Chicago Review

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Chicago Review  
Discipline Literary magazine
Language English
Publication details
Publication history
1946 to present
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 0009-3696
JSTOR 00093696

Chicago Review is a literary magazine published four times per year in the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago. It was founded in 1946.[1][2] Three stories published in Chicago Review have won the O. Henry Award.[3] Work that first appeared in Chicago Review has also been reprinted in The Best American Poetry 2002, The Best American Poetry 2004, and The Best American Short Stories 2003.

Many well-known writers have published in the review, both before and after they became famous, including Henry Miller, Philip Roth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Tennessee Williams, William Carlos Williams, Anaïs Nin, Charles Simic, James Tate, Charles Bukowski, Raymond Carver, Philip Levine, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Palmer, Robert Pinsky, Edward Dorn, Anne Carson, and Robert Duncan, amongst many others.

Early history and Beat poetry censorship controversy[edit]

Before censorship by the university administration, Chicago Review was an early and leading promoter of the Beat Movement in American literature.[4] In the autumn of 1958, it published an excerpt from Burroughs' Naked Lunch, which was judged obscene by the Chicago Daily News and sparked public outcry;[5] this episode led to the censorship of the following issue, to which the editors responded by resigning and starting a new magazine in which to freely publish Beat fiction.

Chicago Review became the subject of considerable controversy in 1959, when the University of Chicago prohibited editor Irving Rosenthal from publishing a winter issue that was to include Jack Kerouac's Sebastian Midnite, a thirty-page excerpt from William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch and a thirty-page work by Edward Dahlberg.[6][7][8][9][10] The concern of the university was that the work might be deemed obscene. All but one editor quit the paper. Rosenthal, Ginsberg and others responded by founding Big Table; its first issue included ten chapters of Naked Lunch.[11][12]

In the context of the ongoing nationwide conflict between traditional vs. Beat fiction, the impact of the creation of Big Table was such that, as Thomas Pynchon recalled, among the literature college students at Cornell University, "'What happened at Chicago' became shorthand for some unimaginable subversive threat."[13]

Chicago Review also played a significant role in introducing Zen to the American public.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top 50 Literary Magazine". EWR. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ Zachary Petit (May 12, 2010). "12 Literary Journals Your Future Agent is Reading". Writer's Digest. Retrieved December 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ O Henry Winners
  4. ^ J. Donald Adams (May 18, 1958). "Speaking of Books". New York Times Book Review. p. 2. Retrieved July 10, 2010. This spring the Chicago Review devoted a good part of its issue to the presentation of ten San Francisco poets.... The poems are prefaced by a brief statement from Jack Kerouac on "The Origins of Joy in Poetry." 
  5. ^ Nicholls, David (1996) article on Burroughs, Autumn 1996 double-issue of the Chicago Review
  6. ^ Morgan, Bill. I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg, p. 284
  7. ^ The Village Voice, March 18, 1959
  8. ^ Theado, Matt. The Beats: A Literary Reference
  9. ^ Charters, Ann. The Portable Beat Reader, 1992, p. 337
  10. ^ Chicago Journal "60-year Review"
  11. ^ Hamilton, Ian. The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry in English, p. 46
  12. ^ The Beat Generation in Print: The Literary Magazines
  13. ^ Thomas Pynchon (1984) Slow Learner, p. 7
  14. ^ "Religion: Zen: Beat & Square", Time, July 21, 1958
  15. ^ Josephine Nock-Hee Park, Apparitions of Asia: modernist form and Asian American poetics, p. 63

External links[edit]