Journal – No. 6

Fall/Winter 2006 – Vol. 3, No. 2

Sample Spreads




Seth Fried, Rachel Cantor, Gonçalo M. Tavares (Translated By Roopanjali Roy), Joe Meno, Mario Benedetti (Translated By Harry Morales), William Wall, Oscar Hijuelos (With An Interview By Philip Graham), Trinie Dalton, Roy Kesey, Patrick Crerand, S. P. Tenhoff


Jo Scott-Coe, Michael Martone, David Evanier, Becky Bradway, Maaza Mengiste, Joanna Imm, Colleen Kinder, Bonnie J. Rough


Robert Dale Parker, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Heid Erdrich, Louise Erdrich, Woody Loverude, Sean Hill, Bryan Narendorf, Candace Black, Lytton Smith, Cate Marvin, Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Rachel Richardson, Chris Dombrowski, Melissa Fair, Joshua Poteat, Elizabeth Langemak, Ruth Ellen Kocher


Two Years of the Fillmore Posters, Nan Goggin + Joseph Squier (writers)

Editor’s Note

We are set to mark yet another milestone in Ninth Letter’s short but happy lifespan, as we say goodbye to Philip Graham and Michael Madonick, who are completing their terms as fiction and poetry editors, respectively, with the publication of this issue. Mike and Philip were both instrumental in the creation of 9L from the moment it was a mere twinkle in the eyes of a brand-new graduate writing program here at UIUC, and without them we couldn’t have come so far nor done so well. Hats off to both of you.

If, after you have finished reading this issue, you find yourself thinking, wow, that was the best 9L I’ve read yet, you might want to thank our guest editors Tyehimba Jess and LeAnne Howe for adding their special magic to the mix. We’ve been honored to have them aboard, and are even more excited to announce that Tyehimba will be staying on as our new poetry editor. The good times, they just keep rolling along …

And in web-related news, if you’re near a computer, stop reading for a moment (but don’t forget to come back) and check out our new web site design at It’s beautiful, it’s clean, it’s user-friendly, and it’s loaded with great new features, including an amazing electronic interpretation of Kelly Link’s award-winning story “The Girl Detective,” a new classic in American short fiction. At you can get all the information you need about purchasing, supporting, and/or sending your own writing to Ninth Letter, plus you’ll find a grand selection of original content available only online. Take a look, and let us know what you think. And then, come back and finish reading this issue.

As always, we couldn’t keep up the good fight for art and literature without the support of many wonderful people on campus and in the community. On behalf of the staff of Ninth Letter, I offer our thanks to the following people and organizations:

  • The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • College of Fine and Applied Arts, UIUC
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UIUC
  • Critical Research Initiative Program
  • Department of English, UIUC
  • Illinois Business Consulting
  • LAS Humanities Council
  • Office of the Chancellor, UIUC
  • Oday Salim
  • School of Art and Design, UIUC

Thanks also to you, dear readers, for staying with us. Enjoy this new issue, and many more to come.

— Jodee Stanley



Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor

Steve Davenport

Fiction Editors

LeAnne Howe and Philip Graham

Poetry Editors

Tyehimba Jess and Michael Madonick

Art Editors

Joseph Squier and Nan Goggin

Art Director

Jennifer Gunji


Ting-Yu Sheila Cheng, Hye-Yeon Cho, Kelly Cree, Charles Hannon, Austin Happel, Blake Harvey, Troy Hayes, Borami Kang, Adam Law, Gina Lee, Robert Mach, Jennifer Mahanay, Cara McKinley, Clinton Miceli, Rebecca Nasadowski, Ho-mui Wong, Jeffrey T. Jones, Nan Goggin

Assistant Editors

Laura Bandy, Christine Bryant Cohen, David Coyoca, Adam Deutsch, Andrew Ervin, Harmony Neal, Rick Pierce, Ted Sanders, Leslie Singleton

Editorial Assistants

Eve Eure, Rebecca Faught, Cory Holding, Jackie May, Juan Sánchez, Amy Sayre-Roberts, Christy Scheuer


Rachel Caiano (for Mister Valéry)

Typeface Design

Jeremy Hayes & Ting-Yu Sheila Cheng (for Mister Valéry), Jennifer Mahanay (for Logic Puzzle #232: The Descending Bicycle)


Mary Therese Kinder (The Sympathy Test), David Evanier (A Thirsty Mind)