Volume 2 Issue 1

Summer 2014

Imitation and Allusion is pleased to share our second issue, inspired by the pairing of Natasha Tretheway and Junot Díaz!

About this Issue

In the prompt for our first issue, we turned to two classic American writers, Robert Frost & Sarah Orne Jewett. For our second issue, we decided to go to the other side of the spectrum with two contemporary writers who have recently been making a lot of headlines:  Natasha Tretheway and Junot Díaz. These two writers use their personal experiences to address issues such as race, class, and inequality, yet they do so in drastically different ways.

The six authors included in this issue were selected because they each have a unique way of imitating or alluding to Tretheway and Diaz. To further showcase the variety of perspectives that these authors bring, we asked each to share their writing process and interpretation of this issue’s prompt. We have included their comments at the end of their respective pieces.

Tretheway reads at the Library of Congress. Image by SLOWKING. Accessed from Wikipedia. Licensed by GFDL v1.2

Tretheway reads at the Library of Congress. Image by SLOWKING. Accessed from Wikipedia. Licensed by GFDL v1.2

Natasha Tretheway is equally fascinated with the South’s history and her own personal one in her work. Her poems deftly weave a southern setting with the inescapable elements of that setting’s past. Her voice is rich with visceral imagery and sounds that make you want to draw out each long vowel. Because Tretheway is currently the poet laureate of the United States, the Library of Congress has plenty of resources (see here and here). You can also read some of her work on Poetry Foundation’s and the New York Times’s websites.

Image by Christopherpeterson. Accessed from Wikipedia. Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License.

Image by Christopherpeterson. Accessed from Wikipedia. Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License.

Junot Díaz’s writing style is abrupt and conversational, capturing his voice–that of his generation of Dominican American immigrants in the Northeast–to explore universal themes like contemporary love, family loss, and coming of age, in addition to themes specific to his cultural identity. There are a number of reviews of Díaz’s work available, including in the New York Times, the EconomistSalon, and the LA Times. You can read some interesting dissections of his work on NPR andHuffington Post, and a version of one of his short stories is available online from the New Yorker.






Beth Ayer

Law of Reflection
Prasanna Surakanti

Joanna White

Kingdom Come
Gale Acuff

Obvious Truths
David Arroyo


Five Years
Stu Pierce

To view this issue, simply click on the title of each piece.