DeWitt Henry

Selected Works

Memoir
21 brief sketches about growing up on the Philadelphia Main Line during the 1940s and 50s
Hidden River Press. 2011. 252 pages. This is a moving, sepia-toned, and powerful look at the bonds of a family, but it also tracks the development of a deeply gifted writer and his dedication to American letters. This resonant memoir is by turns poignant and harrowing, and with each new page, I felt the exhilarating rush of recognition. In writing about his family, DeWitt Henry ushers his readers to better understandings of their own histories. --Bret Anthony Johnston, author of CORPUS CHRISTI: STORIES
Red Hen Press, 2008. 190 pp."As with any flat-out wonderful book, a few words of praise cannot begin to do it justice. But here goes: SAFE SUICIDE is elegantly written, edgy, touching, inventive, surprising in its shifts of style and form, and completely spellbinding from start to finish. Partly memoir, partly a sequence of interlocked essays, this is a book that works its way under your skin and down into your vital organs. It is really, really good."--Tim O’Brien, author of THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.
Novel
Winner of the 2000 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel
Anthology
Essays that reflect the tenacity, the strength to go forward and to love. Beacon Press, 2001. 219 pp.
Co-edited with James Alan McPherson. Beacon Press, 1999. 252 pp.
A collection of first or very early fiction by now prominent authors as it appeared in the prizewinning journal Ploughshares over the past three decades.

Welcome


Biography


Born 6/​30/​41 in Wayne, PA. Radnor High School, 1959; A.B. Amherst College, 1963; M.A. in English, Harvard Univ., 1965; Ph.D. English, Harvard Univ., 1971; completed requirements for M.F.A. University of Iowa, 1968 (did not take the degree). Married Constance Sherbill 1973; two children Ruth Kathryn Henry born 1977; David Jung Min Henry born 1985. Grand daughters Eva Luz Henry born 2003, Maya Salome Torres-Henry born 2009. Sister Judy Friedericy; brothers Charles (deceased 1999) and John T. Henry (deceased 2004). Founding editor of Ploughshares literary magazine, and active editor and director 1971-1995. Interim Director of Ploughshares 6/​2007-10/​2008. Professor, Writing, Literature, and Publishing, Emerson College, 2006 to present; Associate Professor 1989 to 2006: hired as Assistant Professor 1983; Acting Chairperson 1987-8; Chairperson 1989-93.

My Writing, Editing and Publishing Life


SWEET DREAMS: A FAMILY HISTORY, Hidden River Press, 2011

SAFE SUICIDE: ESSAYS, NARRATIVES, AND MEDITATIONS, Red Hen Press, 2008

Novel:THE MARRIAGE OF ANNA MAYE POTTS, University of Tennesee Press, 2001 (winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel)

Anthologies Edited:

SORROW'S COMPANY: WRITERS ON LOSS AND GRIEF, Beacon Press, 2001

BREAKING INTO PRINT: EARLY STORIES AND INSIGHTS INTO GETTING PUBLISHED; A PLOUGHSHARES ANTHOLOGY, Beacon Press, 2000

FATHERING DAUGHTERS: REFLECTIONS BY MEN (with James Alan McPherson), Beacon Press 1998, pb. 1999

OTHER SIDES OF SILENCE: NEW FICTION FROM PLOUGHSHARES, Faber and Faber, 1993, o.p.

THE PLOUGHSHARES READER: NEW FICTION FOR THE 80S, Pushcart Press, 1984, NAL, 1985; winner Third Annual Editors Book Award

Issues of PLOUGHSHARES:

Vol. 37, Nos. 2&3, Fortieth Anniversary Issue, 2011

Vol. 17, Nos 2&3, Twentieth Anniversary Issue (with Joyce Peseroff), 1991

Vol. 16, Nos 2&3, Confronting Racial Difference (with James Alan McPherson), 1990

Vol. 13, Nos 2&3, Fiction Issue, 1987

Vol. 11, Nos 2&3, Fiction Issue (with James Alan McPherson), 1985

Vol. 8, No 4, Fiction Issue, 1982

Vol. 5, No4, Fiction Issue, 1979

Vol. 4, No. 4 Fiction Issue (with Tim O'Brien), 1978

Vol. 4, No 2 Women Imagine Men/​Men Imagine Women (with Rosellen Brown and Andre Dubus), 1978

Vol. 4, No 3, Criticism Issue (with Linda Bamber), 1978

Vol. 3, No 1, Fiction Issue (with Tim O'Brien), 1976

Vol. 2, No 2, Realism Issue, 1974

Vol. 1, No. 1, Inaugural Issue, 1971

[Staff Prose editor on all issues 1971-90; 2008-09]

Fiction and Personal Narratives in periodicals and anthologies:

"Jack's Last Ride," Del Sol Review #19, June 2013 (http:/​/​delsolreview.webdelsol.com/​dsr19/​Henry.htm)

"Deaths In My Life," essay, MEMOIR, Issue 11, December 1, 2012

"Shamrocks and Salad Days," memoir, SOLSTICE, Spring 2012.

"Keep Candy Handy," excerpt from SWEET DREAMS, THE WRITERS WORKSHOP REVIEW, Vol. 6, March 2012 (http:/​/​www.thewritersworkshopreview.net/​issue.cgi)

"On Golf," memoir, WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter
2011-2012 (http:/​/​www.whlreview.com/​no-6.4/​essays/​DeWittHenry.pdf)

"On Swimming," memoir, DUCTS, Issue 28, Winter 2011-12 (http:/​/​www.ducts.org/​content/​on-swimming/​); reprinted in THE MAN WHO ATE HIS BOOK: THE BEST OF DUCTS.ORG, Vol. II, edited by Jonathan Kravetz & Charles Salzberg, Greenpoint Press, 2013

"Sweet Dreams: A Family History" (excerpt), SERVING HOUSE JOURNAL, Issue 4, Fall 2011 (www.servinghousejournal.com).

"Perspectives," non-fiction, SOLSTICE, Summer Issue, July, 2010

"A Tribute to 'Tornado at the Club,' from Evan S. Connell's Mrs. Bridge (as revised into the Screenplay, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala)," fiction, WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW #5/​1, April, 2010. Awarded a Chekhov Prize for Excellence as best fiction of the year.

"What If?" essay, WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW, April 2008

"Train Station," story, NIGHT TRAIN #4, Fall 2004

"Besmirched," narrative, THE GREEN HILLS LITERARY LANTERN #15 (2004)

"On Aging," narrative, THE IOWA REVIEW, 34/​1, Spring 2004 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2004).

"Dress Rehearsal," narrative, THE GREEN HILLS LITERARY LANTERN #14 (2003)

"My Dog Story," narrative, THE NEBRASKA REVIEW, Spring 2003 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, 2004).

"Arias," narrative, THE GREEN HILLS LITERARY LANTERN #13 (2002)

"Promises to Keep," narrative, PLOUGHSHARES (30th anniversary issue), 2001

"Forces of Nature: A Dream Retold," narrative, THE HARVARD REVIEW, 2001

"Innocents Abroad," narrative, AGNI, 2001 (Cited as distinctive in Best American Essays of 2002)

"Gravity," narrative, IOWA REVIEW, 2001

"One Day" and "What Is A Jerk?" narratives, PAINTED MOON REVIEW, 2000 (www.paintedmoonreview.com/​indexa.html)

"Odd," narrative, COTTONWOOD REVIEW 5/​4, Fall 1999

"First Love," narrative, AGNI REVIEW 49, 1999

"My Own Private Cambridge," narrative, NEBRASKA REVIEW, 27/​1, Winter 1999 (cited a distinctive in Best American Essays 2000)

"Beautiful Flower," narrative, BERKELEY FICTION REVIEW 18, Summer 1998

"Wide Awake," narrative, MISSOURI REVIEW, Spring 1998 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1999)

"Wide-eyed," narrative, FATHERING DAUGHTERS, eds Henry and McPherson, Beacon Press, 1998

"Improvisational," narrative, IOWA REVIEW, Spring 1998

"Departures, narrative, THE COLORADO REVIEW XXV, Spring 1998

"Embodiment," narrative, NERVE, Fall 1997 (www.nervemag.com/​contributors/​Henry)

"Subversions," narrative, THE NEBRASKA REVIEW, Jan. 1997 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1998)

"Memoir of My Father," narrative, THE AMERICAN VOICE, October, 1996 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1997)

"Bungee," narrative, THE IOWA REVIEW, Spring 1996 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1997)

"On My Racism: Notes by a WASP," narrative, PLOUGHSHARES, 1990 (cited as distinctive in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1991)

"Courtship," fiction, THE EMERSON REVIEW, Winter 1990

"Witness," narrative, THE PUSHCART PRIZE XIV, 1989(revised and expanded from BOULEVARD below)

"Witness," narrative, BOULEVARD 1988 (won $1000 Boulevard Fiction Award for best of the year)

"Subjunctive Lives," fiction, THE TEXAS REVIEW, 1989 (lead story)

"Lord of Autumn," fiction, PLOUGHSHARES (ed. Ellen Wilbur), 1984; cited as distinctive in PUSHCART PRIZE listing

"Hospital," novel excerpt, AGNI REVIEW #15, 1981

"Possession," novel excerpt, PLOUGHSHARES (ed. Dan Wakefield), 1981; cited as distinctive in PUSHCART listing

"Ballgame," novel excerpt, PLOUGHSHARES 1/​1, 1971

Selected Articles, Criticism, Interviews, Reviews:

"Foreword" to DISMEMBERING THE AMERICAN DREAM: THE LIFE AND FICITON OF RICHARD YATES by Kate Charlton-Jones (U. of Alabama Press, 2014)

"Confronting the Mountain," a review of Nicholas O'Connell's THE STORMS OF DENALI (U. of Alaska Press, 2013), AMHERST, Spring 2013

"Filial Piety," a review of Duff Brenna's memoir, MURDERING THE MOM (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2012), AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, Vol. 34, No. 1, Nov/​Dec 2012, pp. 28-29

"A Short History of Creative Writing in America," chapter, TEACHING CREATIVE WRITING, ed. Heather Beck, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

Review of FROM THE UMBERPLATZEN by Susan Tepper, LitPub (http:/​/​thelitpub.com/​i-thought-i-felt-myself-crack/​), Aug. 23, 2012.

Review of THEY'RE CALLING YOU HOME by Doug Crandell, PIF Magazine, June 1, 2012.

"Bret Anthony Johnston," Critical Survey of Short Fiction: American Writers, 4th edition, ed. Charles E. May (Salem Press/​Ebsco, January 2012).

Review of WHAT IS LEFT THE DAUGHTER by Howard Norman, Ploughshares, Winter 2011-12

Review of A STRANGER ON THE PLANET by Adam Schwartz, The Boston Globe, February 3, 2011

Review of IN HEAVEN EVERYTHING IS FINE by Josh Frank with Charlie Buckholtz, Harvard Review, No. 37, 2010

Review of RAYMOND CARVER: A WRITER'S LIFE by Carol Sklenicka, The Boston Globe, December 20, 2009.

Review of WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING by Haruki Murakami, Ploughshares, Vol. 35, No. 2, Fall 2009

Review of FAMILY BIBLE by Melissa J. Delbridge, American Book Review, Vol. 30, No.3, March/​April 2009

Review of THE THING ITSELF by Richard Todd, Ploughshares Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter, 2008)

"Profile of James Alan McPherson," Ploughshares Vol.34, No. 2 & 3 (Fall, 2008)

Comments from AWP Panel on Richard Yates, "Points of Craft From Richard Yates (4/​7/​08)," The Richard Yates Archive,www.richardyates.org/​bib_henry.html

Writing exercise, "Simultaneous Actions in Fiction," in NAMING THE WORLD, edited by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random, 2008).

Review of THE MISTRESS'S DAUGHTER by A.M. Homes, The Boston Globe, 6/​20/​07

"Ape and Essence," review of new and classic books about King Kong,The Boston Globe, December 11, 2005

Review of REAR VIEW: STORIES by Pete Duval, The Boston Globe, August 1, 2004

Review of CORPUS CHRISTI STORIES by Bret Anthony Johnston, The Boston Globe, June 27, 2004

Review of SECRET FREQUENCIES by John Skoyles, The Boston Globe, June 6, 2004

Review of GOAT: A MEMOIR by Brad Land, The Boston Globe, February 29, 2004

Review of LOS ANGELES DIARIES by James Brown, The Boston Globe, September 28, 2003

Review of A TRAGIC HONESTY: THE LIFE AND WORK OF RICHARD YATES by Blake Bailey, The Boston Globe, July 13, 2003

"Literary Magazines," chapter in CREATIVE WRITING IN AMERICA (National Council of Teachers of English, 1991)

"Literary Publishing and the Libraries: Part II," Wilson Library Bulletin, Feb. 1981

"Literary Publishing and the Libraries: Part I," Wilson Library Bulletin, 1980

"Public Publishing in Boston," essay, ANTIOCH REVIEW, Spring 1980 (cited as distinctive in PUSHCART listing)

"On the History of the Literary Magazine," essay/​review, AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, June, 1979

"Richard Yates's DISTURBING THE PEACE," essay/​critique, PLOUGHSHARES 3/​1, 1976

"The Novels of Brian Moore," essay, PLOUGHSHARES 2/​2, 1974"

Interview with Richard Yates," interview (with Geoffrey Clark), PLOUGHSHARES 1/​3, May 1973 (republished in TRANSATLANTIC REVIEW 50, Winter 1974); for original audio recording see http:/​/​pages.emerson.edu/​faculty/​d/​dewitt_henry/​yatesinterview.mp3

Interviews with DeWitt Henry

"Fictionaut Five: DeWitt Henry," by Meg Pokrass, Ficionaut Blog, 2/​24/​2012 (http:/​/​www.fictionaut.com/​blog/​2012/​02/​24/​fictionaut-five-dewitt-henry/​)

"A Conversation with DeWitt Henry" by Susan Tepper, The Nervous Breakdown, 2/​7/​2012 (http:/​/​www.thenervousbreakdown.com/​stepper/​2012/​02/​a-conversation-with-dewitt-henry/​)

"About DeWitt Henry" by Jack Smith, Ploughshares 37,2&3, Fall 2011 (http:/​/​www.pshares.org/​read/​article-detail.cfm?intArticleID=9522)

http:/​/​www.nighttrainmagazine.com/​contents/​henry_int.php (Rusty Barnes, 2011)

http:/​/​www.pifmagazine.com/​2011/​03/​11091/​ (Derek Alger, 2011)

http:/​/​web.me.com/​debraleighscott/​Hidden_River_Press/​Our_Authors.html (Debra Leigh Scott, 2011)

http:/​/​word.emerson.edu/​ploughshares/​2011/​06/​16/​40th-anniversary-interview-with-dewitt-henry-2/​ (Diana Filar, 2011)

http:/​/​poettopoetwritertowriter.blogspot.com/​search/​label/​DEWITT%20HENRY%20DOUG%20HOLDER%20POET%20TO%20POET (Doug Holder, 2011)

http:/​/​in617.com/​2011/​08/​ploughshares-40th-anniversary/​ (jesse Haley, 2011)

http:/​/​www.amazon.co.uk/​DeWitt-Henry/​e/​B001K8KV5A/​ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 (Katherine Kenny, 2009)

http:/​/​pages.emerson.edu/​faculty/​d/​Dewitt_Henry/​dewitt_interview.doc (Angela Thompson Brenchley, 2008)

My Interests


Courses taught at Emerson:

Shakespearian Tragedy (undergraduate)

Shakespearian Comedy (undergraduate)

Contemporary American Short Story (undergraduate)

Contemporary American Novel (undergraduate)

Classic American Short Story (graduate)

Contemporary American Short Story (graduate)

Fiction Writing Seminar (undergraduate)

Advanced Fiction Writing (graduate)

Memoir Writing (graduate)

Postmodern American Fiction (graduate)

Literary Editing (undergraduate and graduate)

Other:

Marathon running (12 completed, but a spectator now)

10K running (at least once a year, especially the James Joyce 10K in Dedham, Mass at the end of each April...well a great race, but a bystander to this now too, tread-milling to compensate)
"Endings are for the dying, and even for them, more wishful than certain." --from "Departures" in SWEET DREAMS

"Life itself is our glory and ordeal, our measure of heart, and of passion. We do our best. There is no finish line." --from "On Aging"