New Madrid – Winter 2007
Volume 2 Number 1
This issue of the attractive journal, New Madrid – named for the seismic zone of the central Mississippi Valley and published by Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky – is devoted to writing by former teachers at Murray State.
This issue of the attractive journal, New Madrid – named for the seismic zone of the central Mississippi Valley and published by Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky – is devoted to writing by former teachers at Murray State. Specifically, this issue honors Delbert E. Wylder (1923–2004), who in 1977, as Chairman of the English Department, founded the Murray Writing Program. Of the twenty-four associates listed from 1977 to the present, twenty have contributed appreciations and literary items ranging from James Galvin’s “Old Men on the Courthouse Lawn” and “Hermatite Lake”: “So I went for a walk around Hermatite Lake / To watch the small deer they call fallow deer / Dreamed to life by sleeping fields. / Someone had taken the water,” to an excerpt from T. M. McNally’s novel House Concert. Also included are Al-Baab: The Door (Preface) by James Hannah, Pam Durbin’s “The Old King,” and Ken Smith’s “Bottomland.” All are engaging, and the interlaced drawings by Robert William Head and Dale Daniel Leys contribute a graceful sense of place. This place is described in the essay “Land Between the Lakes” by Squire Babcock: “At the center of this vast circulatory system, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, lies an unruly expanse of protected wilderness whose remote hills offer a glimpse into the American heart.” Babcock’s essay then draws all to a thoughtful conclusion: “The compulsion to care for the unwanted and unproductive derives from the civilization of the human animal. To be civilized in the highest sense of the word, is to subordinate self, is to love unconditionally.”