FROM THE EDITORS
Up the Creek:
Stories and the Shape of Time
Storytelling can be risky for the teller and the receiver. But what if the storyteller has taken the contemplative time necessary to reach a truth they sense in their heart and mind? What if the storyteller has risked traveling dark alleys where images hide within the folds of their brain? What if the storyteller trusts the ephemeral raw material just beyond their grasp, and in following their intuition, lays out a pattern of symbols? And when those symbols fall into place, what if the storyteller takes a grand leap of faith and sings loud enough so someone can hear?
From 1990 and into the first years of the new millenium, I was part of a group of young and hungry writers who ran a reading series that took place throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs including the Philadelphia Free Library, the University of the Arts, chain and independent bookstores, bars thick with cigarette smoke and the smell of whiskey and beer, and a growing phenomenon called coffee houses.
We were convinced our work was important. In fact, we told ourselves and anyone who came to our events that we were part of a tradition that extended back to a time before words were etched into clay tablets, a time when storytellers shared their tales and poetry in a living breathing community, and gave meaning and context to our lives.
At one of our readings, a friend of one of our editors brought a manuscript from Gunter David, funny, tender resonant work with the kind of detail only a veteran news reporter (which he was) could gather into the weave of his story.
When I met David, I recognized a gentility and an accent I knew in my bones and heart, a Berlin accent of a certain time and place, an accent that also belonged to my maternal grandparents, Erich and Grete Paeseler. My grandparents’ story on one level was so profoundly different from David’s. And on another, similar.
Erich and Grete, who were not Jewish, emmigrated from Weimer Germany of their own free will in the early 1920s at the urging of their parents to what my great-grandfather called, “The country where your children and grandchildren will prosper.”
David’s oddysey began, when as a young Jewish boy, he and his parents received a tip from an uncle and fled to Palestine literally steps ahead of the Nazis who surely would have killed them. Eventually, the Nazis tracked down the uncle and ended his life in a concentration camp.
David’s autobiographical story, Going to Jerusalem, speaks of the years after his parents settled in Palestine when Israel was establishing itself as a Jewish State. David was exposed to another danger in Palestine. The fight for independence caused casualties on both sides including the death of a childhood friend.
“Yossi was an only child, as was I…” writes David. “He loved to tell jokes and to laugh and sing. One evening, Yossi and his father were walking home after prayers at the Western Wall, down the cobblestones in the ancient, narrow streets of the Old City. A single sniper’s bullet hit Yossi in the chest. He died the following day.”
Yossi’s death became a factor in David’s plan to emigrate. I was going to Jerusalem. Beyond Jerusalem lay America, Times Square, Broadway, Hollywood, palatial homes, swimming pools, cars, nice clothes, malt shops, jitterbug, jazz. That was America to me.I was eighteen years old.” It was in America that David discovered his calling as a journalist and dedicated writer.
In 2007, Executive Editor Kim Nagy attended the PEN American Center’s Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture featuring Israeli writer David Grossman and South African writer Nadine Gordimer. During their conversation, writes Nagy, “Gordimer posed a particularly honest and difficult question to Grossman. “What influence can writers really have?”
Grossman, whose son – a member of the Israeli army – was killed on duty during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, described the manifold ways in which writing not only enlivens the “power of memory” but renews and reclaims us…”It is a gesture of opening up. I am not frozen and paralyzed before the predator…I can breathe with both lungs…”
In Love and Strange Horses, poet Natalie Handal brings storytelling into a realm where our desire to love and be loved becomes a means of transcendence.
“Born to Palestinian parents from Bethlehem, Handal has lived what she playfully shrugs off as a transient life. Her verse draws from her experiences in multiple countries including France, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Latin America and the Middle East. “I don’t have a mother tongue. I grew up speaking many languages, and these different languages have slipped into my English. My English is cross-fertilized with French, Spanish, Arabic, Creole….I love the idea of a bridge of words, a bridge of poems connecting us….showing us what it’s like to be human,” explains Handal.
In The Birth and Growth of the Damascus Stock Exchange: Dr. Mohammed Imady’s Labor of Love, E. E. Whiting returns to Syria for an exclusive interview with Dr. Mohammed Imady, founder of Syria’s first publicly traded stock exchange. Whiting, who earlier interviewed Imady’s American-born wife, Elaine about her biography entitled The Road to Damascus, joins Dr. Imday on the floor of the nascent bourse and reveals how Imady’s vision, a vision that took 36 years to implement, is transforming the Syrian economy.
Writes Whiting, “Imady knows that bringing state of the art public investing to an ancient, vibrant trading culture is an arduous task, and has exerted his considerable influence to develop an environment that will keep the Damascus Securities Exchange, as Caesar’s wife, above suspicion. Emphasis is on controlled growth, a clear hallmark of Imady’s influence of deliberate progress at a slow but steady pace.”
This spring, in an editorial, Wild River Review launched an initiative, The Slow Web Movement, in response to the rush to put so-called stories and news on the web before they’ve been digested or given context. The editorial resonated with Alexandra Subramanian, President of the Katherine Anne Porter Society, an accomplished scholar and writer. Her response, Wisdom from Our Foremothers: Brenda Ueland and Katherine Anne Porter brings the voices of Ueland and Porter to the pages of Wild River Review, voices that in the early 20th Century acknowledged that the rush to fill time with information creates an involution rather than the generosity necessary for a transformation of culture.
“Brenda Ueland, born only two years after Porter in 1892, understood what Porter knew to be true about the creative imagination,” says Subramanian. “Ueland warns against constant action and efficiency and a go-go-go frenetic way of being in the world that produces “little sharp, staccato ideas” but no “slow, big ideas.”
The more people nervously pursue one activity after another, she warns, the less they can think large, magnanimous thoughts, which in turn creates more nervous activity in an attempt to create warmth and meaning where there is none. One wonders what Ueland would have thought of today’s technologically-induced multi-tasking, which can easily find a person surfing the web, twittering, emailing and talking on the phone in one simultaneous drain of creative energy.”
Photography Editor, Dale Cotton, brings the story of those who are not afraid to document the truth through image, nor to take the steps necessary to bring those images to the public. In From Warsaw Ghetto to Darfur, Cotton writes, “Pediatrician Jerry Ehrlich “stuffed the children’s drawings into the pages of the New York Times,” to get them out of Africa without detection. For his own safety, the humanitarian group for which he had volunteered his services, Doctors without Borders, would have confiscated the drawings had they found them. Much worse would have happened if Sudanese officials had discovered his ploy. But after witnessing the medical and psychological horrors burdening the survivors who had escaped genocide in Darfur and were now deposited in the refugee camp he was administering, Dr. Ehrlich decided to risk it.”
In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.
With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.
In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.
She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.
In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.
Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013). The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.
She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.
Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
COLUMNS – THE MYSTIC PEN
FOOD & DRINK – ANATOLIAN KITCHEN
FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir
LITERATURE – BOOK REVIEWS
LITERATURE – ESSAYS
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation
2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..
Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson
WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn
WRR@LARGE – WILD COVERAGE
UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul