The Harvard Advocate
The Harvard Advocate, the art and literary magazine of Harvard College, is the oldest continuously published college art and literary magazine in the United States. The magazine (published then in newspaper format) was founded by Charles S. Gage and William G. Peckham in 1866 and, except for a hiatus during the last years of World War II, has published continuously since then. Its current offices are a two-story wood-frame house at 21 South Street, near Harvard Square and the University campus.
Today, the Harvard Advocate publishes quarterly. Its mission is to "publish the best art, fiction, poetry and prose the Harvard undergraduate community has to offer." For its themed winter issue, the Harvard Advocate also accepts submissions from professional writers and artists beyond the Harvard community.
Founding and early years
When the Advocate was founded, it adopted the motto Dulce est Periculum (Danger is Sweet) which had been used by an earlier Harvard newspaper, the Collegian. The magazine originally avoided controversial topics, lest it be shut down by university authorities; by the time the editors were making the then-radical demand for coeducation at Harvard, the magazine had attracted the support of James Russell Lowell and Oliver Wendell Holmes, and its life was less precarious.
The founding in 1873 of The Harvard Crimson newspaper (originally the Magenta), and in 1876, of the Harvard Lampoon humor magazine, led the Advocate by the 1880s to devote itself to essays, fiction, and poetry.
Over the years, the undergraduate editors of and contributors to the Advocate have gone on to later fame, literary and otherwise. Theodore Roosevelt edited the magazine in 1880. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Wallace Stevens, E. E. Cummings, and T. S. Eliot all published their undergraduate poetry in the Advocate. Before the Second World War, undergraduates who worked on the Advocate included Malcolm Cowley, James Agee, Robert Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, James Laughlin (who got into trouble with local police for publishing a racy story by Henry Miller) and Norman Mailer.
Post World War II
The Advocate suspended publication during the years of World War II, and resumed publication with its April 1947 issue. Editors after the war included Daniel Ellsberg. The post-war Advocate published undergraduate and/or graduate work by Richard Wilbur, Robert Bly, John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Frank O'Hara, John Hawkes, Harold Brodkey, Kenneth Koch and Jonathan Kozol as well as illustrations by Edward Gorey. Contributors from outside Harvard during this time included Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Archibald MacLeish.
Other contributors after World War II included Adrienne Rich (the first woman to publish regularly in the magazine), Howard Nemerov, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Tom Wolfe, James Atlas, and Sallie Bingham.
Some recent alumni of note include novelists Louis Begley, Peter Gadol, Lev Grossman, Benjamin Kunkel, and Francine Prose, poets Carl Phillips and Frederick Seidel, biographer and critic Jean Strouse, journalists Elif Batuman and Timothy Noah, literary scholar Peter Brooks, editors Jonathan Galassi and Susan Morrison, businessmen Steve Ballmer and Thomas A. Stewart, filmmaker Terrence Malick, and writer and video game developer Austin Grossman.
The Harvard Advocate Anniversary Anthology (1986) was published in conjunction with the 120th year of the magazine's publication and Harvard's 350th anniversary. The anthology reproduced actual pages and artwork published in the magazine, introducing each literary era with a brief historical overview.
- About the Harvard Advocate
- Harvard Advocate Archives, 21 South Street, Cambridge MA