Welcome to the Harvard Review Editorial Blog, a place to talk about what goes on behind the scenes at Harvard Review.
Hear Canadian author Judith McCormack’s witty story of love between two young lawyers read aloud by Katrina Grigg-Saito for The Drum. “Creation Stories,” from HR 43, has also been picked for Best Canadian Short Stories 2013. This is McCormack’s second story for Harvard Review; her first — “A Theory of Probability” — appeared in HR 26.
Photo: Brett Hall Jones
Harvard Review contributor Sharon Olds has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. You can read two of her wonderful poems, “Where She Is Now” and “Stanley Kunitz Ode,” in the current issue (HR43). Mazel tov, Sharon!
We were pleased to find that someone at the TLS is reading Harvard Review. This week’s edition of the Times Literary Supplement features, under the heading “Worst is Best” (echoing the title of Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s Antarctic classic, The Worst Journey in the World), a mention of Anne Fadiman’s wonderful essay on the South Polar Times from the current issue, HR43.
The South Polar Times was the hand-illustrated magazine produced each year in an edition of one by Robert Falcon Scott and his companions as a form of entertainment during the long dark as they overwintered on the Antarctic ice. Resembling more than anything else a kind of prep school magazine — complete with caricatures, acrostics, and doggerel, along with serious verse and disquisitions on scientific themes — the SPT embodied both the boyishness and the stoicism of men who embarked on these expeditions. The very last issue, composed during the winter of 1912, was written in the wake of the final tragedy — in defiance almost of the fact that Scott and his party had not returned.
This amazing cultural artifact has recently been reprinted by The Folio Society in the first complete facsimile edition and is available for $945 — but only if you hurry. According to Society’s website, there are just 6 copies left. You can read the essay by Anne Fadiman for a fraction of that cost by ordering a copy of Harvard Review or subscribing here .
And two pieces from the issue have already been picked up by other publications. Jaquelyn Pope’s poem “Housebound” will appear on Poetry Daily on Monday, March 25, and Canadian author Judith McCormack’s story “Creation Stories” will appear in the 2014 edition of Best Canadian Short Stories. Stay tuned for an audio edition of “Creation Stories” from The Drum. Congratulations to both our authors!
Harvard Review invites you to visit us at the Boston Book Festival, Saturday, October 27. Laura and I will be at a booth in the exhibitors’ fair on Copley Plaza, and I’ll be moderating a panel on the short story with Edith Pearlman, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Haigh, at 11:00 at Trinity Chapel. Hope to see you there!
Join us on Monday, October 1st, at the Woodberry Poetry Room for this exciting bilingual reading by Salgado Maranhão and Alexis Levitin!
Salgado Maranhão’s Blood of the Sun: A Bilingual Reading
Date: October 1, 2012
Location: Woodberry Poetry Room. Lamont Library, Room 330
Salgado Maranhão, one of Brazil’s leading contemporary poets and winner of the 2011 Premio de Poesia da Academia Brasileira de Letras, and his translator Alexis Levitin, whose thirty-two books of translations include Clarice Lispector’s Soulstorm and Eugénio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words, will read from the bilingual edition of Blood of the Sun, recently out from Milkweed Editions.
Mark Jarman’s fine poem, “Bad Girl Singing,” from HR 42 will appear on Poetry Daily on Monday, September 24, 2012. Look for two more poems by Mark — “Milagro” and “The Children’s Zoo” — in the current issue of Harvard Review.
We had a nice email the other day from Allison Seay, whose poetry collection, To See the Queen, has been awarded the 2012 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry for a first book of poems by an American woman.
Ten issues ago we published a poem of Allison’s called “Late Apology.” It turns out this was one of her first publications. She writes, “Harvard Review was one of the very first journals to accept my work and so I am deeply indebted to you all and very grateful for your support.”
We love to get this kind of feedback. Thanks, Allison, for letting us know and congratulations on the book!
We’re always happy to hear from our former contributors, so don’t hesitate to send us news of your prizes, fellowships, and publications.
Harvard Review’s new issue is out and available for sale. With luck you will soon be able to order a copy or subscription with a credit card directly from our website, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, anyone wanting to purchase a copy can download an order form.
In the wake of last year’s interesting discussions about gender balance among contributors to literary magazines, led by VIDA’s 2010 gender count, we thought we’d take a look at the content of HR 41 from a variety of points of view: how many women v. men there are in the issue; where the writers come from; how old they are; and, most interestingly to us, the paths by which the pieces made their way to Harvard Review.
One of the things aspiring writers always want to know is how to get into journals in the first place. We could certainly name the avenues—agents, editorial solicitation, personal connections, unsolicited submissions—but we didn’t necessarily know how many of each there were in a typical issue of Harvard Review. With this in mind, we broke down the contributors to the current issue into the following groups:
- writers whose work we pulled from the slush pile (that is, unsolicited manuscripts that arrived at Harvard Review either by mail or through our online submission system Tellitslant);
- writers whose work first came to our attention through referrals, usually by other writers but also by editors and agents;
- writers whose work we found through networking events like Grub Street’s The Muse and the Marketplace.
- and writers whose work we already knew (and in many cases solicited) because we had published them before.
The full results, helpfully illustrated by Laura Healy’s infographics, appear in the current editorial. For us, the takeaway was that at least in this issue we had a pretty healthy balance across a number of measures: better than average gender balance, an amusing age spread (one of our contributors was born in 1797 and thus appears on the chart as more than 200 years old), fair geographical distribution, and a pretty good split between people with some prior connection to the journal and people we were encountering for the very first time.
Harvard Review will be at the Boston Book Festival, Saturday, October 15. If the arrangement is the same as last year, well be in a tent somewhere (#26) on the plaza at Copley Square — kind of like Occupy Wall Street! So, stop by and say hello.