Stephen Dobyns

Stephen Dobyns wrote cover features for the Reader from 1998 through 2008, including one on illegal boats in San Diego Bay and local amputees). Dobyns’ poetic works count among them the 1971 Concurring Beasts, a National Poetry Series award winner (Black dog, red dog), and a Melville Cane Award winner Cemetery Nights). Dobyns’ novel Cold Dog Soup has been made into two films, the American Cold Dog Soup and the French Doggy Bag.

Articles by Stephen Dobyns

Certain San Diegans feel their missing limbs

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

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 ...

Bodies…The Exhibition. at University Towne Centre

Plasticized human remains

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 ...

23 Reader writers describe the regime of editor Judith Moore

She hated adverbs

Busy Fingers Are Happy Fingers — Joe Deegan Mother Reader — Barbarella Build Your Writing Muscles — Ollie Let the Tape Recorder Do the Work — Matthew Lickona Faith — Abe Opincar Make Something Better ...

Make Something Better

She was fierce about writers she didn't like, fierce about writers she said had done a bad job or were lazy.

I never met Judith Moore. To me she was a voice over the phone: slangy, half-cynical, eager to talk about her dog, and passionate about writing. I first talked to her in the summer of ...

Enrique Morones put out jugs of water in Otay Mesa, in Ocotillo, in Jacumba, in Campo

Border angels

"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 ...

Reader writers tell of golden wedding moments and minor disasters

Here comes the bride

At Times It Was Like Shared Music, at Times Like a Skin Graft or Root Canal — Stephen Dobyns I do at a coffin sale — Dorothy Stewart A Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cake ...

At times it was like shared music, at times like a skin graft or a root canal

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 ...

Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain at Slab City

"I'm really dedicated to putting 'God Is Love' and the Holy Bible to people"

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 ...

Thomas Lux's The Cradle Place

Stephen Dobyns interviews Lux

"Much poetry is arbitrary, obscure, and inaccessible. It makes people feel stupid. That has a great deal to do with Modernism and Post-Modernism, even though many of the Modernists were great poets undeniably."