Stephen Dobyns

Stephen Dobyns is the author of multiple collections of poetry and writes features and cover stories for the Reader.

Latest Articles

She told me my arm was gone. We argued about that for five minutes. I mean, I could feel it.

A simple treatment for a mysterious condition.

Most stories begin with a person or an event. This one begins with a book. Last summer I read The Brain That Changes Itself by research psychiatrist and psychologist Norman Doidge, M.D., which discusses developments ...

So Long, Pals

A great future in plastics

Maybe it’s my age — the dark side of my sixties, an elder proto-baby boomer, those 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964. Maybe it’s because I’ve been tearing my hair filling out Medicare ...

She Hated Adverbs

Judith Moore remembered

My long conversation with Judith Moore about writing began in 1980. We first met at a monthly campus ministry shindig for the faculty of Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, Washington. Judith was escaping the small-town ...

Border Angels

Big attitudes on the frontera.

"We know the kind of people we catch here. They're horrible people." The Border Patrol agent's tone was no more than blandly informative. It was 7:00 p.m. July 16, and we were at the edge ...

Here Comes the Bride

Golden moments and minor disasters at the altar.

Chunks of ice rode the whitecaps as the Nantucket ferry steamed out of the harbor in Woods Hole and into the Atlantic. The March wind had driven Isabel into the warmth of the cabin, while ...

Salvation Mountain

An old man and Somebody Upstairs.

My friend Rex says, "You'll love the Slabs in August. Some would call you adventurous and brave, and some completely out of your mind." The Slabs are Slab City, three miles east of Niland, between ...

What You Do When You're Done Being a Playboy

Bob McElroy, head of the Alpha Project, and Martin Luther King III were walking slowly along the sidewalk as McElroy was telling King about homelessness in San Diego and the problems of alcohol and narcotics ...

Down and Out

John’s eyes were red and unfocused. He couldn’t stand still but took a few steps into the parking lot, then kicked the railing of the stairs leading to the second floor. “They set me up, ...

All the Good Scenery, Nice Sunsets, Sunrises

From the wheelhouse of the Harbor Commander, I spotted two fat sea lions lounging on a buoy about halfway between the Silver Strand and the Navy shipyard. It was a bright warm February morning, and ...