Etruscan Press would like to honor the memory of our authors who have passed away. We are forever grateful for their contributions to the literary world and for the wisdom they have imparted on their readers. We will continue to honor their legacy by remembering the many ways they have enriched our lives.
Along with his biographies, the late Frederick Karl wrote several volumes of literary criticism, among them American Fictions: 1940-1980. He also was general editor and volume co-editor of the Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Art Into Life is a collection of essays that showcases his experience and advice for writing literary biographies. He taught at City College of New York, Columbia, and NYU. Karl passed away in 2004.
A poet of international acclaim, the late Milton Kessler published five books of poetry during his lifetime, including Free Concert: New and Selected Poems (Etruscan Press – Published 2002). He received numerous awards and distinctions, including a Robert Frost Fellowship, an Edward MacDowell Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment Program Grant. Several years ago, one of his poems, “Thanks Forever,” was chosen to appear in London subway cars to be seen by as many as two million riders a day as part of the “Poems on the Underground” project. Kessler was also a teacher and professor for more than thirty years.
Kessler passed away in April 2000, leaving behind a manuscript of new work. Free Concert: New and Selected Poems celebrates the life and work of a gifted poet of original voice, collecting work from each of his books together with his new poems.
The late Jack Matthews, author of Etruscan’s The Gambler’s Nephew (2011), has written seven novels, seven collections of short stories, a novella, and eight volumes of essays. He was an avid book collector, and many of his book finds served as a basis for his essays and the historical topics he explored in his fiction. His 1972 novel The Charisma Campaigns was nominated for the National Book Award.
After teaching creative writing and critical approaches to fiction and drama over a period of four decades at Ohio University, he retired in the last decade, but taught writing classes part-time and devoted his energies to writing novels and stories. In 2011, he published A Worker’s Writebook (a 75,000 word fiction writing guide that he used to hand out to his students) and The Gambler’s Nephew (a historically accurate story about how an accidental killing of a slave in nineteenth century America affects various families and communities). Also, in March 2012, an early work Hanger Stout, Awake! was republished as an eBook. Jack passed away in November 2013.
The late Sheila Schwartz is the author of the Etruscan novel Lies Will Take You Somewhere (2008). She also authored Imagine a Great White Light, a short story collection (Pushcart Press, 1993). Her work appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and Triquarterly, as well as in anthologies such as The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1993 and an Ohio Arts Council Grant in 2005. Sheila passed away in November 2008.
In addition to The Fugitive Self: New and Selected Poems from Etruscan (2009), Etruscan advisory board member the late John Wheatcroft published numerous novels, including Edie Tells (A.S. Barnes, 1975); The Beholder’s Eye, Mother of All Loves, and Trio with Four Players (all Cornwall Books, 1987, 1994, 1996); collections of poetry, including Death of a Clown (A.S. Barnes, 1964), Prodigal Son, and Random Necessities (both Cornwall Books, 1984, 1999); and plays. His work and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, Bazaar, and the New York Herald Tribune.
He served as a juror for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was a resident fellow at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Wheatcroft is Professor Emeritus of English at Bucknell University, where he served as Founding Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry. John passed away in March 2017, at the age of 91.