosevelt in support of Ukraine.”
Bronze statue on Upper West Side in Manhattan.
Photograph by Joachim Frank.

Issue #87, December 2021

roses in December in upstate NY!

Roses in December in Albany, NY

Congratulations to:

Issue #86, September 2021


Congratulations to:


Issue #85, June 2021


Congratulations to:

Issue #84, March 2021

Congratulations to:


Issue #83, December 2020

PLUME has just published a rich collection in honor of Stuart Friebert. It includes offcoursers Ute von Funcke and Diane Louie among many distinguished writers.

We –Ricardo and Isabel– never met Stuart in person, but his temperament, delightfully informal and accessible, shone through all his quick letters, full of “grins”.   For Issue #81, we had received poems from Diane Vreuls. She had written, “Stuart Friebert suggested...” in her cover letter; we thought it was a student of his, as he had sent us several.  We accepted quickly, and Diane shot back “Fastest acceptance ever!”  When we wrote to Stuart to let him know we had liked his “student’s” work, he just said to be sure to write “Diane” with only one N, with a funny story about a student in one of his classes who spelled her own name with THREE Ns. (She explained “My mother wanted me to be different”.) We began to suspect gato encerrado, and looked up Diane Vreuls: she was Stuart's wife! Classic Stuart.  He then told us it was the first time he and Diane had appeared in the same issue of any publication.

Congratulations to:

Issue #82, September 2020

We mourn the loss of Stuart Friebert, whose poems, stories, and translations have enriched these pages since 2014. Here is Ute von Funcke's memorial, "Meeting Stuart, a Personal Tribute to Stuart Friebert", and a list of Friebert's contributions to Offcourse.


Congratulations to:

Issue #81, June 2020


Congratulations to:

Charles Rammelkamp whose Catastroika was published in May:, and to Sarah White whose Iridescent Guest appeared in April:

Issue #80, March 2020

"The Viking from Brooklyn": remembering Stan Johannesen.



Joachim Frank's novel Aan Zee is now available at The Book Loft, in Great Barrington, MA.


Congratulations to:

Issue #79, December 2019

Congratulations to:

Issue #78, September 2019

Congratulations to:


Issue #77, June 2019

We mourn associate editor Robert W. Greene, who collaborated in the first 18 issues of Offcourse.  He died in Worcester, MA, on March 28th, 2019.

Congratulations to:


Issue #76, March 2019


We are sad to announce the death of Enrique Fernández, whose "Pretty to think so" appeared in Issue #69.


How Wide the Meadow, the new book of poems by Louis Phillips, is now available from Amazon.
Stuart Friebert sent us his article on Tancred Dorst, recently in World Literature Today.
A second edition of Radiación de Fondo, by Carlos Barbarito, has been published by clinamen, Buenos Aires, 2018.
Paul Bamberger has just published On The Badlands of New Times, Deerbrook Editions.


Issue #75, December 2018

We are sad to announce the death of Ken Denberg (1951-2018) whose poems last appeared in Offcourse #34, December 2008. Ken wrote, taught writing at UAlbany, taught rhetoric and composition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, ran The Snail's Pace Press and a winery in Washington County, where he lived and where he often went fly fishing with his friend Gene Garber.

Between Question & Answer:Selected Poems of Ute von Funcke, Translated from the German by Stuart Friebert, is now available from Pinyon Publishingin Montrose, Colorado (6"x9" paperback, 152 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-52-6, $18.00).
See also:
Me and Sal Paradise, by Ch. Rammelkamp, is now available from Future Cycle
Basic Forms, by Fred Skolnik, is now available on Amazon or directly at Regal House Publishing.

Issue #74, September 2018

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.

Issue #73, June 2018. 20 years of Offcourse.

Sentir... que veinte años no es nada...

Congratulations to Frederick Pollack on his new book, Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018).

Issue #72, March 2018

Congratulations to:

Issue #71, December 2017


Issue #70, September 2017

Congratulations to contributors:

Issue #69, June 2017

Congratulations to contributors J.R. Solonche on "Invisible", just published by Five Oaks Press, to Robert Earle on "She receives the night" (, 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.

Issue #68, Spring 2017

Congratulations to Offcourse authors on their recent publications:

Issue #67, December 2016.


Congratulations to:



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.

Issue #66, September 2016.

Congratulations to:

Issue #65, June 2016.

Issue #64, March 2016

Issue #63, December 2015

Issue #62, September 2015

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

Issue #61, June 2015

Issue #60, March 2015.

babylonian number symbols

From the editors:

100 is a decimal landmark, fit to make our hundredth issue the occasion for celebrating; that, however, should happen about ten years from now, and we may not be here to enjoy it. So we have settled on 60, a number no less distinguished, since it was the basis for numeration in Old Babylonian (1,800-1,600 B.C.) mathematical and astronomical tablets, and it still survives in our circumference of 360 degrees, each degree containing 60 minutes and each minute 60 seconds, and similarly with our hours.  We celebrate, then, this sixtieth issue of Offcourse by openly rejoicing in the talents and the variety of our contributors, both those who, having long lost their bearings, have accompanied us on and off, and those who are newcomers.  We rejoice, too, at our growing presence in the Web.  We never imagined, back in 1998, that it would be so much fun.

Issue #59, December 2014.

Issue #58, September 2014

art by Nicolas Sedano Acosta
Art by Nicolás Sedano Acosta

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 Akhmatova 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 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.

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

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

photo of bill katz
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:

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

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.
  • review iconBook 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

    Issue #10.  Summer 2001

    Issue #9.  April 2001

    Contributors to this issue.

    Issue #8.  December 2000

    New Publications by Offcourse contributors

    Contributors to this issue

    Issue #7.  Summer 2000

    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


    Contributors to this issue

    Issue #4.  Summer 1999

    Contributors to this issue

    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

    Contributors to this Issue

    Issue # 2.  Fall/Winter 1998

    Issue # 1.  Summer 1998

    Comments? Please write to [email protected]                          Back to Of(f)course home page