August 2010

    Issue 48



What Should We Do?

Installation at Detroit's Tangent Gallery
of thirty life-sized paper mache male figures, live grass,
and twelve handmade mechanized birds.

Denise Whitebread Fanning

With an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a B.F.A. from Eastern Michigan University in Sculpture and Painting, Denise Whitebread Fanning is a sculptor whose work has been exhibited widely in the Detroit area as well as nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of an ArtServe Michigan Creative Artist Grant, and was featured in exhibitions in both Berlin, Germany, and Detroit, Michigan, showcasing emerging contemporary artists. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, poet Robert Fanning, and their two small children.

 Editor's Note

Dear Readers;

The image of the sculptural installation of "What Should We Do?" on the cover of Robert Fanning's "The Seed Thieves," made it impossible to resist asking his wife, sculptor Denise Whitebread Fanning, for permission to use it here. What's stunning about these thirty life-sized gawkers intended to make us question what our responsibility is, if any, to help or step-in when we see things falling apart before us, is that, in the process of observing them, we become aware we are watching ourselves stare as if at a life event, an art exhibit (or a poem, maybe?), wondering how to respond. To see more of Ms. Fanning's work with more about her artistic intention, go to, To see the process of this installation, visit her as part of "The Why Series."

Forget the heat, the economy, and the oil spill just long enough to lose yourself in the opportunity TCR brings you to look at art: the art of "What Should We Do" as well as the work of 22 poets, 2 fiction writers, and Peter Makuck's "Long Lens: New and Selected Poems" and Kurt Brown's "No Other Paradise," reviewed by David Rigsbee. It's our promise you will not stare for long as a passive observer. Be sure to click on the audio symbols to appreciate what you read aurally, too, just as tradition would have it, and let these voices enhance your level of engagement. Remember that Flash Player is your vehicle to our audio, and if it's not already downloaded on your computer, you can get it free here.

It's our all-volunteer staff, all of them involved in this work for five years or more, that gets TCR to your desktop (I have to say Smart Phone and IPad, too, these days), and they deserve enormous credit. If you like what you read, visit our Facebook page and let them know.

Greg Nicholl is our faithful and skilled Web Manager; Jennifer Wallace and Anna Catone are Poetry Editors, assisted by Christian Gullette; Elizabeth Cornell and Natalie Baszile are both Fiction Editors, and Amy McLennan, Managing Editor and our faithful correspondent, takes care of everything that falls over the side of my desk as well as our Facebook fan page. As Contributing Editor, David Rigsbee adds class to the whole bunch, and none of this would be here without the creative genius of Guy Shahar, TCR's founder, creator and, now, filmmaker. I get the privilege of watching all this talent at work.

Remember to make your purchases via a TCR link. Each book title mentioned in our pages and in our contributors' bios is linked directly to Just enter the Website via any TCR link and buy any book in their inventory. We get a few cents for each book purchased and we appreciate that support.

Ginger Murchison



Issue 48 Cover Page
Copyright © 2010 The Cortland Review Issue 48The Cortland Review