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Virginia writers are hard-working and productive. They are planning to provide us with some good reads — most of them are due out this year; others are close to completion.

Among them (not all by any means):

From Hollins, that perennial hive of literary creation, we have R. H. W. Dillard's new collection of poetry, "Sallies" (LSU Press, September).

Cathryn Hankla's latest poems, "Emerald City Blues" (Tryon).

Julia Johnson's first book of poems, "Naming the Afternoon" (LSU, next year).

Jeanne Larsen's latest, near completion, is a travel book: "Gods of the Road: Uphill Pilgrimages in Japan."

Over at Sweet Briar, the amazing Browns — Carrie and John Gregory — continue as busy as ever. John Gregory Brown's "Audubon's Watch" (Houghton Mifflin) is scheduled for September. Carrie's next book, almost finished, is to be published by Algonquin.

Janet Peery gave us a peek at her forthcoming novel, "What the Thunder Said" (St. Martin's), in the August issue of 64 magazine.

Richmond's Margaret Gibson has a new book of poems, "Icon and Evidence," due in November from Louisiana State University.

From Northern Virginia, America's only known identical twin novelists, Richard and Robert Bausch, have novels coming, tentatively scheduled for late fall or early 2002. Robert's is "The Gypsy Man" (Harcourt Brace); Richard's is "Hello to the Cannibals"

Grundy's own Lee Smith (now a North Carolinian) has completed a new novel but has not yet announced a publisher.

William Hoffman of Charlotte Court House is reported to be close to finished with his latest novel for Harper/Collins

On his farm up above Monterey, Donald McCaig is deep into an authorized sequel to "Gone with the Wind."

Under the editorship of Mary Flinn, The New Virginia Review is publishing "Remembering Larry Levis," in honor of the late poet who taught at Virginia Commonwealth University.

These are only a sampling. All over the commonwealth computers are quietly clicking (together with a few old cricket-noisy manual typewriters preserved by old timers).

The Virginia graduate writing programs are cranking up, and a new class of students will soon arrive. New faculty people like Ann Beattie and Christopher Tilghman of the University of Virginia will join the Charlottesville literary scene. Five of these Virginia writing programs have outstanding national ranking by U.S. News & World Report from among 300 nationwide. These Virginia programs include: U.Va., No. 5; George Mason, No. 22; Hollins, No. 23, VCU, No. 60 and Old Dominion University, No. 77.

There is a good and stylish literary magazine called The Chattahoochie Review, based in suburban Atlanta at George Perimeter College. This little magazine has, and continues to publish works by leading Southern writers. Volume 21, No.1 (Fall 2001) is devoted to "Informal Writing: Letters and Diaries." It offers a remarkable piece by Charlottesville's prize-winning poet, Eleanor Ross Taylor, a highly personal and powerful excerpt from her own diary called "The First Week of the Last Summer, 1994," dealing with the first week of the last summer of Peter Taylor's life, from May 28 through June 5, 1994. — George Garrett

Editor's note: George Garrett has a forthcoming book, "Going to See the Elephant" (Texas Review Press), a collection of factual and fictional pieces, edited by Jeb Livingood of Charlottesville. Publication is planned for fall.

The University Press of Virginia's Virginia Bookshelf series has republished James Branch Cabell's "Let Me Lie." This is described in the subtitle as "Being in the Main an Ethnological Account of the Remarkable Commonwealth of Virginia and the Making of Its History." The new introduction is by R. H. W. Dillard.

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