Our Most-Read Stories of 2020

The Editors


In a turbulent year, The Yale Review has put out hundreds of articles, poems, and stories of which we’re incredibly proud. We have endeavored to build upon our 200-year tradition of thoughtful criticism to make sense of our current moment and engage with the world around us in our writing, even when we cannot do so in person. 

Our articles drew hundreds of thousands of readers to our site this year. These are the ones you, the readers, read the most. 



1. “Unbothered” by Namwali Serpell
2. “A Common Seagull” by Sheila Heti
3. “Ghosts in My Nursery” by Miranda Featherstone
4. “The Dolphin Letters” by Dan Chiasson
5. “The Wondrous Banality of Democracy” by John Witt
6. “Sirenland” by Briallen Hopper
7. “Thucydides in Times of Trouble” by Emily Greenwood
8. “A Commencement Deferred” by Meghana Mysore
9. “The Law of Salus Populi” by John Witt
10. “Lovecraft and Me” by Kieran Setiya



1. “Breathing Exercise” by Raven Leilani
2. “Blanca” by Jared Jackson
3. “The Hearts of Our Enemies” by Dantiel W. Moniz
4. “The Queen of Bark and Darkness” by Joanna Hershon
5. “Save the Pedestals” by Ivan Vladislavic
6. “The Blessing of Kali” by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu
7. “Short Swoop, Long Line” by Andrew Martin
8. “So Long” by Antonio Tabucchi, translated by Elizabeth Harris
9. “Husband and Wife During the Nightly News” by Idra Novey
10. “Do You Know Alex Oreille” by Katie Kitamura



1. “Appointment” by Dana Levin
2. “Nostos” by Aria Aber
3. “After the Apocalypse” by Ama Codjoe
4. “When I Met Sharon Olds She Told Me to Write A Poem About LBJ’S Penis” by Sasha Debevec-McKenney
5. “First Snow” by Aria Aber
6. “Hades” by Aria Aber
7. “Rat Among the Pines” by Roger Reeves
8. “Mushmouf’s Maybe-Crown” by Phillip B. Williams
9. “German Cities” by Richie Hofmann
10. “Information Desk” by Robyn Schiff



1. “Unethical Reading and the Limits of Empathy” by Namwali Serpell and Maria Tumarkin
2. “Ben Lerner on Writing and Magic Pills” by Catherine Barnett
3. “Aria Aber on the Poetry of Exile” by Meghan O’Rourke
4. “Dan Chiasson on the Poetry of Reading and the Darkness of Endless Summer” by Maggie Millner
5. “Cathy Park Hong on Minor Feelings” by Meghan O’Rourke

Graphic by Will Frazier