Gourmand’s Prayer by Barbara Goldberg ’63

Barbara Goldberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Philosophy from Mount Holyoke College. She went on for an MA from Yeshiva University, MEd from Columbia University; and an MFA from American University. She has authored four prize-winning books of poetry, including The Royal Baker’s Daughter, recipient of the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize. Her most recent book is Scorched by the Sun, poems translated from the Hebrew by the Israeli poet Moshe Dor. Goldberg and Dor translated and edited three anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry, including After the First Rain: Israeli Poems on War and Peace. The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as awards in fiction and speechwriting, Goldberg’s work appears widely, including American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry and the Paris Review. Currently she is Visiting Writer at American University’s MFA program.

Gourmand’s Prayer

Yellowtail snapper with citrus beurre blanc
filet mignon in demi-glace cabernet
roast duck garnished with mint-jellied peaches
angels on horseback (dates stuffed with garlic cloves
wrapped in bacon and served in a hot honey-pepper sauce)
bananas foster, key lime pie
dense, flourless chocolate cake
drizzled with a raspberry coulis.
Lord, grant me the power to well digest all that I have well eaten.


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Novel Excerpt: The Last Death of Tev Chrisini

Jennifer Bresnick ’07 is the author of the sci fi/fantasy novel The Last Death of Tev Chrisini, which which was named the 2012 GRAND PRIZE WINNER for Best Self-Published Book (all genres) by Shelf Unbound Magazine. Born and raised on Long Island, NY, she now resides in the Boston area, fervently avoiding all discussions about professional sports.When she isn’t writing down the conversations in her head to give them an appearance of respectability, Jen enjoys crocheting silly animal hats, being creative in the kitchen, and on a completely unrelated note, putting out kitchen fires. For more, visit http://jenniferbresnick.com

Chapter One
There was always a war.  The teams sometimes rearranged themselves, and land would change hands when one player’s fortunes dipped particularly low, but somewhere, for some reason, there was always a war.

Jennifer Bresnick
After close to seven hundred years, most of the participants were finding it hard to keep up.  The great empire of Zanuth-Karun had fallen, Umre and Agan were no more; Gidan had long since claimed neutrality, roundly denounced as a cop-out by all sides.

Untold thousands of kings, generals, and heroes had gained the dubious immortality that comes from being killed in interesting ways.  The original grievances were all but forgotten, wearing down the fervent patriotism of centuries ago into a comfortable, familiar antagonism: a predetermined set of countries to be steadily and continuously despised.

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Memoir: Return to India

Shoba Narayan (MHC Foreign Fellow ’86-88) came to America to study all the subjects she never got to back home in India–theater with Jim Cavanaugh, music composition with Allan Bondi, and sculpture with Leonard DeLonga. Like many others before her, she fell under the spell of DeLonga’s unorthodox teaching methods, and took up sculpture full-time. Shoba then went on to pursue an MFA in sculpture, followed by a journalism degree from Columbia University. She writes about food, travel, fashion, art and culture for many publications, including Condenast Traveler (US edition), The National, Financial Times, Destinasian, Gourmet, Time and Silkroad,  among others.  She is the  author of  Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes (2003: Random House). which was a finalist for a James Beard Award.  Her latest book, Return to India, an excerpt of which appears below, was just published by Rupa Press and is available via Amazon.com.  Shoba currently lives with her husband and daughters in India.

Quatrina Hossain came to receive me at Bradley International Airport. I’ll never forget her. She herded the three international students who were arriving on different flights into the van that Mount Holyoke had sent. Q, as she introduced herself, was from Pakistan and chatted brightly about the college and life there during the forty-five minute drive to South Hadley. With me was Emilie Ngongijol from Cameroon, and again, it is funny how vividly I remember her. We stared outside at the fading sunlight and the unvarying green scenery bordering the highway. It was dark when we reached the college.

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