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Marilyn Hacker Samuel Delany Bibliography

Award-winning poet and renowned editor, lesbian activist and literary formalist, native New Yorker and expatriate American in Paris -- Marilyn Hacker, who is all these identities and more, gloriously defies all attempts at easy categorization. "It's not a question of an issue," she says in describing the relationship between her art and her convictions, "but a question of the people I know who are close to me, who are health-care workers or living with illnesses, or the neighbors, housed and homeless, I pass on the street, or the grocery store that goes out of business where I've bought my salad and broccoli every day for the past five years. All of those may be reflected or transformed in my work."

Marilyn Hacker was born in 1942 and raised in the Bronx, the only child of working-class Jews who were the first in their respective families to go to university. Her mother had earned a master's degree in chemistry, which, according to Hacker, "entitled her to work as a saleswoman at Macy's." It was the midst of the Great Depression, and jobs were scarce. Even as the economy improved, opportunities could still be limited. "She was told she couldn't go to medical school because she was a woman and a Jew. So she became a teacher in the New York City public school system." Meanwhile, Hacker's father was only occasionally employed as an industrial chemist, leaving her mother with the responsibilities of the breadwinner; after finally finding professional satisfaction as a teacher at City College, he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of forty-eight.

Despite the many difficulties and discouragements her parents faced, Hacker enthusiastically took on academic challenges. Her formidable intellect propelled her through the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, and she skipped her senior year. She enrolled at New York University at the age of fifteen. She says of her own precocity, "I wouldn't recommend that anyone go to university at fifteen. It really is like giving a fifty-dollar bill to a child and turning her loose in a Godiva chocolate shop." Existentialism and French literature competed with calculus for her attentions, and she read widely and voraciously.

With one year left before graduation, Hacker married her high school alter ego, science fiction writer Samuel Delany, and they settled in New York's East Village. She had fallen in love with writing, and a writer. "I worked at all kinds of jobs, mostly commercial editing," she recalls. Eventually, she returned to NYU, edited the university literary magazine, publishing poems by Charles Simic and Grace Schulman, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Romance languages. In the next decade, she and Delany (soon separated) would both become known as outspoken queer writers.

Informed by the rigorous science courses she had tackled in NYU's laboratories, and yet peopled by the rebellious and flamboyant characters she encountered in the corner bars and pool halls of her neighborhood, Hacker's poetry began to flourish. "I started to send my work to journals when I was twenty-six, which was just a question of when I got the courage up," she says. Always a passionate reader and supporter of literary magazines, she quickly adds, "They were mostly journals I had been reading for the previous six or seven years." Her first publication was in Cornell University's venerable
Epoch. After moving to London in 1970, she found a transatlantic audience through the pages of
The London Magazine and
Ambit. Her greatest breakthrough came when Richard Howard, then editor of
The New American Review, accepted three poems for publication. The excitement still bubbling in her voice, she remembers, "I didn't know him, I'd never met him, nobody or nothing in common except that I loved his work, and I got a transatlantic letter saying not only thank you for sending these poems, I'm taking three, but also, are there more?"

She did have more. When she was thirty-one, with her new mentor having helped her circulate a manuscript,
Presentation Piece was published by the Viking Press. The response to the work was electric: the book, a Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets, also received a National Book Award. Since then, she has published seven additional volumes, culminating last year in the release of both
Winter Numbers and her
Selected Poems: 1965-1990 from W.W. Norton. She continues to attract prizes: most recently,
Winter Numbers garnered a Lambda Literary Award and
The Nation's Lenore Marshall Prize, and her
Selected Poems received the 1996 Poets' Prize.

Such success has not come without a price.
Winter Numbers details her experience of the loss of many friends to AIDS and breast cancer, and her own struggle with the latter epidemic. Months after she completed chemotherapy, she lost her influential job as editor of
The Kenyon Review, after a four-year tenure whose tremendous impact on the literary landscape is still being felt. She says of her time there, when she joined the emerging voices of gays and lesbians, women, and people of color to those of the country's literary elect, "We sometimes received -- and I would read -- two hundred manuscripts a week. Some of them were wonderful, some were terrible; most were mediocre. It was like the gifts of the good and bad fairies. There were rich rewards that came to me: discovering new writers like Aleida Rodríguez, Rane Arroyo, and Carl Phillips. And there were established writers whom I came to know through working with them, like Herbert Blau, Adrienne Kennedy, and Hayden Carruth."

Hacker acknowledges that there is some tension between her own writing and the editing work through which she has also distinguished herself. "For me, editing can be frustrating, but invigorating -- something I love to do. Until I was editor of
The Kenyon Review, it was mostly something I did without pay, a habit I had to feed by doing other work. When I edited
Thirteenth Moon, a feminist literary magazine (now at SUNY Albany), I basically supported it myself with an essential grant here and there . . . There can be a conflict, because of the constant influx of other writers' words and preoccupations." Still, she has consistently managed to do both, serving also as editor of
The Little Magazine, the science fiction magazine
Quark, and as a guest editor once before of
Ploughshares. When asked directly about the impact of her own editing work, she modestly deflects the question towards encouraging young writers to read more of the literary magazines to which they often send their work. "I've been an inveterate reader of literary magazines since I was a teenager. There are always discoveries. You're sitting in your easy chair, reading; you realize you've read a story or a group of poems four times, and you know, Yes, I want to go farther with this writer."

Just as she avoids crediting herself for the mark she has made as an editor, Hacker is reluctant to accept what might be called the healing power of her poetry, which has been a source of inspiration to many struggling with their own experiences of illness. "I don't think that's something a writer can claim without a sort of hubris. I have experienced healing through other writers' poetry, but there's no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I'll write a bad poem." However, she does recognize the importance of the imagination and self-expression in dealing with suffering. "Another artist's perceptions can incite your own. Last week, I was visiting an extraordinary young woman writer and critic who is HIV-positive and in the hospital with PCP and suspected TB. I noticed
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann atop all the other books on her shelf. I can see why it was there."

Given the immediacy of the themes in her work, it is understandable that Hacker has little patience for those who would make an issue of differences between so-called "formal poetry" and free verse. She puts it bluntly: "I think it's a non-issue. There are other struggles in which I would much rather be engaged." Of her own affinity for received forms, she blithely says, "It's not a statement of my politics or an aesthetic I'd impose . . . it's purely hedonistic." The books on her own bedside table reflect more her concerns as a writer and activist than her prosodic mastery, from Lucy Grealy's
Autobiography of a Face and the biography of Paul Celan,
Poet Survivor Jew, to Julia Alvarez's
The Other Side and Mark Doty's
Atlantis.

Marilyn Hacker lives in Paris and in Manhattan, with her life partner of ten years, physician assistant Karyn London. Wake Forest University Press will soon publish
Edge, her translations of the French poet Claire Malroux. She will teach at Brandeis this fall and at Princeton next spring. Her words about this issue of
Ploughshares epitomize what she herself stands for, and what she will continue to do for many years to come: "Good writing gives energy, whatever it is about. But the fact that writers are dealing with essential issues, that some are themselves implicated as HIV-positive or writing with cancer or AIDS, or as health-care givers, legal advisors, teachers, outreach workers, witnesses -- I think that's a necessary integration of literary writing with what's actually going on in our world."

Rafael Campo's work appears in this issue of Ploughshares
and Best American Poetry 1995
, and is also forthcoming in Parnassus
and the AIDS-related poetry anthology Things Shaped in Passing: Poets for Life II,
due out from Persea Books this spring. Marilyn Hacker, while at The Kenyon Review,
was the first editor to publish his work. 

Summary Bibliography: Samuel R. Delany

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  • Author: Samuel R. Delany Author Record # 22
  • Legal Name: Delany, Samuel Ray, Jr.
  • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
  • Birthdate: 1 April 1942
  • Language: English
  • Webpages:Gutenberg, oneringcircus.com, pseudopodium.org, SFE3, Tumblr, Wikipedia-EN
  • Used These Alternate Names:Samuel R. Delaney, Samuel Delany, Chip Delany, サミュエル・ディレイニー?, サミュエル・R・ディレイニー?, S. L. Kermit, K. Leslie Steiner
  • Author Tags:science fiction (4), gay (3), far future (2), Anatomy of Wonder 1 Core Collection (2), Librivox (2), novel within novella range (2), fantasy (2), transgender (1), SF: The 100 Best Novels 1949-1984 (1), Orpheus myth (1), The 5-Parsec Shelf (1), 2-award-winner (1), language (1), linguistics (1), space travel (1), machine intelligence (1), time travel (1), 1979 Best Anthology (1), WBAI-FM (1), sea voyage (1) and 9 additional tags. View all tags for Samuel R. Delany
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Fiction SeriesNovelsCollectionsOmnibusMagazine Editor SeriesAnthology SeriesAnthologiesChapbooksNonfiction SeriesNonfictionShort Fiction
  • Aye, and Gomorrah... (1967) also appeared as:
  • The Star Pit (1967) also appeared as:
  • Driftglass (1967) also appeared as:
  • Corona (1967) also appeared as:
    • Translation:Corona [French] (1969)
    • Translation:Corona [German] (1982)
  • Nova (excerpt) (1968)
  • Ruins (1968)
  • Lines of Power (1968) also appeared as:
  • Cage of Brass (1968) also appeared as:
  • House A-Fire (1968)
  • High Weir (1968) also appeared as:
  • The Power of the Nail (1968) withHarlan Ellison also appeared as:
  • Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (1968) also appeared as:
  • The Dying Castles (1970) withJames SallisandMichael Moorcock [also as byMichael Moorcock]
  • The Unicorn Tapestry (1970)
  • Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo (1970) also appeared as:
  • Dog in a Fisherman's Net (1971) also appeared as:
  • They Fly at Ciron (1971) withJames Sallis also appeared as:
  • Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (Excerpt) (1973)
  • Excerpt from Dhalgren (1974)
  • Prismatica (1977)
  • Empire (1978)
  • Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (excerpt) (1980)
  • Omegahelm (1981) also appeared as:
  • Neveryóna (abridged) (1982)
  • Neveryóna (Preview) - Of Roads, Real Cities (1982)
  • from Neveryóna: 1. Of Dragons, Mountains, Transhumance, Sequence, and Sunken Cities, or: The Violence of the Letter (1983)
  • Appendix A: The Culhar' Correspondence (1983) also appeared as:
  • Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (excerpt) (1984)
  • Among the Blobs (1988) also appeared as:
  • Eric, Gwen, and D. H. Lawrence's Esthetic of Unrectified Feeling (1991)
  • The Desert of Time (1992)
  • Citre et Trans (1993)
  • Return to Çiron (1993)
  • Hogg (excerpt) (1994) [only as bySamuel Delany]
  • The Mad Man (excerpt) (1994)
  • Atlantis: Model 1924 (1995)
  • From The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities (1996)
  • From Phallos (2000)
  • Tapestry (2003)
  • Babel-17 (excerpt) (2014)
  • The Atheist in the Attic (2016)
  • The Hermit of Houston (2017)
PoemsEssay SeriesEssays
  • A Fictional Architecture That Manages Only with Great Difficulty Not Once to Mention Harlan Ellison (1967) also appeared as:
  • Editorial: Sketch for Two Part Invention (1967)
  • Faust and Archimedes (1968)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Introduction (Star Well) (1968)
  • Letter (Exploding Madonna 3) (1968) [only as byChip Delany]
  • Characters (1969)
  • Untitled ("Rehashing some of the things I said in my first letter to John Bangsund ...") (1969) also appeared as:
  • Letter (Speculation 21) (1969) [only as bySamuel Delany]
  • About Five Thousand One Hundred and Seventy-Five Words (1969) also appeared as:
  • Letter (SF Commentary 7) (1969)
  • Afterword (The Fall of the Towers) (1970) also appeared as:
  • Author's Note (City of a Thousand Suns) (1970)
  • Author's Note (The Towers of Toron) (1970)
  • Author's Note on the Revision of this Edition (The Fall of the Towers) (1970) also appeared as:
  • On Pure Story-Telling (1970)
  • Letter (Speculation 26) (1970)
  • Critical Methods: Speculative Fiction (1970) also appeared as:
  • Editorial (Quark/1) (1970) withMarilyn Hacker
  • Quarks (1971)
  • Introduction (Quark/2) (1971) withMarilyn Hacker
  • Forward (Quark/3) (1971) withMarilyn Hacker
  • Reading Between the Words (1971) also appeared as:
  • On Speculative Fiction (1971) withMarilyn Hacker
  • Letter to a Critic: Popular Culture, High Art, and the S-F Landscape (1973)
  • Thickening the Plot (1973)
  • Letter (The Alien Critic #9) (1974)
  • The Scorpion Garden (1975)
  • When Is a Paradox Not a Paradox? (1975)
  • Notes (Theodore Sturgeon Reads His Stories) (1976)
  • Introduction (Alyx) (1976) also appeared as:
  • Appendix: Shadows (1977)
  • Introduction (The Cosmic Rape) (1977) also appeared as:
  • Preface (The Jewel-Hinged Jaw) (1977)
  • Prisoners' Sleep (1977)
  • To Read The Dispossessed (1977)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • Introduction (The American Shore) (1978)
  • Samuel R. Delany Speaks: The Word Is Not the Thing (1978)
  • Afterword (Glory Road) (1979)
  • Appendix: Some Informal Remarks Toward the Modular Calculus, Part Three (1979) only appeared as:
  • Appendix: Some Informal Remarks Toward the Modular Calculus, Part Three (1979) only appeared as:
  • Science Fiction and "Literature" — or, The Conscience of the King (1979)
  • Introduction (Glory Road) (1979) also appeared as:
  • Foreword (A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction) (1979)
  • The Winter of Love (1979)
  • Introduction (Fundamental Disch) (1980)
  • Introduction (Nebula Winners 13) (1980)
  • Reflections on Historical Models (1980)
  • Of Doubts and Dreams (1981)
  • Introduction (Uranian Worlds) (1983)
  • Appendix B: Acknowledgments (Neveryóna) (1983) also appeared as:
  • "Who Is John Brunner ... ?" (1983)
  • Acknowledgements (Starboard Wine) (1984)
  • An Experimental Talk (1984)
  • Dichtung und Science Fiction (1984)
  • Disch (1984)
  • Russ (1984)
  • Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction (1984)
  • Starboard Wine, an Introduction (1984)
  • The Necessity of Tomorrows (1984)
  • Three Letters to Science Fiction Studies: i) A Letter from New York (1984)
  • Three Letters to Science Fiction Studies: ii) Another Letter from New York (1984)
  • Three Letters to Science Fiction Studies: iii) A Letter from Rome (1984)
  • untitled (The Faces of Science Fiction) (1984)
  • An Appreciation: Theodore Sturgeon (1985)
  • In the Once Upon a Time City (1985)
  • Theodore Sturgeon: In Memoriam (1985)
  • Forward to an Afterword (1986)
  • Memoir (Driftglass) (1986)
  • Appendix: Buffon's Needle (1987) withRobert Wentworth (I) also appeared as:
  • Film (Review of Aliens) (1987)
  • Film (Review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II) (1987)
  • Return ... A Preface (1987) only appeared as:
  • The Gestation of Genres: Literature, Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy... (1987)
  • Cyberpunk Forum/Symposium: Is Cyberpunk a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? (1988) also appeared as:
  • Wagner/Artaud: A Play of 19th and 20th Century Critical Fictions (1988)
  • Sentences: An Introduction (1988) also appeared as:
  • The Peripheries of Love (1988) also appeared as:
  • Flow My Tears ...: Theater and Science Fiction (1988)
  • A Note (The Bridge of Lost Desire) (1988)
  • サイボーグ・フェミニズム宣言? [Japanese] (1988) [only as byサミュエル・ディレイニー?]
  • "The Scorpion Garden" Revisited (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • Of Sex, Objects, Sign, Systems, Sales, SF, and Other Things (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • Preface (The Straits of Messina) (1989)
  • Ruins/Foundations or, The Fall of the Towers Twenty Years After (1989)
  • Some Remarks Toward a Reading of Dhalgren (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • Tales of Nevèrÿon (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • The Early Delany (1989)
  • Trouble on Triton (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for Science Fiction Readers: An Introduction (Part 1 of 3) (1989)
  • Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for Science Fiction Readers: An Introduction (Part 2 of 3) (1989)
  • Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for Science Fiction Readers: An Introduction (Part 3 of 3) (1989)
  • Letter (Science Fiction Eye #5) (1989) [only as byK. Leslie Steiner]
  • Response to "The New Generation Gap" (1989)
  • How Not to Teach Science Fiction (1989)
  • Introduction: On Reading (1990)
  • The Column at the Market's Edge (1990)
  • Science and Literature (1990)
  • Modernism, Postmodernism, Science Fiction (1990)
  • The Life of/and Writing (1990)
  • An Antiphon (1991)
  • A Review of "Possession: A Romance" by A. S. Byatt (1991)
  • Zelazny/Varley/Gibson - and Quality (Part 1) (1992)
  • Zelazny/Varley/Gibson - and Quality (Part 2 of 2) (1992)
  • The Future of the Body—and Science Fiction and Technology (1992)
  • Skerries of the Dream: A Preface (1993)
  • Afterword (Argyll) (1993)
  • Note (They Fly at Çiron) (1993)
  • Introduction: Reading and the Written Interview (1994)
  • Introduction (Unconquered Countries: Four Novellas) (1994)
  • Aversion/Perversion/Diversion (1995)
  • Foreword: Theodore Sturgeon (1995)
  • Atlantis Rose...: Some Notes on Hart Crane (1996)
  • Reading at Work, and Other Activities Frowned On by Authority: A Reading of Donna Haraway's "Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s" (1996)
  • Shadow and Ash (1996)
  • The Politics of Paraliterary Criticism (1996)
  • The Politics of Paraliterary Criticism, Part II (1996)
  • The Politics of Paraliterary Criticism, Part III (1996)
  • A Tribute to Judith Merril (1997)
  • Preface (Adrift in a Vanishing City) (1998)
  • Racism and Science Fiction (1998)
  • Introduction (Burning Sky) (1998)
  • An Exhortation to SF Scholars (2000)
  • Einleitung (Lichte Augenblicke) [German] (2003)
  • Joanna Russ and D.W. Griffith (2004)
  • Thoughts on the Passing of Jacques Derrida (2004)
  • Introduction (We Who Are About To ...) (2005)
  • Emblems of Talent: An Introduction (2005)
  • Octavia E. Butler (2006)
  • Introduction (Masters of the Pit) (2008)
  • Where I Write (2009) only appeared as:
  • Samuel R. Delany on Susan Palwick (2013)
  • Escaping Ethnocentricity? (2014)
  • Inclusive Reviewing: A Discussion (2014) withL. Timmel DuchampandFábio FernandesandAndrea HairstonandAlex Dally MacFarlaneandSofia SamatarandAishwarya Subramanian
  • A, B, C, Three Early Science Fiction Novels: A Foreword (2015)
  • A, B, C, Three Early Science Fiction Novels: An Afterword (2015)
  • Preface (Adrift in a Vanishing City) (2015)
  • Afterword (A, B, C: Three Short Novels) (2015)
  • Foreword (A, B, C: Three Short Novels) (2015)
  • Introduction (Father of Lies) (2016)
  • untitled (2016)
  • Preface (Out of the Dead City) (2016)
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