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“One wishes things were better, but one has to tell the truth,” said the late literary scholar Harold Bloom in a 2003 interview with jazz expert Tom Reney. “That’s why I have so many enemies.”
Featured in the Summer 2020 issue of Brilliant Corners, this is the first interview not conducted by the journal’s founding editor, Sascha Feinstein, Ph.D., Robert L. and Charlene Shangraw Professor of English at Lycoming College, although Feinstein edited the piece substantially. Bloom published more than 40 books of criticism during his lifetime (1930-2019) and, at the time of his death, was the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Prodded by Reney, Bloom speaks passionately about poetry and jazz, especially the connection between the poet Hart Crane and the pianist Bud Powell, whom Bloom heard frequently in the ’50s and ’60s.
In addition to the Bloom interview, the Summer 2020 issue of Brilliant Corners features a trove of poetry and prose from such distinguished writers as Billy Collins, the former Poet Laureate of the United States; Betsy Sholl, the former Poet Laureate of Maine; and Richard Jackson, the recipient of the Slovene Order of Freedom Medal. It also features extensive excerpts from David Rife’s forthcoming book, “Jazz Fiction: Take Two,” which reviews books in this genre published in the 21st century.
Brilliant Corners is a biannual journal that highlights an exceptional collection of literature and art pertaining to jazz. Founded in 1996, the journal bears strong ties to Lycoming College, with contributors such as Feinstein, who serves as the managing editor, and Gary R. Hafer, Ph.D., John P. Graham Teaching Professor of English at Lycoming College, who serves as the production design editor. The publication is funded in part by the College, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and private endowments.
A subscription costs $12 per year ($18 for international orders), and checks or money can be sent to Brilliant Corners, Lycoming College, 1 College Place, Williamsport, PA 17701. More information can be found at www.lycoming.edu/BrilliantCorners or on Brilliant Corners’ Facebook page.