Archives 1998 - 2002

Marilyn Suriani

Our inaugural photo gallery exhibited photographs by Atlanta photographer and painter Marilyn Suriani, whose book "Dancing Naked in the Material World" turned heads in the early nineties. You can see new work by Suriani at

John Sindelar

"I think of my entire art practice as acts in a process of *trying to remember something*," writes John Sindelar. The materials for this series arose from trying to make paintings that were hard to see: images that, because of the glare of their surface, or the layers of wax paper, made you move around a lot in order to see them. This seemed appropriate for paintings about memory. Here is new work by John Sindelar.

Lincoln Clarkes and the "Heroines" Photographs

This wonderful photograph of the late Debbie Cook appeared in one of Lincoln Clarkes' Ellavon photogalleries, which showcased his epic "Heroines" project, portraits of women who live and work in Vancouver, BC's downtown eastside neighborhood.  The first gallery appeared in the summer of 1998; Lincoln's project came to epitomise what Ellavon was about. We dismantled the galleries early in 2001, however, after an implausible controversy disrupted another Clarkes website project.  Lincoln endured with his sweet generosity and his project intact.  Anvil Press published "Heroines: A Social Documentary" in 2002.

 Welcome! We have been careful to leave the black-on-brick design of the earlier contributions intact — to remember what it was like.


Kristi Coulter Director of Content Kristi Coulter was with Ellavon at the very beginning, her Letter from Ann Arbor being one of the ezine's most popular features. Ms. Coulter ruminated on singing and not singing, took in a Lori Carson show in Detroit, and took on bats in Ann Arbor. In an autumn column, Coulter noted that "if there is an opposite of a stalker, it’s me. I feel guilty about calling back people who’ve asked me to." We also enjoyed two pieces of her short fiction: "Sound of Music Night" and Normalcy.  More recently, Coulter found a house for her hypothetical dog.  Then a real dog to go with it: "My husband and I exchanged glances that said, so she's a self-entertaining dog. What's the problem? If she was going to be our dog, she might as well come equipped with her own neuroses," noted Coulter in the last column she wrote for us. [Kristi Coulter has been very busy of late. Visit her website at – 20 Oct. 16]

Julie Damerell

Julie Damerell's "Rural Route Two" columns describe what happens when writing gets in the way of not writing and how taking her time is a fine summer activity. Her other columns include  "Tilling the Soil," "Candy," taking off for the country, the silent "e,"  and swimming lessons. She turns 40 in her most recent column.  Last autumn Damerell left her rural life behind, and she now teaches at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. She has her own website.



Robin Plan

Robin Plan made her first appearance online here, with the publication of her "Latest Manifesto" and versions of her two legendary perzines, "Suicide Survivor Notes" and "Goodbye Radio." (For a brief introduction to her work and to see jpegs of the original covers of her zines, click here.) She is currently publishing the brilliant, incendiary, often completely hilarious


The Ruins of an Autobiographical Novel, by John Glionna

In earlier chapters from John Glionna's autobiographical novel, the happy couple go shopping, apart. Later on they stop for some "Gas." How does John Glionna's antihero sleep? In Nights, it depends. In "Ready for Bowling," our man's wife, Betty Jean, meets the woman she was and the man she might want. "Obit" kicked off the book. Glionna writes for the Los Angeles Times.

Letters from the Bush, by Chris Basil

In his most recent missive from South America, Chris Basil tells the story of the waterpeople. His first "Letter from Guyana" described what some Canadian geologists have to do in order to find gold and diamonds. Basil is Vice President of Coast Mountain Geological Ltd. of Vanouver, BC.

Joseph Conte

Joseph Conte made his reputation writing about postmodern poetry and fiction. We're elated to have him as a columnist here on literary/cultural matters. In "The Rose is Obsolete" Conte imagines how our first great hypertext novelist might come to be. Conte's first essay for us looked at the new huge fictions — especially those of Don Delillo — systems of information not unlike cyberspace. Conte is Associate Professor of English at SUNY/Buffalo. His homepage.

Jonathan Mayhew

The American Poetry Wars aren't over, according to Jonathan Mayhew, in his review of a fascinating new anthology. Mayhew's poem The History of Modern Poetry: From the 1890s to High Modernism arrived with nine convenient, brief chapters. His most recent, Late Ashbery, packs in parody with homage in one sweeping lyric.  Ellavon asked Jonathan Mayhew to kick off our 1999 with a poem.  We got two. Mayhew is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas.

Jeanne d'Arc O'Day

"Buttergirl" is a fictional sketch by Jeanne d'Arc O'Day. O'Day holds degrees in both English and Nursing and lives in Buffalo, New York.


Diane Middlebrook

Diane Middlebrook's biography of Anne Sexton rescued that poet's reputation; Sexton became a poet/performance-artist of genius, not some low-rent Plath with poor self-editing skills. What Middlebrook's next biography — of the cross-dressing, lesbian jazz musician Billy Tipton — does for *this* subject's posthumous reputation is an open question. "Ellavon" asks Middlebrook to explain the ethics of outing the dead. Visit Diane's website.

Kat Kosiancic

Kat's documentary about women who live and work in the downtown eastside neighborhood of Vancouver, BC, "Be My Junkie Shadow," premiered in that city recently to great interest and reviews. Read excerpts from the interviews that formed the basis of the docmentary here: Bernadette and Nicole and Denise.  Here's Kat's page.

In 2000 Kosiancic released a mesmerizing debut CD, "Just Some Chick." One Vancouver newspaper has called her a "local hero." Click here to find out why and to listen to some music.

Paul Kurtz

Ellavon interviews Paul Kurtz, who has spent a lifetime trying to explain to everybody that religious belief should be abandoned in favor of secular humanist ethics — with less than complete success, obviously. He has fared a lot better in debunking crazy paranormal claims — as cofounder of both the journal The Skeptical Inquirer and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP — pronounced "psi-cop," which annoys Kurtz's detractors to no end). The organization has a most wonderful website. [Paul died in October 2012. – 20 Oct. 16]

In a belated introduction to this ezine, the editor explained what the word "Ellavon" means (it's not the name of a drug you think might have been prescribed him at one time), why his interview with Jim Goad is so short, and why he didn't interview the wonderful Mary Lou Lord at all. San Francisco musician Stephen Silbert provided a written assist.

Write the editor at Ellavon "at"


Contributors retain copyright to work published in Ellavon. Other editorial material copyright 1998 - 2002 Ellavon: An Ezine of Basic Culture. Marilyn Suriani photo by Billy Howard; Kat Kosiancic photo by Leah Wiebe; Jeanne d'Arc O'Day photo by Maria Basil; Julie Damerell photo by one of her relatives or someone at Sears; Kristi Coulter photo by John Sindelar; Diane Middlebrook by Jerry Bauer; photo of Debbie Cook by Lincoln Clarkes; tracking down credit for Paul Kurtz photo.  All other images by Ellavon.