The Yale Review Celebrates 200th Anniversary Issue Under New Editor Meghan O’Rourke
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (January 21, 2020) — The Yale Review, the country’s oldest literary publication in continuous publication, today released its first issue under the new editorship of Meghan O’Rourke. O’Rourke’s first issue also coincides with a year-long celebration of the quarterly’s 200th anniversary. This milestone year includes a complete redesign of The Yale Review’s print publication and website as well as The Yale Review 200th Anniversary Festival, taking place from February 5th to 7th in New Haven.
“We’re excited to be looking forward and boldly exploring what The Yale Review can be at 200,” said O’Rourke. “It’s a privilege to be able to reimagine such a venerable institution. In an age of literary and political ferment, the Review is excited to be home to urgent conversations about what it means to be an artist and thinker in the United States today. And at its core, the Review will remain what it has always been: a site for the dynamic, rigorous exchange of ideas alongside the very best in imaginative literature.”
Volume 107, No. 4 of The Yale Review features poetry by Kevin Young, essays by Cathy Park Hong, Lydia Davis, and Sheila Heti, fiction by Raven Leilani, and an interview with Ben Lerner. This latest volume builds on a legacy of important contributions to American intellectual and literary culture that has often seen TYR at the forefront of original fiction, poetry, and commentary, publishing literary icons such as Virginia Woolf, Wallace Stevens, and Joyce Carol Oates — as well as important critical contributions from academics at Yale and beyond, including the former longtime editor and poet J. D. McClatchy. The Yale Review began in 1819 as The Christian Spectator, became The New Englander in 1843, and then an economics-focused Yale Review in 1892. The modern history of the journal began in 1911, when it was relaunched as a pre-eminent journal of literature and ideas by Wilbur Cross. In TYR’s modern era, a series of outstanding and innovative editors have shepherded the journal. Kai Erikson, Penelope Laurans, and J. D. McClatchy each attracted notable new writers and broadened the magazine’s scope.
“For two centuries, The Yale Review has shaped American intellectual life through its dazzling collation and curation of fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, both conventional and avant-garde. We are thrilled that the gifted editor and writer Meghan O’Rourke has taken on editorship of the journal, launching its third century with a beautifully redesigned Review that brings honor to the journal, and to the university that is privileged to house it,” said Tamar Szabó Gendler, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale.
Meghan O’Rourke, a graduate of Yale University and an accomplished poet, essayist, and former editor at The New Yorker and The Paris Review, takes the helm as The Yale Review launches a new digital identity this spring. Those changes include relaunching yalereview.yale.edu, web-exclusive features, and introducing a podcast later this year. The print journal has likewise been revitalized with artwork, a regular interview feature, and a “folio,” typically including a short essay and responses, that examines an important cultural phenomenon. The folio in the latest issue addresses the role of storytelling in new American poetry featuring poems by Margaret Ross and Sandra Lim along with five additional pieces. A new column, “The Moment,” features a writer meditating on an aspect of the world we live in. In the first, Cathy Park Hong explores living with the threats of climate change and globalization.
The Yale Review 200th Anniversary Festival is open to the public and takes place over three days in February. Contributors to the new issue, including Dan Chiasson of The New Yorker, Sheila Heti, Cathy Park Hong, and Robyn Schiff, will be joined by Langdon Hammer, author and Yale professor, and Parul Sehgal, literary critic at The New York Times. A companion event, also open to the public, will take place Thursday, February 13th at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn, New York.