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STERNWATCH: Steve Stern Making Moves

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Steve Stern is not actually a cartoon

Skidmore creative writing professor Steve Stern is having a pretty big week.

Two days ago, he wrote an article for NPR’s “You Must Read This” series about Frank Stanford, a somewhat forgotten Southern poet who penned the 15,283-lined, unpunctuated epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You in 1977, a year before his suicide. Stanford’s story is fascinating, and Stern describes The Battlefield as “a great Southern gothic fun house illuminated by lightning.” Cool stuff.

Also, Stern’s latest collection of short stories, The Book of Mischiefwas recently named one of 100 notable books of 2012 by The New York Times Book ReviewFellow novelist and Times critic Nathaniel Rich lauded the collection when it was published back in September.

Hey, mazel tov, Steve!

Steve Stern Collection Praised by Times

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

What a mensch

Steve Stern—creative writing professor and walking kvetch—recently published a collection of short stories titled The Book of Mischief, and it’s now getting some really great press.

Novelist Nathaniel Rich writes in The New York Times:

“Some of the stories have the density and formlessness of mystic texts, drifting on long after the premise has resolved itself. But if this is a flaw it is one of overexuberance. You have the sense, reading Stern, that he loves his creations too much to let them go. As “The Book of Mischief” makes clear, Stern is one of our most joyful writers. Though his characters may be prone to despair and disappointment, his vision of the world — and “the other world” — is resolutely affirmative.”

Steve Stern will be back on campus to teach in the spring. Tell him you read and enjoyed his book if you want to make him uncomfortable.

Steve Stern Publishes New Book, Kvetches

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Steve Stern’s The Book of Mischief

An anthology of short stories by Steve Stern—Skidmore creative writing professor and resident shlemiel—was released today by Graywolf Press. The collection is titled The Book of Mischief and features twenty-five years of Stern’s short stories, in addition to some new selections.

Stern is a criminally underrated writer, and his last book The Frozen Rabbi is a delightful Jewish romp, complete with Kabbalah-tinged acid trips (or vice-versa?), ghostbusting, masturbation, and pogroms. Over the summer, he lived in Vilnius, Lithuania and taught creative writing to a bunch of Americans. He later chronicled his experiences for the Forward.

So pick up his new book, unless you’re an antisemite, in which case don’t.