American Literary Review

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American Literary Review
A National Journal of Poems and Stories
Editor-in-chief Ann McCutchan
Former editors Jim Lee (founder)
Scott Cairns
Barbara Rodman
William J. Cobb
Corey Marks
John Tait
Miro Penkov
Categories Creative writing
Frequency biannual
Circulation 1,200 (print)[1]
Publisher University of North Texas
Department of English
Year founded Spring 1990 (age 28)
First issue 1 April 1990
Final issue Fall 2013
Country United States
Based in Denton
Language English
ISSN 1051-5062
OCLC number 21984784

The American Literary Review is a national biannual literary magazine of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Since its Fall 2013 issue, ALR has been an online digital publication. Print publications are cataloged under ISSN 1051-5062.


ALR was founded twenty-eight years ago, in 1990, by the creative writing faculty of the Department of English of the University of North Texas and the now bygone Center for Texas Studies at the University of North Texas. The Center for Texas Studies, at that time, was led by James Ward Lee, PhD (born 1931),[2][a] longtime professor of English at UNT, Department Chair, and a prolific writer, and A.C. Greene, an author and former newspaper editor, notably of the Dallas Times Herald. ALR published the first issue in the spring of 1990. Lee edited the first two issues in the spring and fall of 1990. In the first issue, he wrote an editorial expressing hope that the name and tagline, "American Literary Review: A National Journal of Poems and Stories, will prove to be neither pretentious nor presumptuous."

The founding objective was to showcase a range of genres and styles from emerging and veteran writers. To encourage freedom of expression, risk-taking, and experimentation, Lee said that ALR would not publish scholarly articles.[3] That sentiment is not too dissimilar from that of the late Theodore Weiss, founding editor of the former and influential Quarterly Review of Literature, who also felt that scholarly articles and criticism might stifle writers. ALR's third issue (spring 1991, vol. 2, issue 1) was edited by poet and faculty member Scott Cairns. The first issue received more that 160 submissions.[3]

The printed issues, prior to 2013, were typically 120 pages, digest size, perfect-bound with color card cover featuring a photo submission.[4]

In 2004, NewPages characterized ALR as having roughly a 2:1 poetry to fiction ratio, with a casual touch of both traditional and experimental forms.[5]

Prize winners[edit]

The ALR awards three annual prizes, for a poem, a short story, and an essay.[6]



  • Maureen Stanton
  • 2008: Karin Forfota Poklen
  • 2009: Julie Marie Wade
  • 2010: Sabine Heinlein
  • 2011: Barbara Cameron
  • 2011: Starre Vartan (runner-up)
  • 2012: Robert Long Foreman
  • 2012: Vernita Hall (runner-up)


  • Mary L. Tabor (spring 1999)
  • Melissa Jeanne Miller (1956–1991)
  • 2008: Michael Isaac Shokrian
  • 2009: Marylee MacDonald
  • 2010: Karen Heuler
  • 2010: Nora Khan (runner-up)
  • 2010: Emily McLaughlin (runner-up)
  • 2011: Marc Dickinson
  • 2011: Sean Madigan Hoen (runner-up)
  • 2012: Lydia Kann (runner-up)
  • 2012: Dustin Parsons


Literary contributors[edit]


Short non-fiction

  • Danielle Deulen (2010)
  • Curtis Smith
  • Maureen P. Stanton

Short fiction

  • Chantel Acevedo
  • Susan Breen
  • Andi Diehn (Spring 2004)
  • Stefanie Freele
  • John Henry Irsfeld: (Spring 1992)
  • Dana Johnson
  • Jim Meirose (Spring 2004)
  • Scott Nadelson (Spring 2011)
  • Midge Raymond (Fall 2008)
  • Mary L. Tabor (Spring 1999)
  • Austin Gilmour (Spring 2012)



ALR is largely student-run with UNT creative writing faculty editorial oversight.


2012–present: Ann McCutchan †

Fiction co-editors

2009–present: Miro Penkov
2009–present: Barbara Rodman, PhD

Creative nonfiction editor

2008-present: Bonnie Friedman

Poetry co-editors

1995–present: Bruce Bond, PhD †
2000–present: Corey Marks, PhD

Former editors-in-chief

James Ward Lee, PhD † (founding editor)
Scott Cairns, PhD
Barbara Rodman, PhD
William J. Cobb, PhD
Corey Marks, PhD
John Tait, PhD
Miro Penkov

Former Poetry editor

Nancy Eimers

Former advisory board members

1990–1997: John Henry Irsfeld †
† Member, Texas Institute of Letters


ALR seeks literary mainstream, creative nonfiction, and poetry. As of 2011, it was receiving 150 to 200 unsolicited manuscripts a month and accepts 12 to 16 per issue. Submissions are reviewed from October 1 to May 1 and published within two years of acceptance.[1] In round one of the referee process, judges, which include graduate students, read all submissions and make preliminary selections. Faculty editors for each category review make final selections for official recognition and publishing. Separate judges for prizes in each category then make their selection. At all stages of the process, the identity of writers is not known by referees.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Bygone publications of the same name[edit]

  • The American Literary Review of Newton, Massachusetts, was a privately owned quarterly literary magazine. It was edited by Lee Bates Hatfield (born 1953). The publication ran from 1973 to 1983. Its Worldcat code is OCLC 173746375. Its holding company was a Massachusetts non-profit corporation of the same name, "The American Literary Review, Inc."
  • The American Literary Review of New York City never existed. Rather, it was proposed in 1931 as a review of books. A prospectus for investors was copyrighted and is stored, along with other information, at the Widener Library of Harvard College.[7]
  • American Literary Review of Augusta, Maine, was a weekly literary and scientific newspaper founded in 1870 by LaForest Almond Shattuck, M.D. (1846–1930).[8] By May 1871, circulation had reached 75,000 and covered every state and territory. Shattuck stepped down as editor 1871 due to poor health.[9]


  1. ^ The "Center for Texas Studies" at Texas Christian University is not affiliated with the one that was at UNT
Inline citations
  1. ^ a b 2012 Novel And Short Story Writer's Market, Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books (2011); OCLC 707211755
  2. ^ Listing of "American Literary Review," Duotrope February 6, 2006
  3. ^ a b "American Literary Review: Department Launches Literary Journal," The North Texan, Vol. 40, No. 4, December 1990, pg. 3
  4. ^ 2013 Poet's Market, Robert Lee Brewer (ed.), Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books (2012); OCLC 775410692
  5. ^ "The NewPages Literary Magazine Reviews," by Weston Cutter, Bay City, Michigan: NewPages, September 2004
  6. ^ American Literary Review, Literary Awards, Poets and Writers
  7. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2 (1931); OCLC 81704791
  8. ^ "New England News: Maine," Boston Daily Advertiser, Vol. 115, No. 126, May 28, 1870, pg. 2
  9. ^ History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, J.H. Battle (ed.), Chicago: A. Warner & Co. (1887); OCLC 14870985