Journal – No. 3

Spring/Summer 2005 – Vol. 2, No. 1

Sample Spreads





Kate Armstrong, Jane Benson, Jeff Sartain


Erin Brooks Worley, Janet Burroway, Philip Connors, Julio Cortazar (trans. by Anne McLean), Tom Franklin, Phil LaMarche, Bonnie Nadzam, Robert Olen Butler, Brian Tierney, Magdalena Tulli (trans. by Bill Johnston)


Carolyn Alessio, Steve Almond, Robert Cohen, John Domini, John Horgan


Lucille Amorack, Mike Barrett, Stephen Dobyns, Joshua Edwards, Angie Estes, Daniel Gutstein, James Hoch, Tyehimba Jess, Lorgen Leth, Gregory Orr, Maxine Scates, Rynn WIlliams, Lisa Williams

Editor's Note

Literature, at its core, has always been a search for truth, and writers by their nature are subject to navel-gazing, so it shouldn't surprise us when the twain meet, thematically, as they have done in this latest issue of Ninth Letter. A number of the works herein explore the territory of personal identity and the ways we define ourselves and the reality that surrounds us. Among these are eerie, touching stories by Brian Tierney and Bonnie Nadzam that consider the mutable boundaries describing "normal." The subjectivity of reality is explored as well, from vastly different perspectives, by Magdalena Tulli, John Horgan, Philip Connors, and Stephen Dobyns, to name just a few of the fine authors who are featured.

This reminds me of one of the central questions in the mission statement of 9L: What is a literary magazine? We strive to define it, and redefine, and, redefine again, learning about ourselves and our surroundings as we go. As writers and artists, we constantly ask, who are we? We as individuals, we as artists, we as a community, a race, a species. It's pretentious, of course, but still we obsess over this most existential of queries. For that I am grateful, because this obsession drives our most talented creators to produce art as wonderful as you'll find in the following pages.

— Jodee Stanley


Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2005

"In the Tradition of My Family" by Phil LaMarche

STEP Inside Design Magazine's STEP 100 Annual




Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor

Steve Davenport

Fiction Editor

Philip Graham

Poetry Editor

Michael Madonick

Art Editors

Joseph Squier and Nan Goggin

Art Director

Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud


Glenn Cochon, Fabiola Elias, Nan Goggin, Jennifer Gunji, Amy Hanlon, Mark Hauge, Lauren Hoopes, Chad Kellenberger, Mason Kessinger, Joseph Kordash, Steve Kostell, Jennifer Mahanay, Jessica Mullen, Katie Quinn, Annette Rotz, Casie Simpson


Jay Ryan (Smonk Gets Out Alive)


Teresa Gale, Cristen Leifheit, Jennifer Mahanay, José Orihuela

Assistant Editors

Kristen Davidson, Rosalie Morales Kearns, Patrick Lane, Joseph Ledoux, Christopher Maier, Jacqueline May, Lee McGuire, Harmony Neal, Paul Riegel, Ted Sanders, Leslie Singleton, Erin Elizabeth Smith

  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.