Nonfiction Links
Volume IV (Summer 2009)
ISSN 1934-4324
The Aroostook Review is
the online literary journal of the English Program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Editorial Staff

Geraldine Cannon Becker

Managing Editor
Dustin Martin


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Burdens and Boons


Our theme for this, our fourth issue of The Aroostook Review, is “Burdens and Boons,” and this will be the last theme issue, as such, for a while. Our main interests may or may not range widely from reader to reader for each issue, but we will continue to seek a variety of quality works for each genre. Again, I am sure you will be impressed with the content that has been selected by our editors and readers for each genre in this issue. As before, many thanks are due to our Managing Editor, Dustin Martin, for his hard work in organizing and motivating everyone to meet deadlines. He sent me the materials early in the summer, just as I had requested. We have been working off and on throughout the summer, doing a final review of the content, adding a bit here and there, coding and touching up the layout. Our thanks go to everyone who pitched in to help make this issue ready, and many thanks to our readers for being so patient. Once again, I’m sure this issue is worth your wait.

This time the Spotlight is on local writer and teacher, Kevin St. Jarre. Kevin and I are currently planning a summer writer’s retreat at UMFK. Kevin was one of my eldest daughter’s English teachers this past year. Just another one of those small town boons… At any rate, reading the interview Dustin Martin held with Kevin St. Jarre was a treat for me, and I know you’ll enjoy it.

We are fortunate to have as our Featured Poet for this issue, Dorianne Laux. I met Dorianne when I was in Michael Heffernan’s class out in Arkansas. When I first contacted Dorianne and asked her for an interview we started out corresponding about our first meeting years ago. We moved on to discuss influences in writing--anything from place to space. We spoke of how modern technology is changing the ways we interact. Facebook, for instance, can be a good way to contact other writers or to stay in touch. Modern technology can, of course, be seen as a burden and a boon. I talked about that for a bit with Dorianne, asking her many of the same questions I’ve asked other writers, because that’s what several people have told me they want to know. You let us know what you think. Send us an email. Or look us up on Facebook.

Not all writers have Facebook accounts, but a lot of them do have websites or blogs which are updated on a regular basis. Lewis Turco, our Featured Poet for our second issue (Summer 2007), is one such writer, and I highly recommend his blog: I find myself in agreement with much of what Turco has to say. He was UMFK’s 2009 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient. Joe and I went out to dinner at Lakeview Restaurant with Lewis and Jean Turco, and our daughters went with us. Our discussions ranged from academics to birds and bards with leaps to bardic birds and lots of puns thrown in for good measure. Of course, we talked of Turco’s recent books and Jessica, our oldest daughter, took interest in his collection of stories. She has written her first book review for us on Lewis Turco’s The Museum of Ordinary People (Star Cloud Press, 2008). We haven’t had any book review queries or suggestions, but Jessica wants to do more entries for AR. Please send suggestions for “Short Reviews and Book News” to us ASAP.

Another website I recommend is Maine Literature Daily: Editor/Webmaster, Tom Fallon is the person to contact with/for “Maine literary events, announcements or news.” This website is updated regularly. We have also added a Poetry Column and a poem with five lines of introductory material by Tom Fallon in our non-fiction area. We are open to suggestions for future columns on any genre, and your commentary on what we publish. Let us know what you think. We may publish it.

Something else new to this issue is our WITS—Writers in the Schools—section. We hope to have lots more submissions in the future. This section may include poems from students in elementary schools or high schools. Teachers, parents or guardians may send us work your kids have done that you are especially proud of, but make sure you follow the submission guidelines. Most of the poems will come from student participants in a WITS Program. What is WITS? Writers in the Schools, and we have a report that will tell you a little bit about what we’ve been doing here at UMFK. For more information on WITS or the WITS Alliance, please visit: and contact Robin Reagler.

But before you go off to other websites, we hope you’ll spend a good bit of time with us, enjoying the content of this, our fourth issue.

Happy Reading! --Chief Editor, Geraldine Cannon Becker




Featured Author

Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux
photo: courtesy of author

Dorianne Laux was born in Augusta, Maine, in 1952. She is the author of Facts About the Moon (W. W. Norton 2005), which was the recipient of the Oregon Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has been featured in The Best American Poetry in 1999 and 2006. Among her awards are a Pushcart Prize, an Editor's Choice III Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Laux has taught at the University of Oregon's Program in Creative Writing and currently serves among the faculty at North Carolina State University's MFA Program.

A Spotlight On . . .

Kevin St. Jarre
photo: courtesy of author

Kevin St. Jarre

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, St. Jarre grew up in Madawaska, Maine. He entered the US Army after high school where he trained and served in combat intelligence in Germany and the Middle East where he was involved in military action during Operation Desert Storm. His novels in the Night Stalkers series written under the pen name Michael Hawke center around the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. St.Jarre has also worked as a journalist, is a published poet, and writes on pedagogical subjects in journals and books.




Contributers to this Issue



Art & Photography