Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn spoke at The Southern Review’s anniversary celebration in New York. Credit: Michael Chin/The Strand
With 80 years of rich literary history, The Southern Review recently celebrated its Louisiana roots in a big-city way. Commemorating the anniversary with a party in May at the iconic Strand Bookstore in New York City, the journal ushered in its next chapter of literary excellence.
The event included readings from a remarkable lineup of The Southern Review’s authors, both veteran and recent, and a standing-room-only crowd.
It was a fitting tribute to a publication with a colorful history, beginning in 1935 when it was founded at LSU by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks with backing from Gov. Huey P. Long. Since that time, the quarterly magazine has published works of art, fiction, nonfiction and poetry by established and emerging writers and artists across the nation and the world. William Faulkner once called it “one of the best literary magazines anywhere;” historian Charles Beard said that “the Review does honor to American intelligence.”
While striving to adapt to the diversity of its contemporary audience, the journal’s mission “to discover and promote engaging, relevant and challenging literature” has remained constant through the years.
“We are always looking for authors and new works—things that are different and exciting,” says journal co-editor Emily Nemen.
LSU Press became The Southern Review’s publisher in 2011, allowing the two to share resources while providing the journal with more marketing strength and a chance to expand into digital media.
To recognize the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Summer 2015 issue will have a special New Orleans theme. “There’s been a lot of art and writing made about Katrina, but something I haven’t really seen is talking to artists about how they made that work … and what happens next,” Nemen explains. “Because obviously [Katrina] is not going to define their career; being a Louisiana artist defines their career.”
In honor of its founding in 1935, The Southern Review is offering a discounted annual rate of $35 for subscriptions through the end of the year.